How do you solve a problem like ‘Murica? That’s the question everybody is asking in the wake of yet another Ryder Cup defeat for the US.
Whichever way you look at it, eight defeats in the last ten matches – including the last three in a row – doesn’t make for pretty reading, even less so for a proud, sporting nation that hates, absolutely hates, losing.
So, what’s the solution? Here are a few suggestions…
Change the qualifying structure
The nucleus of the European team is based on a year-long qualifying process. The Americans, by contrast, qualify over two years. That seems to be an unnecessarily long time. What happens if a player has a hot first 18 months and makes the side only to have a positively mediocre next six leading in to the match? Instead, why not just pick the top ten Americans on the FedExCup standings and flesh out the side with two captain’s picks? At least then you’d guarantee that your most on-form players aren’t sitting on the sidelines, as was the case this year with Billy Horschel and Chris Kirk.
Alternatively, bin qualifying altogether…
The case for selecting a captain and then giving him total say over who plays has been mooted for a while. One captain, 12 picks. There’s your team. Hey, it works just fine for the Walker Cup.
Let the players choose the captain
The European captain is chosen by the European Tour Players’ Committee, a small group of golfers that represents the tour’s membership; the US captain is chosen by the PGA of America. That has to change. Give the players not just a say, but control over who gets chosen and you’ll have a captain that they (a) want to play for and (b) respect.
Two matches, one captain
Doesn’t it strike you as odd that the US has one captain for the Ryder Cup and another for the Presidents Cup. Why not, as some have suggested, have the same guy captaining both matches? He serves a turn at the Presidents Cup one year, warming up for a shot at the Ryder Cup the next. This gives them time to get to know the players - and vice-versa - and establish what works, what doesn’t and so on. This would involve the PGA Tour and PGA of America working more closely together but, hey, why not?
Leave Michael Jordan at home
Not saying he’s the reason the US keeps losing but, aside from chomping cigars and stomping around, what does this one-time basketball star provide that is of real, tangible benefit to the side? If you ask me, he has become more of a distraction than an inspiration.
The USA and the Ryder Cup :: Your thoughts
How would solve the USA’s struggles in the Ryder Cup? Leave your thoughts in our ‘Comments’ section below.