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Tiger, Phil to join U.S. Ryder Cup task force?

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The 2014 Ryder Cup was a collective disaster for the United States — a 16.5 to 11.5 rout by the Europeans. Phil Mickelson let the world know his feelings, and Tom Watson apologized for the error of his ways. We know the story, we acknowledged our mistakes — but what does this mean for 2016? How will the U.S. Team respond going forward?

The PGA of America is reportedly collecting a panel of players and ex-Captains to elect a captain for 2016 and develop a game plan for success — or at least avoid the atrocity that was the 2014 Ryder Cup.

“The decision has been made to assemble a task force that will include PGA of America representation, past captains and current players to really dive into an open analysis of all aspects of the Ryder Cup to see what we can do to improve and give Team USA its very best chances of success,’’ PGA of America CEO Pete Bevacqua told the New York Post.

Among those approached to join the task force, according to reports, have been Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Paul Azinger and Davis Love III. Azinger, who captained the 2008 U.S. squad to victory, wrote a book on his winning strategies, in which Mickelson publicly bought into.

Do you think the task force will work in 2016? If it were up to you, who would you recruit to be on the panel?

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Andrew Tursky is the Editor-in-Chief of GolfWRX. He played on the Hawaii Pacific University Men's Golf team and earned a Masters degree in Communications. He also played college golf at Rutgers University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.

26 Comments

26 Comments

  1. ND Hickman

    Oct 13, 2014 at 4:43 am

    I love how Paul Azinger is suddenly the messiah yet he was facing off against the worst captain that Europe has ever had. Would he have beaten Monty, Seve, Jose Maria or Paul McGinley? I’m not convinced.

  2. snowman

    Oct 10, 2014 at 9:51 pm

    Tiger and Phil seem to care not-a-lot about the Ryder cup and their records are not that great. Task force!?…WTF? Maybe a new selection process/timing will help, but Pods and all that may/may not work depending on the time/place/players. The Euros: care more, have better chemistry, and better players (at least for now). Plenty of blame to go around, but I think the Americans are primarily a bunch of spoiled rich guys that just play for money and the Euros are spoiled rich guys that play for money and the Pure Joy of smoking the U.S. in the Ryder cup. That attitude along with the talent the Euros bring is tough for the U.S. to overcome and when U.S. loses, I’m not sure they really, really care for very long. They just some home and start cashing huge checks for placing T19th (not that there is any thing wrong with cashing huge checks)……

    • T

      Oct 12, 2014 at 10:51 am

      You watch, and buy into, to much Golf Channel propaganda.

  3. Robeli

    Oct 10, 2014 at 10:54 am

    “Big Break Ryder Cup 2016” – soon coming to The Golf Channel!!

  4. Joseph

    Oct 9, 2014 at 7:40 pm

    There is part of me that thinks the Americans simply don’t care enough. Something has to happen to fire up the US and get their heads back in the game. Getting their butts whipped certainly isn’t doing it.

  5. dot dot

    Oct 9, 2014 at 6:29 pm

    Glad they are taking it more seriously. Perhaps competition will come first and not the blatant commercialization like this year.

  6. steve

    Oct 9, 2014 at 5:57 pm

    The people that put Watson as captain feel stupid. Now they put this task force together. To little to late. Who cares?

    • Captain

      Oct 9, 2014 at 7:30 pm

      Too* little too* late. Who cares? WHO CARES!?! I think you’re on the wrong website friend.

      • steve

        Oct 10, 2014 at 8:03 am

        So they still have a chance to win? And no one cares about the Ryder Cup in the U.S.
        Right website, your a troll that adds nothing to the topic

        • T

          Oct 12, 2014 at 10:54 am

          Who’s the troll here?…You are. US has a chance to win every year, and a lot of golfers in the US care about the Ryder Cup.

  7. 8thehardway

    Oct 9, 2014 at 10:34 am

    Team America Task Force WILL mold disparate personalities into a tight-knit unit by 2016, such unit to be known as Ryder’s Rangers

    Basic Training
    In the months leading up to battle all RR recruits will undergo binge drinking with fellow recruits and memorize the sneers and dismissive gestures of James Bond movie villains.

    High Recruiting Standards
    Rich, arrogant pros need not apply.

  8. Brian

    Oct 9, 2014 at 10:31 am

    Let’s not overthink this thing at all…a task force? Now we need a task force to still get our butts kicked? The captain needs some pull over the PGA like the European captain has. The Euro captain has players paired together on Thurs/Friday rounds in regular tournaments to start building rapport and see how they do together. Where’s that here in the US? IMO, the players need more of a say in who plays with whom and when.

  9. gplfing

    Oct 9, 2014 at 4:51 am

    http://youtu.be/j7bnORHv2WE

    To beat the best, you must learn from the best.

  10. Jack

    Oct 9, 2014 at 2:28 am

    This is so stupid and so obvious… The US players have to play better — period. There now you don’t need a task force! Phil is a moron, btw.

    • Danny Patterson

      Oct 9, 2014 at 3:07 pm

      I agree. Also, why let these Ryder cuppers make these decisions? The best players from this Ryder cup were rookies. Phil, Tiger and Furyk, combined 39-56-13 career. Not very inspiring.

  11. Joe

    Oct 8, 2014 at 11:21 pm

    Let the top 10 players with points choice the next 3 players for the team. Then as a team they can pick who plays with who and who plays who.PGA of America chooses the assistant captains to do all the standard
    BS, speeches, outings, dinners etc. Just let the players figure out how to come together and bring back the cup. Yeah it sounds far fetched. I’ll even add make Payne Stewart the honorary captain. Win it for our country & Payne’s legacy.If Pic’s of Payne all over the place can’t get the team to come together and win it who can?

  12. Johnny

    Oct 8, 2014 at 8:13 pm

    I think everyone makes too big a deal of azinger as a captain. People seem to forget who the European captain was that year. Faldo was one of the worst captains, if not the worst captain, the Europeans have ever had. He couldn’t even remember who was all on his team.
    The bottom line is the Europeans want it more. You look at the European team this year and you could have paired any of them to play together. They get along. They’re a TEAM. The American team isn’t. Certain guys can only play with certain guys. I went to the ryder cup this year and the difference in the players attitudes was unreal. Quite honestly, bubba Watson was a disgrace. You could see by his body language he didn’t want to be there. I think his play in the opening days four balls highlighted this. Both he and simpson didn’t make one birdie between them. That’s terrible in that format. Surely the occasion should bring out the best in you. You’re playing for your country!
    It’s not the captain. It’s the players.

    • RobCH

      Oct 12, 2014 at 12:06 pm

      So if it’s not about the captain, the fact that it was Nick Faldo up against Azinger is completely irrelevant. Either the captain does make a difference, in which case they can logically be judged good or bad (or even, in your example, “worst”), or they don’t. You can’t have it both ways.

  13. roger

    Oct 8, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    I believe it is cupitas. The Euro’s have 2 years to think about and 2 years to enjoy the victory. The US loses it and now it’s on to the Presidents cup, the next season starts shortly after the Ryder cup and now they start to think about earning points to make the Presidents cup. I myself watched about 10 minutes of the Ryder cup this year. I love watching tournament golf on TV and watch all 4 rounds. The difference is the show is on the course all about the golf shots. The Ryder cup and Presidents cup, a lot of the show is in the crowd any more, crazy groups of people in crazy outfits. We have the Ryder Cup, Presidents Cup, Solhiem Cup and now they are talking about a Senoir’s Ryder Cup, that’s just way to much for me.

    • Forsbrand

      Oct 9, 2014 at 6:42 am

      Absolutely it’s gone far too corporate! Maybe the US are just not good enough to beat the Europeans. Why do the US need to set up a task force to win it! doesn’t that take something away from a possible victory? It s all a little wish washy for me.

  14. Ben

    Oct 8, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    I’m still trying to figure out why Larry Nelson and Mark OMeara haven’t been captains yet. Both are easy going guys with strong personalities. That seems to be the best combination for captaincy.

  15. Mark Littlejohn

    Oct 8, 2014 at 4:08 pm

    The Europeans consider it a major, the Americans consider it an exhibition…I honestly believe some would rather not be bothered to participate at all. They have complained before about the Ryder Cup one year, the President’s Cup the next. I’m reading Draw in the Dunes right now about the 1969 Ryder Cup and it’s amazing how little thought Captain Sam Snead seemed to put into it. One solution not talked about yet might be to reduce the automatic quals down to six and have six picks for players who effing want to be there. Where the hell do they get our guys for the World Cup…none of the top players play it. They must go down the list until they find two who agree to play.

    • RobCH

      Oct 12, 2014 at 12:11 pm

      Webb Simpson, who begged Watson to make him a captain’s pick, wanted to play. And how did he do?

  16. Jake

    Oct 8, 2014 at 3:18 pm

    I think we need to develop a system, sort of like USA basketball. There needs to be a US Director of Ryder Cup who’s job it is to pick the captain. I think we should get Paul Azinger back, signed on as captain for the next 2-3 Ryder Cups to set up the system. He should have a consistent stable of Vice Captains that he is grooming to be the next captain.

    We don’t need a panel to look at this, we just need to model it after already successful enterprises.

  17. Joel

    Oct 8, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    I love Tiger and Phil both…but they have played a lot of ryder cups spanning many different captains and styles of management and they don’t exactly have a stellar record. I love the ryder cup, but it belongs to the europeans…if we’re expected to win we lose, if we’re expected to lose we do. Just let things go people.

  18. Jim

    Oct 8, 2014 at 2:57 pm

    Glad to hear that the US might take the next Ryder Cup more seriously. What they need to understand is 1) competitive team spirit/ effort, and 2) how to motivate these rich, arrogant pro’s that really don’t care about the event as much as the Europeans. It’s not the captain but the players who can’t win a point in foursomes that’s the problem. And I heard that Phil flew over in his private jet so that speaks to his knowledge of team building. Geeez.

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Watson returns to form with third Genesis Open win

There are too many ledes to unearth for this one: Horses for courses or Mercurial Watson, or how about My wife’s the hoops star, I’m the golfer? Whatever was in that Tracy McGrady rejection on Friday night was the medicine Bubba Watson needed to return to the winner’s circle. Along the way, Watson schooled the 20-somethings (and even the other Lefty) on how to close the deal in Hogan’s Alley.

How Watson came back from near-retirement

While the siren song of the candy store, car dealership and baseball team might have been strong, Bubba Watson wanted to be a champion golfer again. After nine, up-and-down holes (3 birdies and 2 bogeys) on Sunday, Watson was looking up at Patrick Cantlay, Kevin Na and even Phil Mickelson. Not to worry, as the Florida portsider had played the inward half under par all week. Watson closed with 3 birdies and 0 bogeys over his final 9 holes, sealing a 2-stroke win over Na and Tony Finau.

See the clubs Bubba used to win the 2018 Genesis Open

How a quartet missed out

Let’s summarize: Na played the back side in 1-under par and needed Watson’s 3-under for a playoff; Tony Finau was 2-under on the closing half, but needed double that for extra holes; Phil Mickelson bogeyed 15 and 16 when he knew that birdies were needed; Patrick Cantlay played 1 over in his final 9, when 2-under would have meant playoff. All the also-rans and almost-weres didn’t do what Watson did: close the deal.

Jin Young Ko secures Australian Open on LPGA Tour

It’s a stretch to call Jin Young Ko an LPGA player, as her first 9 wins came on the LPGA of Korea tour. In October and now in February, Ko bested world-class fields to win co-sanctioned events, and is now a two-time LPGA champion. At this rate, it might be difficult for her to remain tethered to the Korean tour.

How Ko won the week

A 7-under 65 on Thursday was the fuel Ko needed to take a lead that she would not relinquish. Although Katherine Kirk matched that number on Sunday, no one was able to wrest the advantage from the 22-year old Ko. Two rounds of 69 and one of 71 brought her to 14-under on the week. On day four, Ko started quickly with two opening birdies. A pair of bogeys on the outward half kept her within sight of the field, but birdies at 9, 13 and 17 were the recipe for re-establishing her three-shot margin of victory.

How she kept the field at bay

The challenging Kooyoonga golf club was not very free with low rounds this week. Ko’s compatriot Hyejin Choi, posted a flawless 67 on Sunday to move up one spot, into solo second at 11-under. In third and fourth were a pair of Australians, Hannah Green at 10-under and the aforementioned Katherine Kirk, at 9-under. Marina Alex was the low USA golfer at 7-under, tied for fifth spot with Minjee Lee.

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Joost Luiten began the fourth day at Oman in a three-way tie for first spot, but asserted himself early on Sunday with birdies on holes 2 through 4. It was enough to separate from the field, and he was able to hold off Chris Wood to earn his 8th European Tour title, by two strokes.

How Luiten claimed victory

After the fiery beginning, Luiten cooled off in the later stages of the opening nine holes. Bogeys at 7 and 8 brought him back to the field, but he wasn’t done for the afternoon. Luiten birdied 12 and 13, then added the clincher on a tricky birdie putt on the 16th hole. That final birdie gave him a 2-shot separation on Chris Wood, and he held on for pars at the final two holes for a 68 on the day and 16-under for the tournament.

How Wood and others came up shy

Matthew Southgate and Julien Guerrier began Sunday in a tie with Luiten, but the day turned sour early for Southgate. The Englishman had four bogeys in a five-hole stretch. Two more miscues on the inward half dropped him into a three-way tie for ninth at 9-under par. Guerrier held the wheel a bit steadier: two bogeys at the turn were offset by three birdies coming in, and the young Frenchman was able to coax a solo third-place finish out of the week. It was Chris Wood who gave the greatest chase to Luiten. Wood had four birdies on the day, and was in a tie at the top at 15-under, when he yanked a drive at 17 and found a hazard. Although he was able to play his ball, the ensuing bogey was the mistake he could not afford. A par at the last placed him at 14-under, one shot clear of Guerrier and two behind the champion.

Durant welcomes second PGA Tour Champions title at Chubb Classic

Technically, it’s his third, but the first was a two-man win with Billy Andrade. Durant probably caught wind that Billy Mayfair and Tim Petrovic were going super-low (8-under on Sunday) and that David Toms was at their heels (7-under on the day.) Each of those three earned a top-four finish, but Durant took matters into his own hands over the closing seven holes. He left Naples as the 2018 Chubb champion.

When Joe Durant woke up

Durant was 1-over through 7 holes on Sunday, headed in the wrong direction. Birdies on 8 and 9 reminded him that he still had a chance, but the eagle on 13 kicked his game into a higher gear. Birdies at 14, 17 and 18 were enough to offset a bogey at 15, and Durant cruised home with a four-stroke victory over Mayfair, Toms, Petrovic, Lee Janzen and Steve Stricker.

How that quintet fell away

After eight birdies through 14 holes on day 3, Mayfair had zero over his closing four. Toms did the opposite-He played the outward half in 2-under, but came home in 5-under to reach the podium. Petrovic had 4 birdies on each half, but also simply ran out of holes. Janzen threw an early scare into the eventual champion, but two bogeys and not enough chirps were his undoing. Stricker’s finish was the most painful. Within site of Durant and needing birdie at the last for 18-under, Stricker was forced to go for the flag, and instead got wet. His double-bogey finish dropped him from solo second to the five-way tie.

Daniel Fox surprises at Australian PGA championship

Daniel Fox had one previous victory on the Australasian circuit, but he made the most of opportunity’s knock on Sunday. The 41-year old played error-free golf over his final 14 holes, counting 6 birdies for a one-stroke victory over Matthew Millar and Steven Jeffress.

How Fox found the winner’s platform

Fox might say he was the last man standing, and none would argue. The runners-up had chances at birdie at the final hole, but neither one could convert. Fox counted three rounds of 65 and one of 67 on his card.  On the week, he had three bogeys and one double, against 21 birdies and one eagle. In an event where the margin ‘twixt victory and not-victory was razor-thin, Daniel Fox shaved the final whisker.

How Millar and Jeffress came up short

The easy answer would be: they didn’t birdie the 72nd hole. Jeffress had the low round (63) of the week, but his 67-67-66 lost ground on the other three days! As for Millar, one might point to his last two, outward nines. On both weekend days, he made nine consecutive pars to open his round. Against a par of 33, it wasn’t bad, but he gained no ground on the leader. Millar’s stat line for the week read: one eagle, 21 birdies, six bogeys. Yup, nearly identical to Fox, but nearly is the operative word.

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