Grouchy Golf Blog

Sunday, September 24, 2006 at 6:42 PM

Ryder Cup: American Golf Wake-Up Call

The 2006 Ryder Cup concluded this weekend as most expected. The European team delivered a complete shellacking to the American team. While the Europeans were favored, it wasn't even close.

Aside from being one of the most lopsided contests in the history of the Ryder Cup, the recent results highlight the problem with the future of professional American golf. On the ladie's side, the American stock looks healthy with the likes of Paula Creamer, Morgan Pressel and Michelle Wie. However, the young talent on the male side has been paltry for a number of years. Sure, there's Tiger, Phil and Furyk. But after that, the talent drops off a cliff. As Johnny Miller puts it, "Seven of the top 30 in the world are Americans. That's unfathomable," he said. "I can't believe the state of the game in America. ... It's like you've got 12 guys - three of them are firing a 50-millimeter cannon and nine guys are shooting BB guns. The bottom line is, the U.S. has got to step it up."

Quite simply, there have just been a striking number of American male golf phenoms who never panned out. What ever happened to Ty Tryon and David Gossett Jr.? The other "young guns," namely Charles Howell III and Sean O'Hair, are good, but not exactly lighting it up. Outside of Tiger Woods, how many U.S. Amateur champs of the last decade are finding success on the PGA Tour? Ryan Moore is at least on the PGA Tour, but it remains to be seen whether he can ascend into the upper echelons. It's like the American golfer factory exhausted all of it's parts and craftmanship on Tiger Woods and then closed up shop.

So, are there any quick fixes for American golf's Y chromosome woes? I'd love to hear some ideas. Short of cloning Tiger Woods, I sure don't see any. As for the Ryder Cup, can we go back to how it was prior to 1979 when it was a contest between America and only the Brits?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't wait for the comments on this Grouchy topic. I'm interested in hearing why golfer/athletes feel that it's so important that we always have to win things like the Ryder Cup and the Olympics. Can't we just enjoy seeing great athletes perform? If Tiger played out of Viet Nam, wouldn't we still enjoy and marvel at his skill?  


Blogger Miranda said...

Even against a Great Britain team, the US team would have lost.

As for where are the young US men? They learn quickly that it's no use trying to win anything because Tiger wins everything. You think I'm kidding? Tiger doesn't play the European Tour and look how many younguns there are on that team.

And with the shoddy way Lehman 'played' (or more aptly not played) the four rookies, opting to play his stars most of the time, you're not going to see any younger players wanting to make the Ryder Cup team. Again, no room for them when the stars are there too.

I tried to stay away from criticizing the captains before the Ryder Cup because I would have had no idea about what would be the right things to do anyway. But, three things ticked me off about Lehman: 1 - he told Verplank he would play both matches on Saturday and then went back on the promise; 2 - He whined for two days that his players weren't making putts and he had the PGA tour's 6th ranked putter (Vaughn Taylor) benched for most of the time; 3 - Mickelson and Dimarco's pairing sucked this time, but Lehman chose to bench DiMarco who was playing better than Mickelson and left Mickelson out there - just because he's the number 2 player in the world. Not fair to DiMarco.  


Anonymous SBR67 said...

Just seeing great athletes perform? What makes an athlete or in this case a team great is their performance, ie. winning. If you are just going to perform and not win, why bother? This ain't a movie.

Maybe thats part of the problem we have. They have no incentive to win. Most of these guys are millionaires many times over. Did they all get that way by winning on the PGA tour? Not all of 'em. They got they way by finishing in the top 10 and through endorsments. If you are making a mint losing, who cares about winning? Representing your country, winning for it and all of that patriotic stuff? Absolutely not! Just pay me for making the cut.

Take the top 5 off of the PGA Tour and the top 5 from the Nationwide Tour. At least that way you'll have winners and guys with a little fire that still have something to prove.

Love the picture of Smiley. I'm gonna steal it and use it for my avatar at golfdiscussions.com  


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