Hello. Welcome to another edition of Dialled In, where this week I am mainly worried that Europe will never win another Ryder Cup…
No, I’m not. Only a very silly person would think something so very silly.
I’m sure you’ve read Alan Shipnuck’s Ryder Cup “obituary” for Golf magazine that went viral over the weekend. If you didn’t, here’s the skinny: The Ryder Cup is effectively dead because the US is going to win every single one from now until the end of time.
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m a huge fan of Shipnuck’s work. He is one of the best in the business.
But as you can expect, everyone on this side of the Atlantic has been up in arms about this. Which is exactly what Shipnuck wants, and fair play to him. Now if only we had a platform to offer a riposte to Shipnuck’s piece…
We totally do. My colleague, Steve Carroll, is one of those proper journalists you’ve all heard of so I’ve tasked him with writing it. And it is very good.
Previously, Mark Townsend – another proper journalist – wrote his five reasons why we should be cheerful for Europe’s Ryder Cup cause, back when Shipnuck first started puking his thoughts on this into the Twittersphere.
The first two points in Mark’s piece centre around the fact that we are at home. And he’s right, home advantage is huge.
In fact, the US haven’t won an away Ryder Cup since 1993. So, just for fun, here are a whole bunch of things that help reiterate just how long it’s been since Tom Watson led his side to glory at the Belfry that year…
Manchester United had just won their first Premier League title. They have since won 12 more, plus a bunch of other trophies. (Liverpool, incidentally, have won no league titles but boy do their fans like going on about the days when they did. Maybe Shipnuck is a Liverpool fan?)
Gianluigi Lentini was the most expensive footballer on the planet. AC Milan had paid Torino £13 million for the winger’s services – a number that was unheard of. Incidentally, the record currently stands at the £198m Paris Saint-Germain threw at Barcelona for Neymar.
Only about five people in the world had access to the internet. Websites were basically text documents. Google, Facebook, Twitter, NationalClubGolfer.com – none of these impossibly popular websites even existed. Imagine watching a Ryder Cup without following along on Twitter, too. You can’t, can you? THAT’S WHAT WE DID BACK THEN.
Apple was on the verge of bankruptcy. Apple! The company behind the iPhone! And iPad! And… that other stuff they make. Since then, Steve Jobs not only brought it back from the brink, he turned it the biggest brand on the planet. Jobs has since, sadly, died.
The Super Nintendo and Sega Megadrive were the biggest videogame consoles. Ah, the Mario brothers vs. Sonic the Hedgehog. Those were the days. These consoles were 16-bit. For context, the iPhone 7 has two 64-bit systems in it. Incidentally, PGA Tour Golf II was the big golf game of the year. This is what it looked like…
Bill Clinton had not long been named US president. Since then, Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama have served full terms in the White House. And it’s been so long since the US won over here, The Simpsons was able to predict Donald Trump’s presidency AND for it to come true.
The No. 1 record in the UK was ‘Boom! Shake the Room’. The catch number was by Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, the latter of whom you now know as Will Smith, star of some 4 billion Hollywood blockbusters.
Britpop wasn’t even born. Who can forget Oasis vs. Blur vs. Pulp vs. Suede? And how long ago does that feel? The Gallagher brothers who formed Oasis, Noel and Liam, are now 50 and 45 respectively, they can’t stand each other, and are worth at least 300 gajillion pounds between them.
I had just turned 11. I’m now 35. The last time the US won a Ryder Cup on European soil, I hadn’t even started secondary school yet. I hadn’t kissed a girl. Smoked a cigarette. Tried alcohol. Driven a car. Broken 80. Now I’ve done all those things. And, like, loads of other stuff, too.
Dubai was basically a great big vast of nothingness. Well, except a golf course. Look…
Don’t worry. Of course I have a photo of it now…
See? We’ll be all right. Stop worrying. And most of all, stop falling for Shipnuck’s expert trolling. (What do you mean that’s exactly what I’m doing?)
Anyway, I had to end on that one about Dubai because wasn’t that some finish at the DP World Tour Championship?
Tommy Fleetwood was the Race to Dubai champion, then it was Justin Rose, then Fleetwood, then Rose, then back to Fleetwood. Meanwhile, Jon Rahm was working his way through the field to lift the season-finale. It was golfing theatre at its very finest.
Apropos, when did we stop referring to the Race to Dubai as the “R2D”? Actually, did we ever call it that? I feel like we did. And I really liked it.
And why don’t we have a Challenge Tour version called the “R2D2”?
If you’re already having European Tour withdrawal symptoms, don’t worry, it all begins again in precisely three days’ time at the Hong Kong Open.
Elsewhere, a big get well soon to Luke Donald. Everyone’s second favourite English golfer was taking part in the RSM Classic at Sea Island on the Georgia coast when he was forced to withdraw with chest pains.
Thankfully after a few tests he was given the all clear. He even got the customary hospital selfie in.
Well that wasn’t quite the finish to my year I had in mind!! Had some chest pain last night and into this morning & it kept getting worse. After some medical advice, I had to withdraw & was shipped off to the hospital to get my heart looked at. After 7 hours of tests all looks good with my heart thankfully ?? A big thank you to the staff at the South East Georgia Brunswick hospital for taking good care of me. Time to put my feet up for a few weeks, recharge, regroup and get ready for a big 2018.Nov 16, 2017 at 2:09pm PST
That’s basically it for the PGA Tour year now. There’s only Tiger Woods’ event, the Hero World Challenge, and the Shootout before Christmas.
I can’t underplay that. TIGER WOODS IS MAKING HIS COMEBACK IN LESS THAN TWO WEEKS.
I didn’t really think I’d gone on about it too much, until Paddy, our video editor, cut this clip together for The Slam.
It's THAT time of the week again… @AlexPerryNCG explains why arguing about Jon Rahm's Rookie of the Year award is pointless. Oh and a certain someone comes up… ?
It's all in The Slam ?
— National Club Golfer (@NCGmagazine) November 17, 2017
You can watch the full video here. I also explain why all your arguing about Rahm being the European Tour Rookie of the Year is ultimately pointless. It’s cheerier than it sounds, honest.
While we’re on the subject of really cool videos (what?) the European Tour has been up to its old tricks again. This time it’s the “2 yard fairway”…
The Two Yard Fairway ?️ pic.twitter.com/DjsW8oWv0z
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) November 17, 2017
My word they are good.
OK. Thanks for reading. Now get out there and play. I hope you’re still playing even though winter is well and truly setting in. In case you need more reasons to tee up in the colder months, we dedicated a whole week to it.