Europe's knight in shining armor?
Ryder Cup: The knight in shining armor?
By Torleif Sorenson on 12/13/12
Earlier today, we told you about the appointment of Tom Watson as the captain of the 2014 United States Ryder Cup team. This is a huge development, mostly because of Watson's stature in the golf world, but also because 2001 PGA champion David Toms and three-time major champion (and U.S. Army combat veteran) Larry Nelson were shockingly bypassed.

So, who will be selected as captain for the European Ryder Cup team? Some writers like Karl MacGinty of Ireland's Independent are suggesting either Paul McGinley, Darren Clarke, or even Colin Montgomerie. But my hunch is that the captaincy could go to an actual knight, waiting to emerge from the smoke and shadows of mystery:

Sir Nicholas Alexander Faldo MBE.

It's not just because Nick Faldo won the Masters Tournament and the Open Championship three times each, or that he is arguably the most successful European tour player in the last fifty years. Consider these facts:
  • Faldo has 30 European Tour victories. He knows the territory and the typical weather - especially at Gleneagles in Scotland.

  • Faldo knows many of the dramatis personæ on both teams - including the U.S. side, and not just because he currently lives in Orlando.

  • Even though Faldo captained the losing Euro squad in 2008 at Valhalla, that loss will likely not mitigate choosing him. Faldo has had time to reflect on the mistakes he made as captain and, more importantly, already knows what he would do differently, given another opportunity.

  • With Sergio Garcia and Padraig Harrington coming into the 2008 matches exhausted, Faldo became rather unlucky. With the mental toughness and performances of Rory McIlroy, Ian Poulter, Nicolas Colsaerts, and Graeme McDowell in Chicago, Faldo would have an upper hand.
As investment bankers and financial advisors will always tell you, past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results. Frankly, this writer's gut reaction is that I would still be more nervous facing a Nick Faldo-captained squad than one captained by Paul McGinley or Colin Montgomerie.

Tomorrow, in a separate post, I will lay out the case for a certain, well-liked gentleman from Northern Ireland.

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[ comments ]
Dusty23 says:
Unfortunately I think the loss in 08 is not fondly remembered over there, as I recall from stories I read, there was alot of criticism of the way Faldo handled things. If the Euros want to counter the Watson selection they may want to bring Tony Jacklin or Sam Torrance out of retirement
Ianinho says:
No chance Faldo gets it, out of all the candidates I would say he is least popular with the European players. He has a very individual mindset(to put it nicely) that just doesn't translate well to team golf.
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