I found Peter Kaufman’s comments to be very much on point (“Business-like plan could regain Ryder Cup,” Oct. 9). However, I am skeptical about the PGA of America’s desire and fortitude to pursue the two most important components of his plan: leadership selection and player selection (i.e., no automatic entries).
Despite the PGA’s selection of a business person, Seth Waugh, as its new chief executive, I am doubtful that the U.S. Ryder Cup team organizers will cede control to a non-golfer. History, the influence of players and TV and other sponsors’ desire for a recognizable figurehead (read popular star golfer) argue against this.
However, I do not believe this is the most important element. Having the courage to select the best team as opposed to popular choices such as Phil Mickelson or Tiger Woods is key. Obviously, an outsider is better positioned to follow this strategy. Mickelson’s comments consistently reflect an entitlement that virtually all aspects of professional golf have fostered.
In his comments about Tom Watson, Kaufman makes an extremely insightful point about the skills needed by any leader. Kaufman acknowledges Watson’s ability to make tough decisions, but he also highlights Watson’s challenges connecting with and motivating players and generally solving problems inherent in managing a team of star players with attendant fragilities, egos, etc. However, the selection of players who put team first will be of great assistance to the team leader in executing his decisions and managing any fallout.
I am extremely interested in the outcome of the upcoming Ryder Cup debrief on the heels of the Americans’ humbling (hopefully) defeat and to the extent to which Kaufman’s comments and even involvement will be considered.
Oak Bluff, Manitoba
It’s not that simple, Kaufman
Peter Kaufman’s article has many holes in it (“Business-like plan could regain Ryder Cup,” Oct. 9):
1. Proposing a non-golfer is not practical;
2. Europe wins with almost the same system;
3. Kaufman picks a turnaround guy, Hubert Joly, who is French and has some success, overlooking the myriad executives who have flopped.
Peter, show how captain-for-life Paul Azinger’s system would have worked in France to win the cup.
Straight advice from across the Atlantic
Reader Jim Higginbottom writes, “Narrow fairways and long rough are the only defenses against long knockers ..., but it makes for less-exciting TV” (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Oct. 10).
Seriously? Is it exciting to see player after player simply trying to hit the ball as far as he can, with almost no chance of running into trouble? It is far more exciting to see guys playing a variety of different tee shots and playing longer clubs into the greens, while some of the bombers take the risk and succeed and others come unstuck and have to recover.
Let's hope many more PGA Tour events are set up like that so they are worth watching again. If they are, and Whistling Straits is set up the same way, maybe your American team will get the practice it needs for the 2020 Ryder Cup. If not, it will be taken as proof that U.S. golfers are just not good enough to hit the ball straight or to commit to different strategies during a round of golf.
Try to keep Ryder Cup loss in perspective
I've been trying to contain myself for over a week … not successfully. Let's get real.
The Ryder Cup has outgrown its original intent of a friendly match between two countries. Most of the players try to treat it as such, but the media won't allow it. There is way too much money to be made.
Come on, folks. Get over it. We lost. Got our butts kicked. Congratulations to Europe. Wait until 2020. Now on to the next PGA Tour event.
An escape from ‘daily trivial rhetoric’
To reader Gary Radford, who writes that the U.S. Ryder Cup team needs to play better golf, I agree. Where I don't agree is interjecting politics into a golf conversation (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Oct. 10).
Golf is the main reason why I leave all of the daily trivial rhetoric behind. I go to the course with my friends to have a few laughs, for friendship and the love of the game. We leave the worldly problems behind for a few hours.
You, my friend, are one of the reasons why we go there. You mention that the article (“Business-like plan could regain Ryder Cup,” Oct. 9) must have been written by a Democrat, so it's obvious what your leanings are. For which, I say, you're exactly what we don't need in our sport: the rantings of an out-of-touch business executive.
Karma defeats Mickelson, 1 up
I agree that we should all stop with the nastiness and blame game regarding the Ryder Cup. Anyone who has ever played the game and let down a partner or a team knows that feeling never would be self-inflicted.
I just wish that Phil Mickelson would have shared that sentiment when he publicly threw Tom Watson under the bus after the 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles, backed up and ran over him again. And why the blame of Jim Furyk, and the calls for a stronger captain? Isn't this counter to the system that Mickelson and pals developed to prevent future losses?
Am I the only one who chuckled when his shot into the water (not the deep rough that he so detests) was the point that guaranteed the Ryder Cup loss?
Karma sure is a messy thing, no?
(Vaughn is the general manager at Goodyear Golf Club in Danville.)
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