Let the Past Be the Past

…as in, let’s for get the past three (four?) months that I haven’t written anything. I’ll be honest, I don’t know what I was doing during this time; it wasn’t anything important.

Moving along, the Ryder Cup is this week. I was going to write for the Olympics because I love them, despite all the controversy, the “degradation of sport” involved and general tendencies toward mass consumption and corporate overdrive.  But I didn’t.  Again, I don’t know why.  Anyway, the Ryder Cup is a point of pride for myself, as Valhalla Golf Club outside of Louisville, Ky is hosting this year.  It’s kind of a big deal. And I’m from Kentucky.  Trust me, we have been seeing Ryder Cup all over the place for a couple of years now. I love it.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t get tickets (truth be told, I didn’t try hard enough because of the fact that I’m now located in NC), so I’ll be watching from afar. My roommate is thrilled about this…and will thus be out of the house for the entire weekend.

So what are our chances?  Wellll, let’s just say I’m hoping history doesn’t mark this as one of the worst Ryder Cups ever. Not just because el Tigre won’t be there, but also because strong winds from Hurricane Ike damaged a lot of the structures (tables & chairs, television towers, etc) that had been set up for the Cup.  They’ll get it cleaned up, no worries, but where does that leave the US without el Tigre??

We are definitely the underdog. But I think this might all be in our heads.  Just because we don’t have the best golfer in the world on our team, doesn’t mean that we are lacking in great players who are also experienced with this sort of thing.  Don’t get me wrong, I know el Tigre has an excellent match play record; but as I’ve noted before, I don’t think he plays as well with others as he does by himself.  In other words, in the foursomes and fourball play, he isn’t at the top.  Where does this leave us?

Wellll, we have Paul Azinger for a captain, who can probably shake thinkgs up for the Americans, if only by way of his fantastic five o’clock shadow.  Kenny Perry, I have to mention next, because he took a lot of slack for not participating in the British Open this summer to try to keep his points intact. I don’t blame him.  I’m from Kentucky, and if I had a chance to play in the Ryder Cup while it’s is in my home state, I would cut my losses and play where I know I can excel or win.  That being said, he’s a solid player and he brings a lot to the table. He’s old enough not to let the “home team” pressure get to him. Now that I mentioned one Kentuckian, I must mention the other, J.B. Holmes.  J.B. played for the University of Kentucky, and I can only assume he’s been to Valhalla a couple of times (incidentally, I used to play the golf course the UK team plays on, back in my former life as a D3 player). I think J.B. is an extremely talented player who is on his way up in the PGA. I don’t, however, know how he’ll do in the Ryder Cup, especially against some of the old European crusts.  I think the fact that he’s only a few years removed from playing with a team in college (albeit in a different format) will give him some sort of advantage though.

How about non-Kentuckians?  Solid players include Justin Leonard, Stewart Cink, Jim Furyk, Chad Campbell and (somewhat reluctantly), Lefty.  I only worry about Lefty because he seems to be downtrodden as of late.  Anthony Kim, Ben Curtis, Boo Weekley, Hunter Mahan and Steve Stricker round out the debut players. Hopefully, this combination of old and new will breathe some life into the US team, and we can pull it back on American soil. Anyway, it can’t get worse than 2004, and 2006 (knock on wood).

I’ll be reporting more this week, probably more on uniforms than anything substantial.

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