Ryder Cup – Bubba May Get a Red Card

IMG_0818I was sojourning in England last week playing a wonderful golf course in Surrey called Queenwood. In my group was my friend Ross who hails from Ireland and is full of life.

McGinleyI had finished my round when I spotted Paul McGinley, the Captain of the European Ryder Cup team talking to Ross. The “Boys” looked approachable and McGinley had a twinkle in his eye so I knew a bit of fun could be had in a conversation. I introduced myself to McGinley (he was not impressed) and said, “the American boys are ready to give you a good run!” And he gave me the stock response, “Well, we will be ready as well”. Not the banter I had hoped for so I decided to up the ante.

“Ross tells me he just got a text from Rory and he is looking for a game this week. It doesn’t seem as if he is entirely focused on whipping the Americans at Glen Eagles”. Without missing a beat, McGinley said, “I’m not concerned with Rory playing with Ross during the day, but I am concerned when they play at night!”

Jackpot! With this guy at the helm, I am thinking the Euros will be tough to beat.

Let me fire some random electrons at you regarding the week.

A weight has been lifted from the US without the presence of Tiger. His demeanor on the course was wearing thin and it would be unbearable to hear him chastise himself for three days as he hits his driver all over the sod.

Mickelson smileMickelson will be interesting; he is coming off one of his worst seasons but I do believe that he will show up and have an impact. He has got the right attitude for the competition. Go for broke and grin like an idiot.

 

 

Fowler USAThe Old and the New – W e have to see Rory vs. Ricky in singles and Mickelson vs. Westwood will be full of Advil and nostalgia.

 

 

Reed GutPatrick Reed – Now that he has taken a strangle hold on his self-proclaimed position as #5 in the world, he is ready to vomit over three footers not given. More pot belly than guts, I do not think he is ready for the pressure cooker that is the Ryder Cup and will sit at least one and probably two matches. And one other thing, Patrick, tuck your shirt in! Its the Ryder Cup for gosh sakes!

 

BradleyKeegan – Hmm; hasn’t really been able to be consistent over four rounds this season but this format where each round is played and forgotten suits his ADD personality: if he starts spitting, the Euros will be in trouble.  His emotion is a positive and his ridiculous pre-shot routine is enough to irritate any opponent.

Jimmy Walker – Not as potent as Johnny Walker but he has lots of game and I expect good things from him. Bombs it off the tee and putts as good as anybody. He will be underestimated by the Euros.

PoulterIJP – Not SJP which is short for Sarah Jessica Parker but there are similarities. Both Poulter and Parker are marketing geniuses and have clothing lines. We know Poulter’s record in the Ryder Cup but the US strategy will be to mark him tightly; perhaps Furyk might head butt him while walking down the fairway. Poulter is expected to be the emotional heartbeat for the Euros and if muzzled, this will be a significant bummer for the Euro mojo.

red cardBubba – The course definitely suits him and his game has been pretty good down the stretch of the season. In a startling development and a sign of his new maturity, he now understands that there is another Baghdad other than the one where he lives in Florida, So Europe, although not as comfortable as IHOP, will not cause him to break out in hives. He will probably partner with Webb Simpson so that they can channel God directly. One definite negative for him is that tournament officials have warned Tom Watson that they will issue a yellow card directly followed by a red card if Bubba talks about his son and starts to cry.

Duffle bagThe Real WatsonTom Watson will be at home in the UK where he took five Open Championships and the sun is less likely to disfigure his neck any further. A little known fact is that Tom’s neck was the inspiration for the Louis Vuitton duffle bag! Stupid but funny; my specialty.

On a serious note, I am not sure if Watson will have the flexibility to change strategy if things go against us; we shall see but you have got to love the fact that he feels very at home across the pond and may be able to spread some of that fairy dust on the team.

Please tell me why it is that when I look at Mahan and Simpson, I feel like I need to change the channel??

I think we know why; they are the typical flat-lined, never get too up or down golfers. This is not what gets it done in this competition and more importantly, not what we want to see here.

Mahan acknowkedgesIt may solidify Ricky’s heritage as a solid red-neck but carving “USA” into his scalp is far more fun than watching Hunter Mahan acknowledge the crowd after hitting a good shot. I mean we know the same can be said for Bjorn or Stenson so both sides are handicapped with some stereotypically boring team members.

 

imagesG13RGPK6It will be interesting to see if any of the lesser knowns such as Dubuisson, Gallacher, Donaldson, or Reed will arise to become meaningful on the weekend. I kind of like Dubuisson to emerge because he has Musketeer facial hair and can get it up and down from the lavatory.

 

handshakeTo rap it up, it is not about the winning and losing here, it is about the character of the participants. Who can embrace this exhibition and revel in its special nature? Who can hit the big putt or approach shot when it really matters? Who will have the grace to give a short putt? Who will carry his head high after a crushing defeat? And which of the wives will be the hottest? Right? Are you feelin’ me?

 

May the force be with both sides and may good sportsmanship rule the day.

 

 

 

 

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