Davis Love III called this year’s U.S. Ryder Cup team “the best golf team maybe ever assembled.”
The captain better hope so.
The American team hasn’t won since 2008 and has been victorious just twice in the last 23 years. Frankly, it’s been embarrassing and something needs to change.
After the Meltdown at Medinah in 2012 when Love’s team turned a 10-6 lead after Saturday into a 14 1/2 to 13 1/2 loss, it was obvious something was plaguing the team. The Golf Channel’s Brandel Chamblee said “we consistently play worse than we’re supposed to.”
That’s been true for years now, a far cry from the glory days of yesteryear when the U.S. team won or shared the Cup 13 straight times from 1959 to 1983.
It’s time to reverse course, and Love thinks he finally has the winning formula.
“I think we have a completely different attitude and culture this time around,” he said recently.
It’s true he has many of the top players in the world, including U.S. Open champion Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth and PGA champion Jimmy Walker. Tiger Woods will not be playing of course, but he will be assisting the team as a vice captain. Woods doesn’t have an impeccable Ryder Cup record, but his experience certainly can’t hurt.
And it never hurts to be playing on home soil in front of an energetic American crowd.
Will it add up to victory, one the U.S. team desperately needs? One would hope so. The tables have to turn at some point, right?
The 41st Ryder Cup tees off Friday at Hazeltine National in Chaska, Minnesota.
Marc Figueroa is a freelance writer who has been covering golf in San Diego for more than 20 years.