…I like Nick Faldo. It’s true. Maybe it’s because he is from England, and I’m pretty anglo myself. Or maybe it’s because of his “velvet voice,” as the Ryder Cup home page describes it. Whatever it is, I can’t get myself to hate the guy, or the team this year. I’m not one to hate on Europeans, but usually world competitions (Olympics, Ryder Cup, Tour de France) get my blood a little hot. Not this time.
I realized though, that I didn’t give a rundown of the European Team, and so I’ll do that now…
How can you hate a group of men who wear pastel pink sport coats with mock neck shirts underneath? You can’t, really.
I’m going to be honest with you again, I could’ve sworn Paul Casey was an American. For real. He’s not, as he’s from England, and upon further reflection, this makes sense only because I don’t want to completely embarass myself. Anyway, he’s a captain’s pick and a solid one at that. He has a good record which began in 2004 and became stronger in 2006. Oh, and he beat Jim Furyk in singles, so what out for that.
Europe is less young as a team, with only four debuts this year, including Oliver Wilson, Justin Rose, Graeme McDowell and Soren Hansen. This might give Europe an advantage, if only because even in their youth, they have Justin Rose, who is used to competing on a larger stage. The other three are not so shabby themselves, sporting solid records and a smattering of international experience as well.
The big names for Europe are going to be Padraig Harrington, who is having a great year, Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter and Miguel Angel Jimenez. Jimenez is the only one I would count as unstable, if only because although he has a long Ryder Cup record, it includes 5 losses and only 2 wins out of the 9 matches he has played.
Lee Westwood will also be very important for Europe, as he has 14 wins by himself in Ryder Cup matches, and has played 25 matches total. He comes in as one of Europe’s very experienced players, although he is still young (for a golfer, anyway).
I don’t have much to say about Robert Karlsson and Henrick Stenson, so I probably shouldn’t say anything at all. I just couldn’t leave them out.
So who will win?? The steak-eating manly men of the United States? Or the foie gras-girly men of Europe? Actually, neither team lives up to either stereotype because, let’s be honest, this is golf. And the US team has a lot more in common with the European team than they probably do with you or me.
In any case, let’s play ball!