As players and traveling spectators leave the Louisville area, many commentators all over the world are weighing in with their views and perspectives on what has just unfolded at the 37th Ryder Cup Matches. Here’s a brief sample of what the press has to offer:
- Reuters suggest that the US victory breathes life back into the Ryder Cup, following a period of European dominance.
The Europeans had held the upper hand over their opponents with regard to team unity and a relaxed but committed approach, plus the ability to hole birdie putts when they matter most.
The above observation is valid but is also the perfect description of the US team over this weekend. As always, it really does come down to who holes the most key puts.
- The LA Times also develops this ‘resuscitation’ theme and highlights the key reason for Europe’s defeat:
The most important reason why Europe lost was because its best players were borderline miserable — exactly what has happened to the U.S. in recent years.
Padraig Harrington, Sergio Garcia and Lee Westwood are Europe’s Big Three, but they won no matches in three days, lost seven of them and halved five others.
- Sporting Life reports on a key Azinger insight and one of the suggested reasons why the Americans worked so well together:
“You know, we just decided to come together in small groups, that was it. Beyond that, I don’t know what else to tell you.
“We put four guys together in practice rounds and they played together every day, and they were the four guys who stayed together the whole week and they were never going to come out of their little group. That’s the way I did it.
“It was about how to take small groups and just to break them up.”
While Azinger takes a lot of credit for the famous victory, Nick Faldo has been getting a lot of stick from the European press. Some of the more painful criticisms are selected here:
- Faldo’s large ego has been highlighted by many. This RTE reporter doesn’t hold back:
If Faldo was an ice cream, he’d lick himself.
- The Times was quite clinical in its destruction of Faldo’s captaincy
Faldo’s thin skin, the need to have his sports shrink by his side even out on the course and his grating sense of humour had confirmed what we knew all along, which is that he is no natural leader. But what we had not expected was that a man who had dedicated himself so much to this job would make such a colossal strategic mistake –echoing Curtis Strange’s blunder in 2002 in sending Tiger Woods out last and leaving the world’s best player stranded.
- The Telegraph really gets the boot in and you do begin to wonder how fair is some of this criticism :
Witches were given a fairer hearing in medieval Europe than that coming Faldo’s way in the Valhalla postmortem. He is about to pay the price of a lifetime of self serving, of devotion to the cult of the individual.
- Former Ryder Cup player, Christy O’Connor Jnr was very critical of Faldo on Irish radio, suggesting that Faldo had erred by not having more vice-captains around the course providing support to his players. He described the presence of Faldo’s son as ‘ridiculous’ and compared the lack of togetherness of the European team to the unity of the US team
It certainly is interesting how we rush to create stories and explanations for the final score in a complicated golf competition, especially when a few putts holed or missed either way could have resulted in a different outcome!