# Putting4birdie's posts tagged Ryder Cup

• ### Ryder Cup Math; where 1 plus 1 equals 3

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.
• ### Ryder Cup followup; one for the ages

If you had been told, in the week leading up to the Ryder Cup, that American rookies Jason Dufner and Keegan Bradley would put up 3-1-0 records; that Zach Johnson and Phil Mickelson would also put up 3-1-0 records and that Dustin Johnson would go 3-0-0, how confident would you have been in a wager on a TEAM USA victory? If you had been told, in the week leading up to the Ryder Cup, that Euros Graeme McDowell, Peter Hanson, Lee Westwood , Luke Donald, Martin Kaymer and Francesco Molinari would combine for only six total match victories, would you have expected TEAM EUROPE to be popping champagne corks Sunday evening? If you had been told, in the week leading up to the Ryder Cup, that TEAM USA would be leading by a score or 10-6 heading into Sunday singles, my only question would have been what bar are you watching the NFL games at or do you just veg out on the couch? By now the internet is full of opinion pieces second guessing Captain Love for his at large selections of Steve Stricker and Jim Furyk, his decision to sit Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley Saturday afternoon and his Sunday singles designations. It's all moot; it doesn't matter. The precious chalice is headed back to Europe for two more years when, hopefully, at Gleneagles in Sotland, a rejiggered TEAM USA can claim it once again. I will leave to others to debate team selections, pairings, what players should have played where and when, who choked and who didn't, whether or not Jose should have conceded Tiger's par putt at 18, should Rory get a contract deal with a clock company and who should be the next team captains. Because, again, it's over. Doesn't mean I'll forget this one any time soon. Oh no. This one was for the ages, to be remembered and replayed (thank you Youtube!!!) and filed away with all the other great sporting events one keeps for immediate recall late at night over beers with friends. This one was must see TV, even if NBC had way too many commercials On golf's greatest stage, with players competing not for the usual multimillion dollar purses but for the sheer joy of the competition and for the thrill and honor of representing their countries, this Ryder Cup lived up to its advance billing. The shot making abilities on display under the intense pressure of a global audience hanging on every shot was brilliant. The inevitable heartbreak of the players on the wrong side of the scoreboard is always a thing of sadness to observe. And, of course, the jubilation and pride that goes with winning and watching grown men recall the simpler joys of their youth. It's another reason why we watch; because it brings us back to that time in our lives when days were carefree, smiles were plentiful and laughter came easier kindergarten. A few observations to chew on: How delicious was the irony that in 1999 a man named Justin would make a 50 foot putt on the 17th at Brookline to defeat Olazabal and then in 2012 a man named Justin would make a 35 foot putt on the 17th at Medinah to help Olazabal? Tiger Woods now has the record for most consecutive losses in Ryder Cup history-5. Phil Mickelson has the record for playing on the most losing Ryder Cup teams-7. Mickelson and Jim Furyk both came to the 17th tee up one and neither of them gets a point. Huh? Brandt Snedeker (one point) found out what real pressure was. Tour Championship stuff? Fedex Cup? That's like pee wee football. When Steve Stricker was pondering his shot from the 18th fairway yesterday it looked like he could have used a barf bag. Is there some way TEAM USA could get a clone of Ian Poulter? I want him on my side. The guy is insane in the Ryder Cup. Finally, here's an idea somebody tweeted online: when one team wins a match, instead of putting a point on the board, give them the option of taking a point OFF the other team's board. This option could be used only once during the event. Hmmmm
• ### Bubba Watson and Ian Poulter; this ain't your grandfather's golf

The first tee scene of the opening match of Saturday's Ryder Cup foursomes, some have argued, was nothing more than the further ruination of the sport. Oh, poppycock!!
To be sure, there are some aspects of watching or attending a golf match that are ever increasingly more tedious. Listening to those who yell "YOUDAMAN" or "GETINTHEHOLE" on every shot is not my ideal way of spending a Saturday afternoon. And those acts of bluster are getting quite stale. Maybe the tournament organizers should set up a special section on the golf course with its own beer tent for those types. Let others of a more respectable demeanor have the comfort of not having to deal with the obnoxiousness. Of course, that will not soon happen. Hey, we are living in the era of hope and change, right? So, I can hope.
But Saturday was different. Introduced to tee off first in the alternate shot format, Ian Poulter, never one to avoid the limelight, urged the fans to make some noise. And then prompted them again. And again, once more, until he got the volume where he wanted it. LOUD, then LOUDER!!
Was I watching the the Ryder Cup or a Metallica concert?
Of course, this was all a calculated move on the Englishman's part to steal some thunder from Bubba Watson who would be playing first shot for TEAM USA. On Friday, Bubba had done the very same thing in the afternoon session and there was no doubt he would get the pro USA crowd jacked up again. But it was only 7:20 in the morning. Could the crowd have possibly had enough beer by then?
Really,though, Poulter's play was nothing more than a little harmless gamesmanship. Was it the further decline of the game of golf? You be the judge. Take two plus minutes and watch. And then watch it again and imagine you were there.
Welcome back. What did you think? Pretty horrible stuff, huh? The nerve of that Poulter, on American soil no less, to be so rude. How dare he? And, after all, he was just a captain's pick. Maybe he could show a little humility?
Uh, no. No such thing as humility in Ian Poulter's world. And admit it, we wouldn't want him to be any different than he is. The GREATEST RYDER CUP PLAYER NEVER TO WIN A MAJOR is not about to back down and cower in fear. Rory McIlroy may be the best player in the game today but is there is any player on TEAM EUROPE more important than Poulter? He is the heart, the soul, the blood and the guts of that team. Love him or hate him, there can be no doubt that there is today, on the final day of Ryder Cup play, no player that Team Europe turns to more for inspiration and no player Team USA fears the most. Webb Simpson, I hope you are playing with earplugs today to block out Poulter's screams when he drops another key putt.
What happened on Saturday is just part of the evolution of the game.
It's no longer a game played by rich, old, white men in bad pants. It's global and it has a different face. And it makes noise when noise was never really part of the game our grandfathers played. And, maybe best of all, it has some emotion, some glitz and glare, some fun. The young guns coming up are changing the game and making it more fun for golf fans. Think Golf Boys.

Can you imagine Nicklaus, Snead, Player and Palmer doing such a thing if they were coming up today? Hell, no.
The game is changing and it's good.
Augusta National admits women members? Oh, the horror!!! Move the tees up so everybody plays faster? Great idea. Wish someone thought of it a long time ago.
Generate more fan enthusiasm and make them feel like participants the way other sports do? It's about time.
Fans spend a lot of money on tickets and refreshments and all they ask for is a little love in return. Maybe an autograph or a high five now and then. Toss a ball the crowd once in a while. Smile at us and let us know you appreciate our support of the game as much as we appreciate your talent. Make us feel good about our decision to spend our ever diminishing incomes on watching grown men play a game.
Golf fans go to golf tournaments for the thrill of seeing a competition and rooting for their favorite players. And what we remember is not the entire round of golf, not every shot from the the tee or from the fairway, not every putt that dropped. No, what we remember is a moment. The thrill of the moment when we see a 50 foot putt dropped when we are greenside. Or the thrill of seeing a hole out from the fairway for an unlikely eagle. Or the thrill of seeing a drive that was bombed by the man on the tee box that seemed to kiss the sun on its way to the fairway. These are the moments we share with friends or with our children. You might see several hundred shots played yet only remember about ten of them. Just a moment in time. Just a few thrills to help us forget the bad day at work or the lousy boss we have.
And what Poulter and Bubba gave the fans Saturday was just one of those moments. Think those fans, when they recall all the golf they ever watched, won't put that in their personal top tens? You think those fans won't want to go back to another Ryder Cup and maybe bring a friend or two?
Poulter and Bubba spread some love and shared some joy on the first tee box yesterday. And the fans loved it, television loved it and even fellow players loved it. And if that makes golf more popular then it's all good.
• ### Another Ryder Cup Bomb Putt?

Is there anything better in golf than making a long putt to win a match? And the beer cart girl asking for your number doesn't count. Sure, all of us love to talk about the huge drives we hit (that really aren't that huge) or the wedge we stuck two feet from the hole last week. But the shot you will recall more than any other is the putt you made from nowhere when the money was on the line. Most people might be lucky to three-putt from that distance and you drop it like it's a doggy doo bag. Hey, you win green on the greens, right? I wonder if Jose Maria Olazabal has any disturbing visions of a Team USA player dropping a bomb putt from somewhere near O'Hare airport in the singles matches come Sunday. Does he see a repeat of Justin Leonard's 17th hole 50 footer at Brookline in 1999? Who is the likeliest to make the most unlikely putt? Who makes the bomb putt on Sunday that vanquishes the hopes of the other team? We looked at 3-putt stats among Ryder Cup participants previously to see who might gag when the pressure hits. Now we turn to another category: GIR Putting >25 Feet. This statistical category is defined by by the PGA TOUR as "where putting distance was determined with a laser and the green was hit in regulation, the percentage of putts made from greater than or equal to 25 feet from the hole. In order to be ranked, a minimum of ten attempts must be made." Keep in mind that the European Tour does not keep similar statistics and several members of Team Europe do not regularly play the PGA Tour. Members of Team Europe who are not on the following list are: Nicolas Colsaerts, Martin Kaymer, Francesco Molinari, Peter Hanson and Paul Lawrie. So, who might drop that big bomb putt? Here are the numbers. I have included players from both teams in the same list. If you don't know by now which team each player is on well, then, I feel sorry for you but you can go here. Jason Dufner: ranks 5th at 9.13% Webb Simpson: ranks 7th at 8.86% Graeme McDowell: ranks 9th at 8.72% Brandt Snedeker: ranks 12th at 8.21% Sergio Garcia: ranks 17th at 7.82% Ian Poulter: ranks 28th at 7.46% Lee Westwood: ranks 30th at 7.33% Phil Mickelson: ranks 32nd at 7.26% Tiger Woods: ranks 36th at 6.97% Zach Johnson: ranks 37th at 6.95% Bubba Watson: ranks 40th at 6.85% Keegan Bradley: ranks 45th at 6.67% Justin Rose: ranks 50th at 6.44% Dustin Johnson: ranks 64th at 6.00% Matt Kuchar: ranks 69th at 5.83% Steve Stricker: ranks 98th at 5.17% Luke Donald: ranks 137th at 4.33% Jim Furyk: ranks 179th at 2.69% Rory McIlroy: ranks 183rd at 1.96% A few observations: First, without looking at this list, I would never have guessed that Lee Westwood would rank that high or that he would be the fourth best ranking member from his team. Second: I would have thought with all the talk about Steve Stricker's putting ability that he would have ranked higher than 98th on the PGA Tour and that he would not have been ranked 11th of the 12 Team USA members. Third: 183rd? really Rory? And finally, I wish the PGA Tour would keep a putting statistic which showed the percentage of putts made AFTER the player backs away. More of these guys need to play and putt like Brandt \$nedeker. Just hit the f*&%\$n' thing. The game would be more fun to watch. Check back tomorrow. Thanks for reading.
• ### The Dreaded 3-Putt and the Ryder Cup Players

We've all been there. Fairly easy putt less than 20 feet from the hole. Very little break. Maybe a tad uphill so we can be firm with the stroke. No problem, right? Just get it up there for our tap-in par and move on. But, inevitably, we end up three jacking on a few holes. It happens a lot more than we care to admit. What we will admit is that three putting sucks. Think your three foot knee knocker to win your nassau on the 18th last week was tough? Remember, only three other people in the entire world gave a crap about it. But let's talk meaningful 3-putts. I took a look at the statistical category 3 Putt Avoidance to get a feel for how the participants in the upcoming Ryder Cup fare in that category for the year 2012. I think you may be as surprised as I was when you see the numbers. Not at all what I was expecting. First, a caveat. I was unable to get numbers in this category for several members of Team Europe because the statistics kept on the European Tour are not exactly the same as those kept on the PGA Tour and these players play the bulk of their events across the pond. If I do come across those numbers I will update this post. The Team Europe players I could not find data on are: Nicolas Colsaerts, Martin Kaymer, Francesco Molinari, Peter Hanson and Paul Lawrie. Obviously, with the format of the Ryder Cup and the aspect of team play in Fourballs and Foursomes, the 3 Putt stat on these individuals may not be as relevant for the first two days of competition. But then comes Sunday, September 30th and the twelve individual matches. Remember, there are some rookies in this event who have never experienced the type of pressure that makes the Ryder Cup such a great event. Think there may be some rattled nerves and a three putt coming down the stretch? Think one of these rookies might see a putt of 40 or 50 feet that will suddenly seem longer than Paradise by the Dashboard Light? And when he does maybe his legs turn to jelly and he's lucky if he gets it halfway to the hole? Welcome to the Ryder Cup, boys. Now, onward with the numbers. The PGA Tour describes the category 3 Putt Avoidance as "the percent of time 3 or more putts were taken for a hole (total 3-putts, 4-putts, etc./ total holes played)." First, we'll look at Team USA and list them from best to worst in the category Furyk: ranks 4th at 1.75% Kuchar: ranks 12th at 1.99% Stricker: ranks 18th at 2.19% Snedeker: ranks 33rd at 2.40% Z. Johnson: ranks 38th at 2.52% Simpson: ranks 42nd at 2.55% D. Johnson: ranks 51st at 2.65% Watson: ranks 73rd at 2.87% Mickelson: ranks 78th at 2.89% Woods: ranks 82nd at 2.91% Dufner: ranks 105th at 3.13% Bradley: ranks 162nd at 3.90% ___________________________________________________________ Team Europe Garcia: ranks 8th at 1.82% Donald: ranks 13th at 2.01% McDowell: ranks 20th at 2.26% Poulter: ranks 31st at 2.38% Rose: ranks 114th at 3.21% McIlroy: ranks tied 128th at 3.33% Westwood: ranks tied 128th at 3.33% _________________________________________________________ Two members from Team USA and three from Team Europe ranked below the top 100 in 3 Putt Avoidance? I knew Westwood had his difficulties on the green form time to time but I never would have guessed that Rory 3-putts that frequently. Thanks for reading. Would love to read your comments. *From statistics compiled through the BMW Championship ending September 9th.
• ### An open letter to Hunter Mahan

Dear Hunter,
I was quite disappointed to read earlier that you will probably not be watching the Ryder Cup this year. I certainly understand your frustration on not being named to the team as I know it is a goal many professional golfers have. I also understand your desire to redeem yourself after the 2010 Ryder Cup experience you endured.
However, as an avid golf fan, and a fan of yours, I must question your comment about not watching the Ryder Cup. Perhaps it was said in a moment of exasperation and you'll reconsider after some time passes. I hope you do.
I don't think anyone has a problem with a professional golfer wanting to get away from the game for a while and just relax and unwind. With all the pressure, the travel and the social and professional commitments you deal with on a weekly basis, time off and time away will help clear your head and heart. You have several months left in 2012 to find and take that time off.
My concern is that your comment about not watching the Ryder Cup may come off as sour grapes to your fans. And that would not be good for Hunter Mahan or for the American Team. So, with all due respect, I offer a few alternatives for you to consider.
1. Go to Medinah and be there for Team USA. Do what Sergio Garcia did in 2010 at Celtic Manor and run around the course and whip up our USA fans into a frenzy. Maybe you can't score any points for Team USA but your presence there, I am sure, would inspire your fellow American golfers to do great things. And Captain Love and the vice-captains will love you for it. What an awesome example that would set for the youth of this country and the entire golf following world. And, if you show up at Medinah, it will get you jazzed about making the team in 2014. Make this an opportunity not a defeat.
2. Grab Rickie Fowler and Ben Crane and put on those Golf Boys outfits and throw a Ryder Cup Party with some corporate hotshots. Have them pay big money to hang out and party with three-fourths of the Golf Boys (you know they will) and then donate the money to some charity. Oh, and post pictures of the party on Twitter and Facebook.
3. Procure some tickets to the Ryder Cup and take a few disadvantaged young people or some military veterans to the event. Spend some time with them and you'll see that not making the Ryder Cup is nothing next to the lives they live.
4. Maybe you could combine elements of the above three suggestions and have your own party right at Medinah with the corporate hotshots and the disadvantaged children and the military veterans ALL while donning your Golf Boys costume!!! Your fan base will explode, Team USA will love it, television will love it and you will be a hero.
Hunter, we all go through difficult times in our lives; it's part of the human experience. We can feel bad, as you do right now, and that's OK. But do not let this situation bring you down for very much longer. Make this a turning point to strengthen your resolve. Now get out there and cheer on Team USA and I look forward to seeing you at Gleneagles in 2014.

Sincerely,
Michael Verrastro

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Putting4birdie

Numbers that tell the stories in the world of golf and a whole lot more.

### About Me

My name is Michael Verrastro and I welcome you to my blog.I love golf and I love blogging about it. New to this blogging thing thing so would appreciate your feedback. Leave a comment or email me. My dream foursome? Natalie Gulbis, Holly Sonders and Jan Stephenson. My 23-over par would be well worth it!!!!

### OWGR Top 10 as of April 15, 2013

1. Tiger Woods 2. Rory McIlroy 3. Adam Scott 4.Justin Rose 5. Brandt Snedeker 6. Luke Donald 7. Louis Oosthuizen 8.Steve Stricker 9. Matt Kuchar 10. Phil Mickelson

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