Sandbaggers Anonymous

For Golfers and non golfers. Sandbagging isn't just a golfing set of tricks.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Ryder Cup, Oh woe are we

First the US team was labeled “underdogs”.
Does that set up the after-game ‘explanations’, “Well, if we lose, we weren’t expected to win”, or “If we win, we put in some extra effort to overcome the underdog label.”
Some were saying, “They aren’t used to playing fourballs and foursomes and match play,” – but in the USA their amateur champions are decided by match play?”
Some said, “The US team lacks team spirit”
In a country that espouses individualism? But the USA has the greatest high school and college sports supporters- Football stadiums (and attendance) at USA high schools are magnificent and far better than sports facilities at the Canadian University level.
A recent article noted the USA athletes who are not winning in their respective sports like individual Tennis, but they did amass a large number of Olympic medals, in individual events???
A commentator on the Golf Channel said the USA team “didn’t smile enough”.
After Jim Furyk made a superb putt on Sunday he had the longest grumpiest face possible. Not even a great shot could make him smile?
Stewart Cink’s putting was amazing and yet a fist pump, was added to his image that did include a smile. At least he smiled!
Another commentator said, “It’s the words the USA team uses, ‘doing battle’, we’ll conquer’, whereas the Europeans use terms like, ‘It’ll be fun, it’ll be a great game’.

In an article on Golfonline, titled, “European Wins Fist-Pump Battle”

“U.S. captain Tom Lehman said he is delighted to have DiMarco in that role. “Every team needs a guy like Chris who has that fire in him,” Lehman said. “And I will encourage that kind of enthusiasm.” But, mindful that such public displays of emotion sometimes causes rifts, he added: “But if it gets a little too over-excited, I will tell them to calm down, take a step back, and remember it’s just a golf tournament. I want it to be a hard-nosed competition but played in the right spirit.”

Tiger’s Caddy dropped Tiger’s 9 iron into a greenside pond, - a humorous moment, - it’s too bad we didn’t see a close-up of the look on Tiger’s face – From a distance it looked like he was about to smile but who could tell for sure? It had to be (or will be) a funny moment for both of them.
For future events Tiger has suggested “a true home-course advantage”, but ah, the K club has been called ‘an American design, designed by an American”. What exactly does Tiger mean by a ‘home course advantage?

So where does the blame for the USA loss exist?

Have a look at what David Feherty says…
In David Feherty’s Sept 24 article on titled “The US Should Be Proud,”
Read the whole article on:,17742,1538617,00.html
He closes with…
“You can bet half your ass the American players always care about the event and each other, and bet the other cheek on the fact that this carousel will come around. It will come around even quicker if all fans of American golf get behind it and push.”

Now the loss is because of the American golf Fans…??

And yet the USA team on Thursday played a” short game”, marched in a twelvesome right past the first tee where some 20,000 fans waited to see them tee off. That vanguard of contestants did not show any respect for the paying public. (also known as 'FANS')

Brian Hewitt on The Golf Channel newsletter has made some suggestions and is looking for more.

Another commentator has suggested Bill Murray as Captain, Robin Williams as vice captain and more John Daly’s on the USA team. I’d add in Chris Dimarco- if he’d promise to smile more.
Maybe the Teams ought to go out and play golf with a “Patch Adams” red clown nose.
(See the movie, starring Robin Williams “Patch Adams”.)

Maybe the USA team needs a practice round using “Monkey golf” rules, maybe a few rounds using only “3 clubs and a putter in the bag. (I’ll post “monkey golf" rules in a few days)

Many charitable tournaments are scramble format. Not my favorite – but it sure is fun to play in a team format and watch my team mate(s) make an amazing shot.

Now there another article from an AP writer saying "the Ryder cup doesn't matter", which I suspect was written because ... well, is it because the USA didn't win?

Maybe it is the nature of the sport. Golf can be a solitary sport. Golf can also be a team sport.
I wonder how much team feeling there is if the high rankers are ONLY ever paired with one other partner. Granted a team can be made up of just 2 players.

It is not a “battle”, it is not a “war”; it is a sport. Frankly all the very hard, tight fisted, FIST pumps are putting me off watching the game. Can they change that to a “Thumbs up”, signal and include a smile?

Lighten up guys!


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