Why it's time to start getting excited about the Ryder Cup

The Scoop

Ryder Cup fever has set in a lot earlier than most years. Alex Perry explains why in this week's Dialled In

Hello. Welcome to another edition of Dialled In. And at last some nice weather in which to play golf! And, of course, it feels like the professional season is properly underway with The Masters now done and dusted for another year.

Weirdly, I didn’t really think about the Ryder Cup until this week. I mean, I thought about it lots when Alan Shipnuck wrote all that silly stuff a while back – I even dedicated that week’s Dialled In to it – but it still felt like light years until we’d be seeing the world’s best Europeans and Americans tee up at Le Golf National.

But now we’ve had our annual fawn over Augusta, it’s suddenly less than six months away.

Yes, I know you’re going to say there are still three majors – including the original and best – and everything else to play for between now and then. But six months, as any parent will tell you, is no time at all. It may as well be next week.

Jon Rahm WITB 2018

Speaking of which, I wish it was next week with the way the Europeans are playing at the moment…

Rory McIlroy has just won again and, his final round aside, was looking sharp at The Masters. Justin Rose is in the form of his life and will win a major this year. Sergio Garcia will go into a Ryder Cup as a major champion for the first time (though that doesn’t matter for some). Tommy Fleetwood has turned his career around and will be a force in Paris. Jon Rahm has had the most spectacular rise from rookie to multiple tour champion, including last week’s Open de Espana. And we haven’t even got to the likes of Henrik Stenson yet.

But what of Ian Poulter? It’s a tricky one, isn’t it? If he were to miss out on an automatic qualifying spot, can he be justified as a pick? A couple of my colleagues have disagreed on this over in Alternate Shot. I’m sitting firmly on the fence.

Am I worried about the Americans? Of course I am. They’ve got a fantastic group of players that will be fired up for winning on European soil. But you can’t tell me that their long ongoing wait for an away victory – 25 to be precise – doesn’t bother them. Even if it was before half the team were even born…

Remoaners

Golf takes too long to play and the golf ball goes too far.

Stay with me.

The ball one I’m not having, but slow play can be a problem.

But slamming players for taking too long at The Masters? Really? As if a) Augusta is a walk in the park, and b) people would actually be turned off. We’d all watch The Masters if it lasted three weeks…

My colleague James Savage got in a bit of a back and forth with another journalist on Twitter, before scoring a last-minute overhead kick winner with this…

How do you argue with that? (Answer: You don’t.) It sparked this brilliant reaction from Eddie Pepperell…

I’ve asked James to extend his tweet to 800 words, so watch this space.

Under par, over par

The PGA Tour have ditched their “These Guys Are Good” slogan in favour of “Live Under Par”, or #LiveUnderPar, to be more precise.

Here is how they launched it…

I love that they are putting social media front and centre of their new campaign, but a quick note to the PGA Tour’s marketing team:

Under par in golf: Good.

Under par in life: Bad.

Hope that helps.

All Smylies

Smylie Kaufman, perhaps best known for being best mates with Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler, got married at the weekend.

Here they all are looking less #SB2K18 and more American Pie: The Wedding…

Here they are with a bunch of people who looked like they won a competition to be there…

And here they are with the girls, because if I didn’t put it in here you’d only be disappearing off to find it…

And finally

Presented with no further comment…

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