Letter From Beyond Saugerties, Ryder Cup Edition

The late great Frank Hannigan took issue with some of the focus on captain's following the 2012 Ryder Cup and as the 2014 captain's were being named. And because most of us miss hearing from him I thought I'd share this from Frank, dated January 13, 2013.

1.   I don't happen to believe that the captaincy of the Ryder Cups has anything to do with the outcomes.     Especiallly given the randomness of the pairings. I do believe the outcome matters more to the Europeans overall.    
2.  On the captaincy business,  nobody writes about the commercial value. It's worth a hell of a lot. Varies with the name, of course, but I would guess not getting it was a loss of a million dollars to Larry Nelson. Watson?  I imagine the inevitable attention matters considerably to his sponsors. I think Tony Jacklin was the first captain who understood how it could be parlayed into serious money.

When Curtis was captain ( & he got an extra year because of 9/11) I think it helped keep his Monday appearance fees up a great deal long after he was a truly competitive golfer. I don't say there is anything wrong with this. It's just consistent with what golf became.

But it pisses me off that it is treated by what remains of golf media as if what is going on is the equivalent of the USGA picking Francis Ouimet to captain another Walker Cup team 80 years ago. Does anyone think that Lee Westwood or Luke Donald will try less hard if Paul McGinley is picked as distinct from someone who won a "major" ?  It's hard for me to imagine that a Westwood could think of Montgomerie as anything other than someone who had enormous and undeserved skills.