The Ryder Cup at Medinah was really outstanding, as far as the corporate hospitality, transportation for the fans in and out, food services, merchandising, and all the spectator stands. I don’t know how a Ryder Cup could be more successful, other than the outcome for the Americans. I went on Saturday and really enjoyed being a fan. I will say that it was hard for 40,000 fans to follow four groups, but this is always the case. To really enjoy the event you had to set out ahead of the groups sit with
a great group of people that use all the technology from the little TV’s to the cell phones, and wait for the games to come to you. Sunday with all the matches coming through the 16th hole was a great spot for a friend of mine, where they saw the 16th green, could turn and watch the tee at 17 along with the green. Late Sunday with all the activity and the quick turn of events, my friends had a great time watching all the action in the stands behind the 16th.
As I look back over the whole matches, I think Davis should have been more demanding on Keegan Bradley getting him to play in the afternoon on Saturday. This would have possible added another point because he was playing so well. I can understand Mickelson not wanting to play with his age and arthritis, and the Ryder Cup is a very long, tiring event. What I find interesting, is Davis Love’s inability to direct his team on the last few matches telling them that the putt up the hill on 17 wasn’t breaking and that the 18th hole was playing short. For the US team to be making the same mistakes really hurts when with a little direction Furyk could have been helped in pulling the right club, but also when he got that tough putt, it would have been nice if he received some information from Davis that the putt has been playing with very little break. I noticed Ollie in the 18th fairway directing his players and I think it really helped them pull the right clubs. Stricker and Furyk could have been helped to win their matches with just a little advice. I feel certain that in 1989 Raymond Floyd would have been right there, right in the bag with you, helping you make the right decision. Maybe Davis talked to the caddies, however, I never saw him working the groups. I also remember in 1989, how Raymond Floyd failed to judge the 18th hole properly, and half of our team couldn’t carry the corner which cost us the win. Raymond gave his heart felt apology for his misjudgment of that hole, and not directing out team to stay clear of the left side and consider hitting a three wood. Raymond had such passion to win, along with Dave Stockton, and Tom Watson, I know each player was made to feel the importance of the matches right from the very beginning. I remember our first meeting when Raymond told Paul Azinger and myself that we both earned our way on to the team and that he was going to put us in early and expected us to play hard an come through for the team. He put it on Paul and I and we knew how important it was for us to give it all we had to get a point when we were put in. Somehow, I think this element of command from the captain was missing, however, I wasn’t there. I just get the feeling that Davis has always been so gifted that he let everything come to him, he never had the ability to go out and command a victory like so many great Hall Of Famers. Hale Irwin would be a great captain one day, just because he commands respect from his fellow players. Hale wouldn’t be buddy buddy with everyone letting everyone pick everything they wanted. He would let it be know that we need a victory at any cost to any player period, and he would expect them to follow through no matter what the individual felt about it. One thing is for sure, I know Davis put everything into his captaincy and will be hurt by it for a long time. Especially since the loss was so motivationally uninspired. I do hope that the captain next time will give the younger players a shot at playing versus picking the more experienced players. We need more energy throughout the whole week, especially on Sunday, when we’re in trouble so we can come through in the very end. I would rather lose next time with younger inspired players to build a younger experienced team for the future with a little more heart and soul than to keep going with experience. We will be talking about this for the next two years trying to figure out the right mix.
The Champion’s Tour is in Raleigh, North Carolina and I’m looking forward to the week. Today I played Prestonwood and it’s in great shape, so I’m sure we’ll have a great week of golf with great weather. Stay tuned, I look forward to filling you in next week about the great Carolina hospitality.