View From The Ryder Cup
Ahead of the Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits, Golfshake's Derek Clements shares his latest View From!
REPUTATIONS, it seems, count for nothing. In his book, Tony Jacklin: My Ryder Cup Journey, the former Open and US Open champion reveals that Jaime Patino banned him from Valderrama. At the time, Jacklin owned a property close to the 18th tee and hosted the Daily Express Boys’ Championship there. Patino bought the course and called in Robert Trent Jones to redesign the course. While Jacklin was on holiday, Patino had a road built along the side of his house so that his maintenance crew could get easy access to the course. Jacklin says that one of Patino’s gardeners left a gate open and one of the golfer’s Dobermans escaped and ran into the garden of a neighbour who also happened to be a friend of Patino. Jacklin received a letter telling him that his dog had frightened a maid so he wrote back and suggested that the neighbour build a fence. The next thing Jacklin knew was that Patino informed him that he and his son, Warren, were no longer welcome at Valderrama and banned him.
AND speaking of reputations, it is a measure of the strength of Steve Stricker’s US Ryder Cup team that a man who won the Dell Technologies WGC Match Play Championship and finished ninth in the final FedEx Cup standings did not even receive a phone call from the captain to tell him that he had missed out. And how did Billy Horschel respond? By flying across the Atlantic and winning the European Tour’s flagship event, the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth. He also picked up a cheque for more than one million euros and put himself in prime position to win the Race to Dubai. Horschel is a class act. He clearly felt aggrieved at his omission but refused to criticise Stricker. European golf fans should be thankful that, like them, Horschel will be watching from the sidelines.
IT IS a measure of what the Ryder Cup means to Henrik Stenson that he was able to put the disappointment of missing out on selection for the European team and accept Padraig Harrington’s invitation to travel to Whistling Straits as one of his vice-captains. Stenson was desperate to be part of the action and played some sparkling golf upon his return to the European Tour but he accepted that he hadn’t done enough for selection. “When Padraig phoned me to ask if I wanted to be part of his support team it was a pretty short conversation,” said Stenson. “I told him that I would be delighted.” This was in stark contrast to Justin Rose’s post-round interview at Wentworth. The Englishman had clearly been told in advance that he wasn’t going to get a wild card and it was pretty obvious that he wasn’t happy. But the harsh reality is that his form did not merit selection.
IF I was Steve Stricker I would sit down with Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka, order them to kiss and make up and tell them that they would be playing at least one fourball match together at Whistling Straits this week. It would prove that the Americans can put the needs of their team before their own individual requirements. And it would stun the Europeans. It won't happen, of course....
EVERYONE'S a critic! Justin Rose hinted that something else might be at play as he was overlooked for a Ryder Cup wildicard. Utter nonsense. You just didn't play well enough during the selection period Justin. It's as simple as that. And Kevin Na has taken Steve Stricker to task for failing to choose him, even though he only finished 19th in the qualifying process. "Do I think I should be in the team? Of course," said Na. "It sucks." It just goes to prove what a thankless task captaincy can be.
JON RAHM missed the cut at the Fortinet Championship. He was the only one of this week's 24 Ryder Cup players to compete, and you have to ask yourself what on earth he achieved, especially as he missed the pro-am because he wasn't feeling well. It was hardly the ideal preparation for Whistling Straits.
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