How the U.S. Can Beat Europe in the Ryder Cup
College Contributor Network
The next sentence I am about to say may surprise you even more than the Royals making the MLB playoffs. The U.S. can beat Europe in the Ryder Cup. Yes, it has not been done since 2008 and hasn't happened on European soil since 1993 when U.S. phenom Jordan Spieth was just two months old. But fear not, Americans.
In the United States, we like fives. Five-course meals, Five Guys, and, of course, high fives. Well here are the five keys that will lead to success and, ultimately, victory for the Americans in the future in what can almost be called the European Cup.
1. Captain's picks need to come later:
Tom Watson came under fire after choosing Keegan Bradley, Webb Simpson, and Hunter Mahan as his captain's picks. The two hottest players in the world, Billy Horschel and Chris Kirk, are two Americans and were sitting at home last weekend. Watson should have pushed back his selections until a week or two weeks later, when the FedEx Cup playoffs would have played itself out. And with that, Horschel and Kirk would have shown Watson they are for real and deserved to be on the American squad.
2. Hottest players need to be out there:
Whoever is playing the best at the time needs to be playing. The first two days can be grueling ones with some players playing 72 holes. But some deserve it. Watson made a crucial mistake by benching Spieth and Patrick Reed in the Friday afternoon foursomes after they won five and four in the morning. Couple that with playing Phil Mickelson and Bradley who struggled even in winning their fourball matchup and the U.S. went from up one point to down two points in the same day.
3. Youth over Experience:
Spieth, Reed, Rickie Fowler, and Jimmy Walker combined for one Ryder Cup coming into last Friday. Mickelson and Jim Furyk on the other hand combined for 19. And the much younger group only lost one out of seven matches in fourball and foursomes. Mickelson and Furyk lost three and only played in five combined. Also with much younger legs, guys like Fowler and Jimmy Walker can play four matches the first two days like they did and still be fine. The duo went 0-1-3 but played a 2014 major winner in each match, so a halve was as close to a win as you are going to get.
4. U.S. Ryder Cup points system needs to change:
Say all you want about the FedEx Cup points system, but the U.S. Ryder Cup points system is pretty messed up. Each American squad is supposed to be the best 12 native players at the time. Basically, the best 12 on the season should be on the team. But the Ryder Cup points system starts after the Masters of the year before. So players like Mickelson who did next to nothing this season can get on the team because of his performance last year.
Also, yes majors are important, but weighing them twice as much is not necessary. Bubba Watson could have basically booked his ticket to Gleneagles after suiting up in the Green Jacket in April. If the FedEx Cup was the basis for who made the team, Kirk would have been safely in being inside the top-10 even before the Playoffs started.
5. Americans need to spend more time in Europe: I know, this sounds amazing, right? But I'm talking about U.S. golfers spending more time on the European Tour. Especially because links golf over there is completely different than our soft greens and luscious fairways over here. Of the five Race to Dubai champions, which is the European Tour's equivalent of the FedEx Cup, zero came from the U.S. All five came from, you guessed it: Europe. Hm, maybe that's why the U.S. has not won in Europe in 21 years.
Also, of the 12 Americans on this year's team, only three have above .500 records in the Ryder Cup. On the other side, only two Europeans have below .500 records. American players should go play more on the European Tour to: have a much better shot to win The Open Championship like Phil did in 2013 and get to know European players a lot better (and what makes them love their country so much that losing the Ryder Cup seems like losing a child).
Jim O'Shea is a junior at Syracuse University studying Broadcast and Digital Journalism. Born and raised in Houston, TX. He's an avid Texans and Texas Rangers fan. Also golf is his favorite sport. Follow him on Twitter: @JimOShea4