This is part long Tweet, part therapy session. I’m starting to crumble under the weight of the media contrived “phoney war” between the European’s and Team USA (if they’re still called that), Phil Mickelson’s wise-ass remark about who may or may not be involved in a lawsuit on the European team was ratcheted up to the height of Craig Rossie, when even the most antagonistic of American golf journalists had to admit that the European’s would have been laughing harder than anybody. Rickie Fowler’s new haircut was largely met with derision amongst the British journalists that I’ve been observing this week, sure why not wind up America’s best golfer and the best performer at all 4 majors this year guys, what could possibly go wrong? There’s even been talk about whether or not Team USA would be better off with Tiger Woods this week, as if Tiger’s played out of his skin at previous Ryder Cup’s!
I have heard the saintly Iain Carter on 5 Live trying to dampen expectations and claim that it will be far closer than everybody is making out and the wise old sage of Scotland himself Colin Montgomerie expects Europe to win only by a single point, but by and large most of the media coverage appears to be mostly avoiding the whole concepts of golf and competition all together.
For about 18 months after the “Miracle of Medinah” I was convinced that Europe were the Ryder Cup Champions elect come Gleneagles, but when you look at it in the cold, hard light of day Tom Watson is a canny operator and even the captain of the European team said that the US have a lower average World Ranking per player. That’s probably the biggest red flag, Jamie Donaldson and Stephen Gallacher are both over 38 and making their Ryder Cup debut’s this week and both have won as many European Tour events as Rory McIlroy has won different Majors. The European’s have a Vice Captain with a higher World Ranking than 2 of their players (Miguel Angel Jimenez is 37th, compared to Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood who are 38th and 44th respectively).
Now it may well be that I know nothing about golf (I guess we’ll find that out on Sunday afternoon ) but all the media coverage surrounding the European team and the blindingly obvious fact that Tom Watson is a golfing hero while Paul McGinley is as famous for diving into a lake at the Belfry as he is for sinking a putt there lead to me to question if Team USA shouldn’t be the favourites to take the trophy home.