The recent collapse of the United States golf team at the Ryder Cup was pretty embarrassing. The first embarrassment is the fact that we had a 10-6 lead going into Sunday and only needed to win four and tie one out of 12 matches on Sunday. The second embarrassment, which really grinds my gears, was the absence of Steve Stricker and Tiger Woods. Together, they went 0-3 in the first two rounds of the Ryder cup. Followed by Stricker’s awful putting in his singles match on Sunday (note: he is one of the best putters in the game). The third embarrassment was Brant Snedeker. A week prior to the Ryder Cup, Snedeker played an outstanding tournament to defeat Justin Rose and win the Fed Ex Cup. This was mostly because of Snedeker’s awesome putting. So when Snedeker played Paul Lawrie for his singles match on Sunday, everyone from London to Chicago would have expected Snedeker to win. Instead, he played so bad that he lost five and three. That means he was losing by five points with three holes left to play.
Don’t get me wrong, Europe played great. It’s hard to beat Ian Poulter’s enthusiasm for The Ryder Cup, that’s for sure. And Justin Rose’s three birdie putts to defeat Mickelson on 16, 17 and 18 were the three most important putts of his career. Not to mention Lee Westwood (who must have been drunk on Friday and Saturday) who won Sunday and showed the world why he’s one of the best in the sport.
Done with my rant. With that being said there is a lot of promise for United States golf due to their young talent. Europe may have McElroy, but the United States has Dustin Johnson, Webb Simpson, Keegan Bradley, Bubba Watson and Jason Dufner. Although they aren’t terribly young, they are almost all entirely new to the scene as far as top-ten finishes go.
Webb Simpson is currently ranked 15 in the PGA and is probably most well known for winning the U.S. Open this summer.
Dustin Johnson is currently ranked 17 in the PGA. Johnson is one of the longest drivers on the PGA tour and although he has not won any major championships this year, he clearly was one of the best players this past weekend for the Ryder Cup.
Jason Dufner. I can’t really say enough about this guy. Dufner is currently ranked fourth in the PGA and many feel that his game still has not peaked. Dufner has just recently become a competitor in major tournaments, despite being on tour since 2001. His most notable finish was fourth in this year’s U.S. Open and I’d expect him to win his own major tournament next summer.
Bubba Watson is currently ranked fifth in the PGA. Some of you may know him for his outlandish boy band or even his pink driver. But everyone who plays professional golf knows that when Bubba Watson is playing well, he cannot be stopped. The perfect example is his performance at this year’s Masters. He won the Masters tournament at Augusta National this summer in fashion. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, then search on YouTube for “Bubba Watson at the Masters.”
Last but certainly not least is Keegan Bradley. The youngest of the upcoming American stars is currently ranked 10 in the PGA. Bradley won this summer at Bridgestone and played great in the Ryder Cup despite losing to McElroy in his singles match Sunday (I think we all forgive him). The most notable win of his career was winning the PGA Championship in 2011. Bradley is the kind of player who has a great future ahead of him and could one day lead the United States squad to a victory in the Ryder Cup.
For all of you golf fans out there (or just plain old patriots) don’t worry. U.S. golf has a good future ahead of us that will most likely be led by someone other than Tiger Woods. With many of the players named having played their first Ryder Cup this past weekend, we can only hope that the nerves have passed and two years from now they will lead the United States to a Ryder Cup victory.