Originally Posted by MWM
Highlifeman, I think maybe you idealized the Euros a little too much. I thought a blowout might by the Euros was a distinct possibility, but I thought it was more because they always play so much better than the Americans in this event.
It wasn't my perception that the Euros played poorly. Actually, I thought they played very well, not too dissimilarly to how they've played the past two. The difference, in my eyes, was clearly the American play. the Euros still made putts and hit great shots. The difference is that the americans matched them this time and made more putts. McDowell, Poulter, and Kaarlson played about as brilliantly as any Euro has played in any Ryder Cup.
But the US team had several players play out of their minds. Boo Weekley gets a lot of attention because of his personality, but they guy was nails this week. The guy he played against shot 3 under on the front 9 and found himself 3 down as Weekley shot 6 under. Boo pretty much singel handedly beat Westwood and his partner yesterday afternoon.
Furyk played about as well as he's ever played. He was Mr. Automatic with his irons all 3 days and was sinking putts all over the place.
Justin Leonard was nasty with his putter on Saturday. It seems like he couldn't miss. He got beat by a superior opponent on Sunday, but he played ou of his mind on Friday and Saturday.
Hunter Mahan had a couple of missteps, but he played great almost the entire event.
Anthony Kim played poorly with Phil on the back nine Saturday morning, but was pretty phenomenal most of the competition.
Look at that approach shot Campbell hit to the par 5 on Friday.
Kenny Perry sunk putt after putt and hit many a great shot.
Steve Stricker made just a sick up and down on Saturday afternoon to get a critical half point.
So I couldn't disagree more with your assessment that the difference was the Euros not being the Euros. they're not invincible. With the exception of Sergio, the Euros were every bit as good as they've always been. I don't see which household names played poorly. Heck, even Westwood played well. He just ran into Boo who played out of his mind. So I think the best Euros showed up, except Sergio and Harrington (and Harrongton hasn't played well in the Ryder Cup in a while now, so I don't think that was much of a surprise). I believe this US Ryder Cup team would have won any of the previous 3 playing the way they played.
It was great play by the Americans, not poor play by the Euros.
I think it was both.
The Americans played great. Absolutely outstanding golf, not only as individuals, but as a team (a concept that's escaped the Americans since 1999).
The Euros, conversely, played inconsistent. Some of the Euros played downright dreadful (I'm lookin' at you Harrington, Westwood, Casey Garcia and Jimenez!). I wasn't sure what to expect out of Soren Hansen, so him only earning 1/2 point in 3 matches raises eyebrows, but maybe that's to be expected based on his level of talent and lack of experience. The problem for the Euros was a lack of points from the horses. Casey, Garcia, Harrington, Jimenez, and Westwood combined for 4 points in 18 matches. Yikes.
So right there, 5 key Euros playing like crap, combined with Americans playing spectacular golf results in a US victory.
I don't want to take away from what the Americans did, by any means. Mickelson, Cink, Curtis, and Stricker all had flashes of great play, but on a whole these 4 did not play well. The other 8 guys, however, played lights out. I certainly underestimated Perry, Leonard, Weekley, Mahan, Holmes and Campbell. If anyone would have told me at the beginning of the week that Leonard, Weekley, Mahan and Holmes would combine for 11 points, I would have laughed in their face.
IMO, those 4 are the reason the Ryder Cup stays on this side of the pond, and rightly so. They played some of their best golf at the most opportune time(s), represented themselves and their country with pride.
All being said, kudos to the Americans. They showed that Tiger wasn't necessary to beat a heavily favored Euro team.
Great weekend for American golf. Let's hope the momentum carries to The Belfry in 2010!