Dear Davis (hope you don’t mind if I call you that),
Hope you’re doing well. As you are by now aware, you’re close to making your captain’s picks for the Ryder Cup at Hazeltine (what is with the PGA of America and this course, by the way?). The courses’ only claim to fame (other than a universally-panned US Open where Tony Jacklin won) is the late Payne Stewart winning a US Open and being the first major when Tiger Woods coughed up a 54-hole lead. I mean, the USGA could screw up a wet dream, but now the PGA of America is getting in on the fun (my guess is that Ted Bishop picked this course, because this seems like the kind of thing he’d do).
You “probably” don’t read No Laying Up or listen to their podcast, but if you don’t (and it says here you should…and would it kill you to pick up some of their pretty sharp-looking shirts?), you should at a minimum read their incredibly well-crafted case against giving Jim Furyk a captain’s pick. He’s been on 2 winning and 7 losing Ryder Cup teams, and has a record that is terrible by any standard. Go read their article. Seriously; I’ll be here waiting. You know us bloggers…in our mom’s basement eating pop-tarts or some strange thing with all kinds of time. Not kidding- read the article and that they also cite Furyk’s stats…”44th in strokes gained, 65th tee to green, 62nd in putting” which doesn’t exactly scream “captain’s pick” unless you eat paint chips on a daily basis or something.
Jim Furyk’s Ryder Cup record in one easy to understand picture
Okay, you’re back. You’re not stupid. So we can agree that he’s a bad idea, right? Davis, I’m not even kidding. If Furyk hadn’t pissed down his leg against Dan Jenkins’ favourite golfer (Sergio…me Sergio!) Sergio Garcia, you win the damn trophy. I won’t even mention the Steve Stricker and Tiger Woods records (even then-Maple Leafs Randy Carlyle thought you blew it, and that mouth-breathing dipshit blew a 4-1 lead in Game 7 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs because he is literally dumber than a god damn potato and yes I’m still bitter at this moron’s abject stupidity…what’s it to you?). I mean, were you huffing glue or something?
Oh, and Tiger Woods is your tactician? Does he own pictures of you dressed like the Duke basketball coach (I know you went to North Carolina and SWIRIC has educated me on ACC hatred) or something? He hasn’t played in over a year, and his record on Ryder Cup teams is terrible. TERRIBLE. In the words of Charles Barkley, TURRIBULL. He can’t even claim to be on the 2008 team (he wasn’t). He’s been on one winning team (1999) which means he has been a part of as many winning teams as Anthony Kim. One. I’m just spit-balling here, but maybe this isn’t his bag. Seriously, put the crack pipe down and pay attention. Give Woods a squirrel and let him ride around in a golf cart. Fly in some military guys and he can hang with them as their own Ryder Cup ambassador (he’d probably enjoy it). Maybe pick people who, oh I don’t know…know how to win the damn thing?
Look, even though Ian Poulter won’t be playing (which is good because he all but owned your soul after Medinah 2012 along with his collection of fine automobiles) you’d do well to not sleep on Europe. With that being said, this is a winnable Ryder Cup “if” you don’t act stupid or do something stupid like play Stricker and Woods together like you did 4 years ago even though they were a collective dumpster fire.
So we agree, you’re not going to pick Jim Furyk and you’re not going to let Woods be your tactician. Give them custom golf carts that they can race in or something.
While we’re at it, can we agree that Rickie Fowler, while patriotic as all get out (and someone who is borrowing from the Brian Bosworth school of hairstyles) and totally into the idea of being on the team, has a Ryder Cup record that…well, sucks. Go back and take a gander at his 2014 record and I think we agree that he didn’t exactly get things going. He wasn’t good enough to make the 2012 team, but you remembered that, right? He was on the 2010 team where he played 3 matches (won 0, lost 1, halved 2). His 2016 Olympic tournament…T37. But he had a cool haircut and posed for a photo with Michael Phelps so ZOMG, right? You can do better.
I know this is going to sound crazy, but take a look at Keegan Bradley. His singles record isn’t that great, but him and Mickelson have been money in the bank during the foursomes/fourballs over the last 2 Ryder Cups. If Poulter was healthy he’d be on the team…you know why? BECAUSE THIS IS WHAT HE’S GOOD AT. That’s Keegan. If him and Mickelson can win 2 points in the foursomes or fourballs, you’re in good stead. You know who else would pick people this way? European Ryder Cup captains (you know, the ones that keep WINNING).
If he doesn’t make it, take a look at Matt Kuchar if and when he takes that Bronze Medal he won off (seriously, does he think he’s Canadian or something- finishing 3rd is OUR thing, not what the Americans do). His career points percentage is .57 with a decent body of work. You are, however, free to hit him with a tire iron if he makes any more of these commercials.
Dear god. Make it stop. You might as well pipe in the 877-KARS-4-KIDS song to that and I’ll admit to anything you want.
And others will also suggest this, but give Kevin Na a look and by look, I mean pick the crazy bastard. If nothing else, he might well put the Euros off their game better than William H. Macy did in the movie ‘The Cooler’. Can you imagine the reaction when he takes 12 practice swings and ducks out a 4th time? I mean, the Euros are going to want to murder him after 8 holes and it’ll send Johnny Miller into a blind rage, which will be ratings gold. Yes, it’s gamesmanship. No shit. You know who else practices this? Ian Poulter, Sergio Garcia, Colin Montgomerie, and Seve Ballesteros. Go look at their Ryder Cup records (seriously….take your time). Yes, they were all kinds of evil but they would flat destroy people come Ryder Cup time. Make fun of Poulter all you want but he flat owned you 4 years ago. Montgomerie endured crowds in 1999 that were reprehensible and still nearly carried Europe to a win (wasn’t his fault that Mark James completely mis-managed his rookie players). They put all of that out of their mind. Seve was Seve; a guy who feared nobody. Sergio is a different player in the Ryder Cup. He just was. He’d do all kinds of stuff, but wow, he got results.
That’s where you come in. You need to find your own Ryder Cup guys. Guys who might be average during normal events but who get results (and points on the board) come Ryder Cup time (the ones who become giant-killers in a Ryder Cup shirt). Ballesteros’ rankings wouldn’t matter- he was going to be on the side and he was going to get under your skin. He could be ranked 5th or 500th…put a Team Europe shirt on him and he would become a completely different player.
You need to find your Seve, your Monty, and your Poulter. People who the Euros will hate (and who will absolutely thrive on that hatred). You’ve had 2 years to identify these players and so far, doesn’t appear you’ve found them. Need I remind you that Europe has done pretty well in the U.S. over the last 30 years? The American team can point to wins in 1991, 1999 and 2008 (let’s face it- Mark James was terrible and Nick Faldo not much better and 2 of the 3 wins were fueled by the US fans going full asshole), but astonishing losses in 1987, 1995, 2004, and 2012 (the U.S. is 3-4 at home in the last 30 years). We won’t even mention the U.S. team’s record in Europe (a tie in 1989, a win in 1993, and losses in 1997, 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014 if you were wondering). Or, you can pick off of rankings, lose again, and wonder why it is the US can’t win a Ryder Cup which means the same questions will come out in 2018. And 2020. Patrick Reed “might” be that person (a real asshole who the Europeans will hate but who will simply mock them and kick ass while doing it).
In short, if I were you, I’d take Bradley, Kuchar and Na with my 3 captain’s picks, and hold off with that last one (but again, just say NO to Furyk and Fowler) and go with whoever’s hot at the time and will get under the skin of the European team. Maybe Bubba Watson if he doesn’t qualify automatically. Understand that it’s pretty rare for someone to get a second chance at captaining a Ryder Cup side. It went badly the last time (2014), so try not to screw this up too badly.
Your Friends at singlegolferincart.com