If you missed it, during the PGA Tour’s Honda Classic in March, Jack Nicklaus hosted a dinner for Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III and 40-or so hopefuls to make the 12-man team.
The American side had lost 3 straight Ryder Cups prior to this year’s win at Hazeltine, and hasn’t won in Europe since 1993 and only two wins (1999, 2008) prior, and the 2014 Ryder Cup didn’t exactly end well and by not ending well, it was a disaster.
So as you might imagine, the goal for the American side this year was to win back the Ryder Cup. Rather than have another Task Force, Jack Nicklaus thought it would be nice to have a bunch of hopefuls at his house for dinner and a chat. While the media wasn’t permitted, SGIC spies were there and took notes for me. I was embargoed from writing this up until after the Ryder Cup. By all accounts, it was a lovely evening and everyone had a good time.
Smile if you thought Tom Watson was a terrible Ryder Cup captain.
They event took time out to enjoy some delicious Jack Nicklaus ice cream, and having stolen a pint, I have to say, it is delicious.
That moment just before Nicklaus knocks the spoon out of Fowler’s mouth and says “ice cream is for closers, Rickie”.
You might have heard that Tiger Woods was the first to arrive. This is true, since he had to get a lift from Secret Tour Pro and Secret Tour Pro had to hustle to get to the European meeting that night, where European captain Darren Clarke got some of his lads together and took a slightly different tack on dessert.
The official dessert of Ireland, in pint form. Tastes like winning.
The rest of the players either drove over or took Uber. Davis Love III greeted each player as they walked in, and thanked them for coming. Dinner, as you’d expect, was casual (burgers, chicken, and steaks on the grill- Jack runs a mighty fine grill but he will stab you in the eyes if you so much as look at his spatula or tongs), as Zach Johnson found out. Tiger Woods immediately gave the dinner 4 stars on Yelp; you can see his review called “it’s good but not as good as my restaurant in Orlando!”
Ian Poulter drove by in one of his Ferrari cars with the “Ole, Ole Ole Ole” song blaring out of his car. Jack was heard to say “impressive stuff from a guy with as many majors as Sergio Garcia and Barbara.” I’ll leave this here for Poulter to enjoy:
After dinner, Jack gathered everyone in his family room for a friendly chat. After the players all sat down, Jack asked everyone why they think they keep losing in this event but continue to do well in the Presidents Cup.
Tiger: Well, Jack, you notice I wasn’t on the 2014 team and I think having me there can make a huge diff…
Jack: Really? You have one more Ryder Cup team win than my sons. You were 0-5 in 2012. Try again. Can you even walk 18 holes without breaking apart?
Jordan Spieth: Mr. Nicklaus, I think it’s down to confidence. We think…
Jack: Sure…YOU have confidence in your swing. I have confidence you’ll be Jim Furyk bald by the time we get to Hazeltine. Seriously kid, here’s some Propecia and the number for Hair Club for Men. Thank me later.
Patrick Reed: I don’t know what y’all are talking about. Didn’t you see me shhh those Haggis-eaters in 2014?
Jack: Remind me who won. And seriously, those slacks you wear…Ian Poulter tweeted that he wants his look back. I better shut up because if he sees this it’ll be Twitter diarrhea from him.
Dustin Johnson: With my long game I think I would be helpful in the foursomes and four-balls.
Jack: True, but this means someone will have to break your leg with a tire iron to keep you off the course on Sunday, because your record on Sunday is uglier than a hat-full of assholes.
Rickie Fowler: Mr. Nicklaus, look at what I did last year at the Players Championship. I know I can replicate that form at Hazeltine.
Jack: What form is that- making out with some pretty young thing after you won? Too bad Skinamax isn’t showing the tournament. Great job in Phoenix by the way. You choked as bad as Cam Newton did in the Super Bowl. You’ve got to figure out how to beat these guys when it matters.
Webb Simpson: I know I didn’t have a great Ryder Cup, but…
Jack: You were terrible. Barbara, tie him up and make him listen to the audio book of my autobiography.
Barbara: Jack, I’m not sure that’s necessary…
Jack: You know that this idiot blogger we’re doing this for thought Webb Simpson was a good idea. BRING HIM TO ME.
Bubba Watson: Mr. Nicklaus, I appreciate what you’re doing but I think we just need to have some good ole’ American spirit in the room and we’ll be fine.
Jack: Says the guy who drove around in The General Lee car…you do realize that nobody likes you for a reason, right? Seriously fellas, it’s not that hard- why is it that you can play great week to week but you go up against a bunch of Europeans you fold up like Arnie used to fold up after I beat him in the 1962 US Open. So there I was on 18, about 145 out from the pin…
Everyone: SHUT UP JACK!
Jack: Sorry…old habits die hard. So anyway…you guys do great at the Presidents Cup, and they’ve got Jason Day, Adam Scott, and some other guys who can play. So why do your collective sphincters tighten up at the Ryder Cup?
Jason Dufner: My sphincter is just fine…getting sleepy (he then fell asleep).
Jack: Anyone awake want to comment?
Woods: Freddie Couples didn’t do any of this crap. We played ping-pong at night and then went out and played…that worked pretty well. We made some suggestions….
Matt Kuchar: Did someone say ping pong (ambient noise and Kuchar gets up with two ping-pong paddles)?
Phil Mickelson: It’s on, chrome dome (sound of a ping pong table being rolled in, and several bets being placed).
Jack (to everyone): It’s okay, let ’em play ping pong as long as we don’t have to hear about any..
Phil: Before I beat Kuchar like a bowl of eggs, I put together a presentation that will show where we lost in 2014 and a detailed analysis showing coefficients and regression data that my girls put together…as you can see clearly…
Everyone: DEAR GOD MAKE IT STOP!
Patrick Reed: I bet FIGJAM is his safe word.
Phil: See, that’s where you’re wrong. Amy and the girls drew up this analytical chart, that shows exactly how we should prepare. We’ll need the following items…a rock from the moon, two bars of soap, a leather belt, the phone number to Ladbrokes, and….
Everyone: WE’LL LET YOU WIN THE US OPEN IF YOU STOP TALKING.
Phil: I’m not sure…I mean, I spent a month on this.
Tiger: Four words…your own In-N-Out restaurant.
Phil: Done (sound of laptops being closed and equipment being put away).
Jack: What we need is that intimidation factor. Someone who, when they see him, they’ll be intimidated. Think about how Seve used to be intimidating…even Colin Montgomerie, in Ryder Cups, was nearly unbeatable. We need someone to be that 13th man, that person who’ll scare them.
Tiger: Well, since you asked…
Jack: Not you.
Jordan Spieth: Mr. Nicklaus I’m happy to be that leader for the team.
Jack: That’s nice but you don’t scare anyone. I mean someone REALLY scary who will do whatever it takes to win.
Zach Johnson: I’m proof that size doesn’t matter.
Everyone: Should we tell him…nah…
Jack (yelling into one of the guest bedrooms): No…look can you just come out and get this over with.
Arnold Palmer (walks out shirtless, crushes a beer can on his chest, rips chest hair off of his own chest and punches two holes in a wall and eats an entire steak with his hands): Do it for me. Please. Thanks fellas.
I think we know how this ended.