For as long as I've been watching Ryder Cup competition, there has always been something that has bothered me about the scoring. It's time I get this off my chest and it's time to change the way individual scoring is computed in the competition. And while we're at it, let's go back and update all past Ryder Cups to make the scoring add up properly.
Let's take a look at the numbers in the recently concluded competition. For the sake of brevity, I will look only at Team USA scoring.
Team USA scored a total of 13 1/2 points. Here are the official total points for each member of the team:
Keegan Bradley 3
Jason Dufner 3
Jim Furyk 1
Dustin Johnson 3
Zach Johnson 3
Matt Kuchar 2
Phil Mickelson 3
Webb Simpson 2
Brandt Snedeker 1
Steve Stricker 0
Bubba Watson 2
Tiger Woods .05
Do the math. Calculators not allowed.
I'm sure that Sister Mary Godresthersoul from St. Mary's Academy in Hoosick Falls would be very proud that I could add up 3+3+1+3+3+2+3+2+1+0+2+.05 and come up with a total of 23.5 or exactly 10 more points than Team USA actually scored.
Does this make sense to you?
Obviously the problem lies with the crediting of a point to each winning player in the team events. Example: Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley each received a point credit on their individual statistics for their three victories in the team events (3+3=6) and yet Team USA received a total of three points for the same three victories.
If you knew nothing at all about golf or Ryder Cup scoring but knew basic math and looked at the team scoring and individual scoring do you think you might ask a few questions? Would that math make sense to you?
It's a little strange that Team USA individual scores totaled to 23.5 points and Team Europe individual scores only totaled to 20.5 points yet Team Europe won. Try explaining that to your mathematically challenged kid.
This scoring process is akin to giving a basketball player two points for every assist he makes and giving the actual scorer two points for the basket he makes and yet giving the team only two points total. The scorebook wouldn't jibe with the scoreboard.
The better way is to credit each player in a winning foursome or fourball event with a half point to their individual totals. Make the math add up.
I know the argument: This is the way it's always been done so leave it alone. We can't go back and revise history.
Nonsense. It could be done in one day by an intern who knows first grade math.
Golf is a sport that prides itself on honesty, integrity and getting the score right. And calling penalties on yourself if the situation warrants. If a golfer signs an incorrect scorecard because he totaled up his score incorrectly he is subject to disqualification.
The Ryder Cup scorekeeping methodology should more accurately reflect the actual point contribution made by each player. Two men combine to win one point for the team----okay class, how much is one divided by two?
If a foursome or fourball event is halved and each team receives a half point, then each player involved should be credited with a quarter point. Ready class, this one is a little trickier---how much is one-half divided by two?
The number of points earned by each player, when totaled, should also equal the total number of points the team has accumulated.
Otherwise the math just doesn't add up.