Thanks, But No Thanks, Bernhard...
By Torleif Sorenson on 7/31/14
Just two days ago, we wrote about how the Senior PGA Champions Tour has not had as much publicity as PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem would like. But two-time Masters champion Bernhard Langer, at age 57, has written a pretty impressive résumé on the golf course this year.

Thus far in 2014, Langer has won four senior Champions Tour events, including 54-hole tournaments in January and May. In April, Langer finished T-8 at the Masters, then won the Constellation Senior Players Championship, which is the PGA Tour's senior version of the Player's Championship. That event is not recognized as a major by the European Seniors Tour. What is recognized as a senior major is the Senior British Open — which Langer won by a whopping 13 strokes over his nearest competitor, Colin Montgomerie.

Langer's performance got Sports Illustrated's Michael Bamberger so whipped up into a frenzy that he wrote a detailed, three-page treatise touting Langer as a captain's pick for the European Ryder Cup team in September. The article was part of SI's "Golf+" digital edition that was rolled out to the world just yesterday.

And along comes Rory McIlroy to throw a wet towel on the party.

No sooner did Bamberger's article hit when golf writers approached Rors at Firestone Country Club for the WGC event this week. They asked the newly-crowned Champion Golfer For The Year what he thought about Langer as a captain's selection for the Ryder Cup team.

McIlroy was blunt, yet diplomatic:
"I think the team dynamic is pretty good at the minute with the mix that we've got, and to bring someone in that hasn't spent much time around us or those guys might not be the best, but he's obviously playing great golf.

"It's sort of hard to — because he's not playing against the regular guys week in and week out, but he's playing great golf obviously, and what he's done this year and this month as well has been fantastic. I'd say probably, if they were to be involved in the Ryder Cup, if they were vice captains or something, then I'd be all for that, but I don't think they should be on the team."
As Yahoo! Sports blogger Shane Bacon (like him or not, oobers) notes, many very successful high-profile European Tour players are well ahead of Langer in the European Points List.

To be exact, Langer is 2,881,844.96 points behind Rory McIlroy. Among those more likely to be chosen are Sergio García (who impressively finished T-2 at the Open Championship), Ian Poulter, Luke Donald, Joost Luiten, Graeme McDowell, Gonzalo Fernández-Castaño, Thomas Bjørn, the Molinari brothers from Italy, and The Most Interesting Golfer In The World — Miguel Ángel Jiménez.

We don't know what got into Michael Bamberger this week, but we suspect that he had a "Sheldon on coffee" episode.

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Image via Wikipedia, Keith Allison

[ comments ]
joe jones says:
Let the flat belly's play.
mustang6560 says:
Agreed. It's not like Europe needs help in the Ryder Cup anyway.
jeffcroupier says:
given it's Bamberger - next he'll promote a woman for the Ryder Cup team
[ post comment ]
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