Viet Nam News
By Robert Bicknell
The 2016 Ryder Cup can be summed up in two words “Patrick Reed”.
Yes, of course it takes a team effort to win the Ryder Cup and in the last 11 years, Europe had proven quite adept at forming fantastic teams and winning the cup, but this time it was a bit different as the US took home the Cup with a 17-11 victory.
Davis Love did an excellent job at selecting the team – based on the new criteria – which was basically forced down everyone’s throats by Phil Mickelson after the last Ryder Cup debacle. Fortunately, the powers-that-be listened and it seemed to work.
In every Ryder Cup there is always one stand out, one guy who picks up the banner and makes a full throated charge at the enemy. In the past, it was Europe’s Colin Montgomerie who served as the Iron Man, and Rory McIlroy tried to pick up that banner and charge, but he ran straight into Captain America – Patrick Reed.
Comic book fans always wondered what would happen in Iron Man fought Captain America one on one, and now we know.
It was one of the greatest matches in Ryder Cup history if you ask me.
Rory drops a 50-foot bomb of a putt, gets into the crowd’s face, effectively taunting the cage of lions, before Reed drops in a 35-foot bomb putt of his own, waves his finger at Rory as if to say “No you don’t. Not here. Not now.”
The crowd lost their collective minds at that point and even McIlroy had to laugh… it was great golf, followed by a fist bump and a pat on the back.
While I am very impressed with Reed’s performance during the final day matches, we simply cannot forget another epic duel of Sergio Garcia and Phil Mickelson – which ended in a draw.
How good was it?
They both shot 63… that’s how good it was. Birdies everywhere. Drama, bombs and answering bombs. Mickelson made 10 birdies and still only got a half. That is combat golf. Wonderful.
Henrik Stenson also impressed me during the alternate shot and fourball matches. Whenever Team Europe needed a critical shot, Stenson would turn on his radar and hit it stiff. Amazing iron shots from him all week. In the final round Stenson beat Jordan Spieth 3 and 2.
As great as the 2016 Ryder Cup was, there was still the problem of boorish behavior by home side fans, stoked to a fever pitch by a Pete Willett, brother of 2016 Masters champion Danny Willett when he blogged some pretty nasty descriptions of US fans, and brother Danny had to take the heat for it.
I suppose being called: "pudgy, basement-dwelling, irritants, stuffed on cookie dough and pissy beer pausing between mouthfuls of hotdog so they can scream ‘Baba booey’ until their jelly faces turn red," and "fat, stupid, greedy, classless, bastards" would tend to rankle American fans, especially after a few pissy beers and hot dogs.
I was kind of confused when the crowd started screaming “Cheese burger” at the European players. Perhaps they tired of “Hot dogs” and “Baba Booey”?
I suppose it would have been better if Pete Willett had actually been a professional golfer of national renown who had played for his country at one time or another instead of being a wanna-be hack writing for an on-line magazine.
In the end, Danny Willet lost all of his matches. He admitted poor play was the reason, but he also did take time out to tweet his agreement of his brother’s assessment of US fans, but I think that’s a little unfair. Sure, they really piled on him undeservedly because of his brother, but remember they also embraced him when he won the Masters.
Fortunately, Team Europe took it all in stride and had a great time in the media tent after the event showing they were already over the lost. Westwood and McIlroy absolutely cracked up the crowd with their comments. This is the way the Ryder Cup is supposed to end.
Congratulations to Team USA for a great victory: Congratulations to Darren Clarke and Team Europe for giving us some great golf to watch and for reminding everyone what a “good sport” is all about. VNS