The Ryder Cup matches were exciting this week, and ended up about as I had predicted; Europe beat America due to better putting, again as I had predicted. But the overall scoring was closer than I thought it would be.
This was my first Ryder Cup where I heard commentators at the Golf Channel discuss how Europe set up the course to give the European team the advantage. How did Europe do that? For example, the greens were slower than the PGA was used to putting. European Tour players are used to putting slower greens than are our American PGA Tour players, so the European team members had the advantage.
Also, the longer rough at the Ryder Cup matches penalized the American team more because the European team members are more accurate off the tee. The Golf channel commentators then asked each other why the United States doesn't do the same thing when the Ryder Cup is played in the United States every other year, and no one seemed to have an answer.
Are we just too nice, too fair, or too stupid to let Europe get away with such "gamesmanship"? Earlier last week I predicted that Europe would win simply because about half of their team members used oversize putter grips, where virtually all members of the American team used standard size putter grips. It has been proven that oversize grips help keep the wristiness out of the putting stroke, making each golfer more efficient at making putts.
Time after time the Americans rolled their putts toward the hole, only to come up two or three rolls short of the hole, while most European putts at least reached the hole and had a chance of falling in.
How close were the matches? The U.S. only needed 14 points out of the total 28 points to retain the cup, since it was last won BY THE United States. They fell short by 1/2 point!
How many additional putts did the U.S. team need to roll another two or three inches to the hole to have changed the outcome, and have the U.S. win this week's Ryder Cup matches over Europe? Just one!