Ryder Cup opinion: Stressful, hard to watch but unmissableOctober 2, 2016
For all the drama and excitement this Ryder Cup delivered, there’s a sigh of relief that it’s all over, writes James Savage
Bubba Watson sobbing like a baby at the end kind of summed it all up.
— Sky Sports Golf ?⛳️ (@SkySportsGolf) October 2, 2016
There’s nothing quite like the Ryder Cup and while there’s plenty going on that we don’t understand, like or want to see – it remains the most unmissable event in the golfing calendar.
I find it particularly stressful because I want to watch every shot, pour over every stat, watch the all the interviews and keep tabs on the vice-captain’s movements.
But with a young family that often entails a bit of SkyGo on the tablet while changing a nappy, tuning into 5Live on the way to the supermarket and generally just being glued to my phone for those short moments I’m away from the television.
I’ve been terrible company over the past three days.
It becomes obsessive, stressful. Stressful because even when sat in front of the television I feel like I’m missing something significant. Especially on Sunday when all you see from the bottom matches are six-foot putts for the win going in or ones for the half shaving the hole.
Then there’s the slow play, stupid outfits, terrible chanting, high fives with Michael Jordan, swarms of people on the fairway, repetitive cliches from the commentary box. Not to mention some pretty sickening behaviour by very small sections of the crowd.
But I guess the reason you don’t want to miss a shot is because something spectacular can happen at any moment.
And this Ryder Cup delivered with some stunning individual and team performances as well as a couple of classic matches.
The start to the Rory McIlroy/Patrick Reed singles match was like nothing I’d ever seen before. When birdies aren’t good enough to win holes, you know there’s some good stuff being played.
It was a bit like a heavyweight boxing match where huge blows were being landed in the opening rounds.
Tiredness kicked in and the match fizzled out a bit on the back nine. But you still couldn’t take your eyes off it.
In the end it was a case of who had a little bit left in reserve. And that man was Patrick Reed. Not the overall top points scorer but arguably the MVP of the 2016 Ryder Cup.
And the Sergio Garcia/Phil Mickelson match epitomised everything that is good about the Ryder Cup. Two stalwarts of the event matching each other stride for stride, holing putts from everywhere (yes even Sergio) and both playing with a smile.
A birdie…and a LEAP from Phil Mickelson!
He halves the match with Sergio Garcia!
— PGA.COM (@PGAcom) October 2, 2016
Mickelson’s 10 birdies only good enough for the half.
The overall score of 17-11 didn’t quite tell the full story but the American team seemed to hole more putts from six/seven feet when it really mattered. Well, that’s what I could gather from the bottom matches on Sunday anyway.
Would different selections by Darren Clarke have resulted in a European win? I doubt it.
McIlroy came into the event as the hottest player on the planet and at times looked like a man possessed. But he still only walked away with three points from five and those three were gathered alongside Europe’s best player – Thomas Pieters.
The American’s strength in depth was always going to be a key factor in the singles and going into the Sunday with a three-point deficit was a tall order for Captain Clarke and his six rookies.
For all the drama and excitement this Ryder Cup delivered, there’s a sigh of relief that it’s over.
We can back to our own lives and our own golf (another thing which never happens on Ryder Cup weekend) – or that shed which needs painting, overgrown lawn and child whose first words might end up being U-S-A! U-S-A!
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