Saturday, September 20, 2008

Ryder Cup, better late than never...


Hey now! There was some seriously good action two weeks ago at the BMW. Veej, barring a catastrophe on his way to the Tour Championship is your new 10M dollar man and rightly deserved, he just basically schooled everyone on how to wrap this trophy up, his recipe: win twice by doing the thing everyone thinks you suck at (putting), do all the things everyone knows you are good at better (driving and ball striking) and throw in a hand full of don’t fuck anything up too bad and there you have it, your Fed-Ex Cup champion Vijay Singh. Great to see Camilo win his first tour event too bad it was just that, a good win, it ended up meaning nothing to the playoff race but 1.26M in the old “Bailey” savings and loan account isn’t half bad for a kid from Columbia that could have been selling these tour players blow instead of kicking the crap out of them all while wearing a picture of the most famous Columbian ever on his shirt, that’s right how can you play badly with Juan Valdez with you every step of the way, also he speaks very good conversational English, those dykes would be so proud.

Ryder Cup

Let’s light this candle, time to roll out the big preview of this year’s Ryder Cup, ok well this is a preview/review maybe even a little live blogging action (due to the fact that I forgot to post the original preview and just realized it). The table is set for some great action, there is no Tiger which I will contend is the real reason the Americans could win this and the captains hate each other. This should be awesome. Side note #1: Zinger and Faldo tangled 4 times in this event as players, never once did the more seasoned/decorated Faldo get the best of the Zinger, just typing these words has probably jinxed the Americans chances but I am fine with that.

Americans
So from the top down:
Phil Mickelson-Needs to be the great player that he is this week needs to be a leader and needs to make putts.
Stewie Cink-Americans are doomed here, Cink is a gay choker.
Kenny Perry-After a great year this guy has turned into a cry baby, talking about it being unfair that if he played bad in the playoff he would not make the Tour Championship. He will need to shut up and play better than he has in the last month, being that he’s from KY and has based his whole year around these matches I think you can bank on him being good.
Jim Furyk-Just a solid player who will give consistently good play, he was the anchor when teamed with Tiger he should be just as good paired with anyone else and he is a straight killer in singles.
Anthony Kim-Great young player does not have much match play experience but is just a horse that can carry a lot of teammates with his great game.
Justin Leonard-Great veteran in these matches this guy always putts well and putts clutch but in the Ryder Cup he dials it up a notch or 6.
Ben Curtis-Ahhh, lets hope he can just play a couple matches without puking on himself.
Boo Weekley-This guy is kind of a wild card, he is a very straight driver and has a good short game but will he fold under the pressure or will he just be Boo and kind of nonchalantly make his way around the course not really caring about the golf and just wondering when he can go fishing. Side note #1: Boo, Bubba Watson and Heath Slocumb all played for the same High School team in FL.
Chad Campbell-Boring and doesn’t do anything really well but doesn’t usually fuck up anything too badly either.
JB Holmes-This guy choked once on a big stage but I don’t see it happening here, look for this god ol boy to have a great week.
Hunter Mahan-Great pick here, Mahan played awesome last year in the Presidents Cup matches look for that to continue, he loves to represent his country.
Steve Stricker-Another boring guy who could anchor a match with someone like JB Holmes or Mickelson.


Ok the Tigerless Americans will need to do just one thing really well this week, MAKE PUTTS, and they will need to make them when they count the most. This has been the downfall of a lot of US teams, including many that featured the best clutch putter (except in the Ryder/Pres Cup matches) Tiger Woods. I really think that the US will benefit from not having Tiger around, they can just play their game without the added atmosphere that having Tiger around brings, it will give other great vets (Phil, Furyk, Leonard) a chance to carry the team and be apart of what would be a great win that they can always say they did without Tiger.

Europeans
In no particular order:
Sergio Garcia-Should continue his dominant play and he always playes better in the Ryder Cup.
Soren Hansen-Steady Euro nothing glamorous, Faldo would have loved this guy to not make the team but he is here now, plays exclusively on the European Tour and his best stat is Greens in Reg where he is 6th best on the Euro Tour.
Oliver Wilson-Who?!? Owen Wilson would have been a better option. Side note#2: as i want to post this Wilson just canned a put from like 30 feet to beat Kim and Phil...great!
Paul Casey-Great young Brit that will do damage here this week. Hits it a mile, has a good iron game and at least during the Ryder Cups can putt the lights out.
Paddy Harrington-Seems to be putting together another great year, two majors and seems to have the game that will lead to great success this week.
Miguel Angel Jimenez-Cigar smoking, ponytail wearing, unorthodox swinging Spaniard that is fun to watch, he is very confident and can play well in America as well as in Europe.
Robert Karlsson-WWWWWs favorite, ummm I currently think he is gayer than a three dollar bill.
Ian Poulter-Awsome player and could one day be great if he can rise to the challenge and win in America and a major or two, he will be solid in this years cup as well, having to prove his selection was a good pick.
Justin Rose-Probably the best player in Europe that plays there on a regular basis, he was the Order of Merit winer last year and will likely dominate, especially in the team formats.
Graeme McDowell-Good young player, not much experience but really capable of winning points.
Lee Westwood-Will be the leader of the pack now that Monty and Clarke are not there, always plays well in this format will need to be better in the singles matches.
Henrik Stenson-Great player, one of Europe’s best but doesn’t get much recognition but has won big events like the WGC match and beat Tiger and Ernie in Dubai once.

Euros are known for one thing, great team camaraderie, which leads to them being very good in the team formats but they often struggle on their own. Much of the true veteran leaders like Olazabal, Monty and Clarke are not playing so the young guns like Rose, Garcia, Casey and Poulter will need to step up and play well on their own with out having the old boys anchoring the team. I still see Europe being hard to beat this year; they just seem to make more putts in this format and it’s where the seemingly unknown become heroes. I see the Euros taking it but it will be close


Odds and Ends

Fourball-Each player plays their own ball and then they take the best score for the hole against the best score from the other team.
Foursome-Alternate shot format, the order changes every hole, so if one player starts on one hitting first on the second the other player will hit first and they will alternate until the ball is holed. This is typically the hardest format to play, for one there is a lot of strategy to whom hits first on what holes, you want to gear your longer players on Par 5s and long Par 4s, and you want your really good iron players on the Par 3s. Also there is always good conversation over whose ball do they play in the team format. Most guys play a Titleist but guys like Furyk play Srixon, Mickelson plays a Callaway. And if you think it doesn’t matter well it does they don’t have every ball companies balls on the range at every tournament for nothing, these guys use one ball for every shot they play every year and now someone will need to adjust.

Thoughts
Ok so we are a day and a half into the action, some of my thoughts in the preview look good and some don’t, one thing we have seen is the Americans having fun out there, they look loose and are playing confidently. There are some questions out there though, like why the fuck is Sergio not playing in the morning round today. Also if Phil and Kim play together one has to play the anchor, what I mean by that is that one needs to play the steady guy and one can be more aggressive. Also really want to see the all KY pairing of Holmes and Perry, I would think these two would be unbeatable but on the first day Holmes went with the other southern bumpkin Boo Weekley and played pretty damn well together.

That’s all I got, sorry for the delay, will be back next week to sort it all out and preview the Tour Championship, but seriously get to NBC this weekend and watch the action the Ryder Cups are always full of holed chips, great putts and shots that make your head spin. Seriously if these guys, Americans and Euros, played half as well as they do during the cup when they are on tour Tiger would have a ton of guys competing for #1, so watch a little.

NF