Let Ryder Cup fever commence.
Congratulations to Darren Clarke and Davis Love III on being selected as team captains in the 2016 Ryder Cup. Each of these selectees has a rich history with the Ryder Cup and each brings a unique style of leadership to their respective teams.
Never to sit back and let things unfold, the European Ryder Cup Captain Selection committee made its third change to their process since 1979. Starting in 2016, the European Ryder Cup Captain will be decided by a select five-man panel. This panel is made up of the three previous Ryder Cup Captains, the Chief Executive of The European Tour, and one representative from the Tournament Committee. The last member is nominated by the committee itself. This very small and select group, painstakingly choose Darren Clarke as the 2016 leader of the European Team.
After their most recent loss, the PGA of America created a ‘task force’ to examine the woes of their Ryder Cup Team. The 11-person team examined many aspects of their challenges and made recommendations to the PGA of America. The actual selection of the US Ryder Cup captain is made by the PGA of America. After much discussion, Davis Love III was once again chosen as the US Ryder Cup Captain.
The European Team’s choice of Darren Clarke is a good one. He has the respect of the top European players. He understands the pressures of playing in the Ryder Cup having won 4 out of 5 times. And as a vice-captain, he is two for two. Clarke’s involvement is extensive and enjoys winning on the world stage. His selection will help the European Team keep up their current momentum and winning record.
Davis Love III is no stranger to the Ryder Cup. A six-time player, he amassed a 3 and 3 record. He was an assistant to Cory Pavin in 2010 where the US Team lost. In 2012, as US Team Captain, the US lost in a stunning manner to the Europeans at Medinah. Love’s current Ryder Cup record suggests that he may not be the right choice, but there are very few players with his experience. Davis Love’s approach will be calm and relaxed. He is the safe choice to quell the current panic on the US side.
The European Ryder Cup Team are the reigning champions. They have dominated the US Team for the past 7 Ryder Cup events and are in the driver’s seat for the 2016 Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National Golf Club. They have most of the momentum and confidence and look tough to beat next year.
The selection of Darren Clarke and Davis Love III as team captains has created debate among golfing pundits. Some agree with the choices, others less so; but no matter which side of the fence you sit, the journey towards the 2016 Ryder Cup has begun. However, in the big scheme of things neither of these golfing greats are the answer to the US or European Ryder Cup Teams.
When the first ball is struck at Hazeltine National Golf Course on 27 September 2016, the result of the Ryder Cup will be determined as it always does – by the play of the team members. A captain can offer some leadership, advice, or inspiration to their players in many forms, however, the end results always boils down to the players. Sure their team captain had a small hand in their success, but ultimately the success of each team was and will be determined on the course!
The Grateful Golfer – Pundit Arena