Despite being heavily favored at (-150) to win the Ryder Cup on foreign soil for the first time since 1993, the US team put together an abhorrent performance and got run out of Paris by a margin of 7 points. The loss wasn’t shocking but the margin of victory and lack of fight from the Americans certainly wasn’t expected. A few things in particular stood out this week. Here are OTC’s Ryder Cup Reflections.

 

Public Enemies 1A & 1B

Are Patrick and Justine Reed the most unlikable couple in the world of golf? Yes. They might even take the cake for the world as a whole. Honestly, I think they revel in the fact that nobody likes them. Despite their checkered past, golf fans have embraced Patrick during this 3 day period when he becomes “Captain America.” To be fair, he has rightfully earned the moniker by sporting a 6-2-1 record across his prior two Ryder Cup appearances.

With that being said, I found the early week Reed twitter pandering to be pretty disgusting. Both Reed’s have a long record of being incredibly disagreeable, rude and generally boorish to all whom they encounter. If you want to learn more about that just google “Patrick Reed issues” and I’m sure you can entertain yourself for a few hours. While some clearly don’t care, I can’t overlook their well documented and lengthy rap-sheet in favor of US team success. They are villains. Putting on some patriotic RLX and winning a couple golf matches doesn’t change anything. Here are a couple classic Reed family moments from this week.

During the opening ceremony every US player walked out of the tunnel wearing sunglasses. All of them except for? You guessed it, Patrick Reed. This act of defiance is a microcosm of Pat. Would it have been difficult for him to go along with it and wear some shades even if he didn’t want to? Of course not. Once again he chooses the path of resistance that only a world class loner would venture down.

Next up is Justine. She got her week off to a scorching hot start during the team dinner at Versailles with an wild evening gown. This should come as no surprise. The interior of their home looks like it was commissioned by the ghost of Liberace. Patrick your wife… WOOF.

Justine kept things going by launching into a Twitter tirade about the Reed / Spieth partnership ending and the team’s performance in general. This is NOT the sort of thing you’d want your WAG engaging in, but it wouldn’t shock me if Patrick fully supported this sort of craziness and insubordination.

She carries on further…

And further…

The one thing I will give Justine credit for is she is an absolute bulldog and will fight to the death to support her husband (even if it means burning down the neighborhood in the process.) Anyways, getting back to Patrick and his performance this week. He looked pretty bad and put together a piss poor record of 1-3. Throughout the week he tried to regain his Hazeltine swagger by inciting the crowd but when you’re losing it’s hard to shush spectators. The less either of them say the better.

 

Ban Bubba for Life

Onto another incredibly unlikable American player, Bubba Watson. I am advocating for a lifetime ban of Bubba from Ryder Cup teams and here’s why. Bubba has never performed well in these events and this year was no different. His play has been off since the spring and he could only contribute 1 point from his 3 matches, bringing his lifetime record to a horrific 4-10. Despite his performance, the ban I’m suggesting has far more to do with his behavior than his play. Bubba was seen laughing at the outcome of a loss during his day 1 match. Even if he’s a garbage Ryder Cup player he owes it to his teammates and the fans to feign the appearance that he cares about winning. This type of thing isn’t acceptable and we’re far better off without him. Give us any other player from UGA. I guarantee they’ll take it more seriously and play better.

 

I Like Ian Poulter

In closing out the triumvirate of unlikable players we get to Ian Poulter where I bring you an important announcement. I don’t hate Ian Poulter anymore. It’s hard to believe I’m even writing that as a (former) charter member of the Anti-Poulter Fan Club. Ian has exhibited his fair share of inglorious and offensive behavior in the past but I’m letting bygones be bygones. For some reason over the 2018 season I have grown fond of the spiky haired, Cool Scultping Brit. Maybe I’m getting soft and reserving my hate for the Reed family or maybe Ian is genuinely turning the corner with the general public. I’m not sure. I’ve been thinking about this for the last couple months and when he put a mailbox outfit over his head and starting walking around with it I knew my decision had been made. I like Ian Poulter.

A few weeks ago I saw Poults walking around the hotel lobby at the BMW Championship in what was essentially a pajama set. He was very pleasant and for some reason seeing him in his nighties, Allbirds and no hair gel humanized him for me. Few people appreciate the level of harassment he endures on the course from American fans week in and week out. Some of that vitriol he created for himself but at the end of the day I believe Poulter and Reed are very different people. I’ll make a point to appreciate whatever it is we have left in the career of that Ferrari loving Red Coat.

 

American Journalists: Hardoooos

Journalists of all genres and topics have made it abundantly clear that hack bloggers such as myself (and the internet in general) are ruining their once illustrious and noteworthy profession. There is a lot to be said about that, but I’ll save it for another time (likely never). Big J’s take great pride in their lack of bias and separation of personal rooting interest in their work. This is generally a good thing. HOWEVAH… the Ryder Cup for all intents and purposes is essentially just a showcase event. Outside of bragging rights and eternal glory, the event carries little tangible value or meaning (more on this below). With that being said, these tweets from Josh Berhow [golf.com] and Bob Harig [ESPN] got me very triggered.

Look at these two dweebs toting their holier than thou professionalism around Le Golf National’s media center. The European media is openly cheering for the European’s! GASP! If there is any event where it should be acceptable to publicly display deference to a particular team or competitor the Ryder Cup is that event. Thank God there are golf writers out there like Alan Shipnuck who are willing to have even the slightest bit of fun, set aside their rigid code of honor and display some pride in their country.

 

European Kits

Ryder Cup outfits, scripting, kits or whatever you want to call them are always a point of interest. A great deal of thought and time is put into their design by teams and their respective brands of choice. The European team rolled out some truly flagrant apparel this year which needs to be addressed.

Day 1: Red, White & Bl(eu)?

Did Tommy Fleetwood and Franceso Molinaro change citizenship so they could play for the United States? Is this a photoshop? No and no. Maybe the Euro’s were trolling the US with these day 1 get-ups. There were legitimate reports from the event that fans were occasionally cheering for the wrong team because of the color mixup. Weird choice.

Day 2: Russell Athletic / Texas Longhorns

Full disclosure. After staying up through the night during day 1, I couldn’t muster the strength to wake up at 2AMĀ  to watch part of the second day. I flipped on the TV around 4AM to check the scores (which were abysmal) and went back to sleep. However, in the 60 seconds I was awake I did notice the the atrocities the Euros were wearing. Besides looking like Beau Hossler in a UT uniform, the design of these things is simply gross. It looks like a “performance shirt” made by Russell Athletic I might find on the clearance rack at T.J. Maxx.

Day 3: Blueberries

Didn’t think much about these until Andy Johnson, a.k.a @the_woke_yolk (credit to me for coming up with that handle) pointed it out on The Shotgun Start pod with Brendan Porath. The all blue look is a little too blueberryish. Naturally, the immediate comparison jumps to Violet Beauregarde from Willy Wonka.

 

Shushing & Ear Cupping

The theatrics from the 2016 Ryder Cup at Hazeltine between Rory McIllroy and Patrick Reed were fantastic. Megan Schuster did a great job of reliving them in an article for The Ringer you can read here. Unfortunately, these various crowd taunting tactics have completely jumped the shark in 2018. Patrick Reed (who is as unoriginal and tone-deaf as they come) started cupping his ear during the opening ceremony. Justin Thomas let out a tepid shush gesture on day 1 during relatively little fanfare or excitement. Throughout the week this continued to play out and be overused numerous times in almost a comedic fashion. Reed couldn’t help but give one final shush to the crowd in jest, after he closed out Tyrell Hatton for his only point of the week. Interacting with the crowd and turning this event into a raucous spectacle is a positive, but for the love of God please come up with some new gestures.

 

A Tiger Snooze

Tiger’s game looked colder than his 42 year old body from start to finish in Paris. The same player that just won the Tour Championship and sniffed a FedEx Cup title played 4 matches and produced a grand total of ZERO points for team USA. During the closing press conference he admitted that his recent playoff run had exhausted him and he didn’t have much left in the tank. Barstool Riggs, who was in attendance, described Tiger as looking like “a legit corpse.” It’s no secret Tiger has historically been a very poor Ryder Cup player and the reasons for that are likely many. Ultimately, I couldn’t care less about his performance in this event. Rest up, stay healthy and come back hot in 2019. There are 4 majors to be won next year.

 

The Ryder Cup is Overrated *ducks*

This will be the least popular take of all but I’ve never pulled any punches and won’t start now. I think the Ryder Cup is overrated. That doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy the Ryder Cup, think it’s a great event or appreciate its historical significance. But the golfing world spends an inordinate amount of time calculating points, discussing who should be on the team, potential pairings, the strategy of the venue etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. until there’s nothing else to possibly say for the 4th and 5th time. The buildup sets it up for a letdown more times than not. No other event in golf carries this degree of discussion for the length of time the Ryder Cup does. Not the Masters, not The Open and not even the John Deere Classic. The truth is that the Ryder Cup generally doesn’t provide the drama that we have artificially built it up to deliver. The margin of victory in six of the last eight Ryder Cup events has been 5 points or more. Three of the eight had margins of 7 points or more. That is not compelling golf. Not to mention the fact that as an American who roots for our squad to win… we suck at the Ryder Cup. So like I said, I enjoy the Ryder Cup but it’s not the holy grail so many make it out to be. Give me Augusta or St. Andrews 100 times out of 100 over any Ryder Cup, at least those mean something. After all, the Ryder Cup is just an exhibition…

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