Ryder Cup Clippings, Final Edition Vol. 3

SI posted a poll of PGA teaching pros from Golf Magazine's 100 best, asking them to pick the next Ryder Cup Captain. The results:

Corey Pavin      35%
Paul Azinger     26%
Fred Couples     26%
Davis Love III     10%
Jeff Sluman        3%

Well that's settled. After all, we know how the PGA of America always listens to its constituents.

Lawrence Donegan offers his final thoughts on the Ryder Cup:

Even those who are not in the gang, such as Sergio García, are granted temporary membership for Ryder Cup week. Colin Montgomerie, too. At the start of the post-victory press conference, a US journalist asked the team to sum up the Scotsman's contribution to the European cause.

"Careful lads, careful. Make it good, " interjected Montgomerie, perhaps mindful that several of his team-mates are less than complimentary about him the other 51 weeks of the year. But he need not have worried.

"Monty is simply a leader on the course and off it," volunteered Westwood. "He's proven today that he is an inspiration when he goes out first in the singles. He's a pretty quick player, too, so he likes going out first." As eulogies go it was hardly WH Auden but this contribution spoke of the mentality of the European team, every one of whom was happy to lay aside ancient enmities in the greater cause of victory.

From Alan Shipnuck's SI game story:

Why can't Johnny win? Maybe because the players on the PGA Tour get so rich with a few top 10s that they never learn how to close the deal. Maybe it's because Europeans grow up competing in more match play, or that the far-flung logistics of their insular tour breeds more camaraderie. Maybe Americans' obsession with making technically perfect swings has de-emphasized the art of scoring. Or maybe Europe simply has better players: Coming into the Ryder Cup, eight members of its team were in the top 20 in the World Ranking, compared with just four for the Yanks.

These arguments, and others, have been kicked around for the better part of the last decade, but one point is indisputable -- an event in which only pride is at stake brings out the best in their stars and the worst in ours. 

And John Huggan weighs in at Golfobserver with this point about Mickelson, which I suspect will be made many more times in the coming months:

The question is simple: Is he willing to take golf even remotely seriously after the PGA Championship in August? If not, Mickelson should forfeit his place in all future US sides. That he should pitch up in Ireland not having played competitively for a month was a disgrace, an insult to his teammates and indicative of his less than enthusiastic approach to representing his country in golf's most compelling event. Instead of being on the course these past few days, the 36-year old Californian should have taken the advice offered by a wonderfully 'Irish' sign at the K Club: "Lost people should go to the information centre in the tented village."

And Huggan addresses the idea of the U.S. becoming "The Americas" team:

Then again, one has to wonder what Jack Nicklaus was thinking as he surveyed from afar the carnage that was America's Team. Was he musing the possibility of the hapless US side being bolstered by the likes of Canada's Mike Weir, Angel Cabrera of Argentina and Columbian Camilio Villegas in a newly constituted 'Americas' team? To even suggest such a thing can no longer be dismissed as frivolous or mere mischief making. After two successive nine-point shellackings that hardly bode well for the new world's prospects at Valhalla two years hence, it is a question that brings with it a growing legitimacy.

And, how can you not love this:

Finally, on a personal note, your correspondent is sure he is hardly alone in taking an enormous amount of pleasure from the delicious last day moment that saw Woods' caddie, the despicable Steve Williams, slip on a rock left of the 7th green and drop his boss's 9-iron into the drink. The only pity was that the endlessly boorish New Zealander did not do likewise.

That would have been the perfect end to a memorable week. Well done Darren. Well done Ireland. Get a grip America.