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Thursday, 13 October 2016

Outsiders

Congratulations to the US Ryder Cup team.  Their convincing win will hopefully end the domination of the Ryder Cup by the Europeans; and with it all the second-guessing on the part of the Americans.  The fact is the Americans won because they played better, not because of any particular genius on the part of Davis Love or the "committee."

As I found myself in Saint Maarten during the week, without working internet, I had to save my observations until now.  The best thing in my mind, over and above the great golf, was the relatively friendly spirit in which the matches were played, with the exception of a few moronic fans.  It was a great exhibition of golf, not a war.  

The final day singles match between Patrick Reed and Rory was, to me, the highlight of the week.  Both players played their hearts out, were charged up, but respected and acknowledged each other's remarkable play.  That Reed was able to defeat Rory at his best was, along with his earlier exploits, the inspiration the team needed to rise to the occasion.  

What was also interesting was the fact that Bubba Watson, who swallowed his pride and asked to be an assistant captain if he wasn't picked, was mentioned by more than one American player as having made a significant contribution to the US effort.  Bubba could have just as easily taken umbrage with not being picked and stayed home.  But he wanted to contribute in any way he could.  It speaks volumes about who he really is.

Finally, the final Captain's pick, Ryan Moore, secured what was the cup-winning point by winning his singles match.  What do these stories tell us?  Firstly, if we are to believe the reports, Patrick Reed and Bubba Watson are supposed to be two of the most disliked players in the game.  Ryan Moore was also said to be a bit of a loner, an outsider; not really one of the boys.  Nevertheless, these, supposedly unpopular, players were absolutely key to the American victory.  

This puts paid to the idea that a team, in order to be successful, must be composed of best buddies.  What matters when it comes to a team is that each team member does his part. They needn't be best friends off the field.

I hope the Ryder Cup will have caused people to have greater respect for Patrick Reed, Bubba, and, perhaps to a lesser degree, Ryan Moore.  They may still not be part of the "in crowd," but they did their part and will likely be part of a much more competitive US team for years to come.  I have written a few articles in the past about Bubba and Reed--articles that extolled their abilities rather than questioned their popularity.  So, I was already a fan of both of them.  

If you were not one of their fans, perhaps it's time you give them some respect.  They may be different.  They may be outsiders.  But they were all in for their team.  And, man, can that Patrick Reed play!