On the 15th Day, God Created a Task Force
By Torleif Sorenson on 10/14/14
We hate to call this a train wreck, because the train wreck occurred over the last weekend in September. A "research and recovery" team might be more apropos.

In the wake of the 16½ to 11½ thumping of Team USA by their European counterparts at the Ryder Cup in Scotland, the PGA of America announced on Monday that they have created an 11-member "Ryder Cup Task Force." The committee will re-think how the PGA selects a captain, how players will qualify for the team, and perhaps most importantly, when the captain's wildcard selections are decided.

That last element is a direct result of second-guessing on the part of captain Tom Watson, who bypassed Chris Kirk, winner of the PGA Tour playoff event just before the wildcard announcement. Instead of Kirk, Watson chose 2012 U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson, who had last won one year ago in Las Vegas — and proceeded to go 0-1-1 in Scotland.

The dramatis personæ chosen for this combination planning group / "crash investigation team" are:
  1. Derek Sprague, the next president of the PGA of America

  2. Pete Bevacqua, CEO of the PGA

  3. Paul Levy, secretary of the PGA

  4. Raymond Floyd

  5. Tom Lehman

  6. Davis Love III

  7. Rickie Fowler

  8. Jim Furyk

  9. Phil Mickelson

  10. Steve Stricker

  11. Tiger Woods

That's right, friends, only one player of the eight on the committee, Tom Lehman, has a winning record in Ryder Cup competition. The United States leads the entire series, 25-13-2, but since 1985 Team Europe has dominated the Ryder Cup, going 10-4-1.

Many observers of this continuing story are surprised that the most recent winning U.S. captain, Paul Azinger, was left off the committee. Azinger told reporters that it was "too soon" after the Ryder Cup, but that he also has a private meeting with the PGA of America leadership scheduled for November.

Another interesting angle has been dug up by Golf Digest's Luke Kerr-Dineen, in that the eight players (three former captains among them) have a combined 16 team wins and 32 team losses overall. He also noted their individual win-loss-draw records — a combined 68-97-29! That is an average of 8.5 wins against 12.125 losses and 3.625 draws in match play.

Two European stalwarts have already chimed in with his opinion on the task force. "I see the negative connotations to it taking away from our victory, but I see the positive side that they'll have to really have an in-depth look to what they are doing wrong, and try to bring together a recipe that connects," said Graeme McDowell at the Volvo World Match Play Championship in England.

Meanwhile, Lee Westwood tweeted this, with tongue planted firmly in-cheek:

How unprecedented is this task force? In light of recent events elsewhere, not terribly so. Over the summer, the National Hockey League's Toronto Maple Leafs hired 28-year-old statistics guru Kyle Dubas as an assistant general manager in July. This is because the Maple Leafs have missed the playoffs in eight out of the last nine seasons — and have not even appeared in a Stanley Cup Final since 1967, when the franchise won their 13th and most recent Cup.

Will this U.S. Ryder Cup Task Force work? Chime in below with your thoughts, oobers!

Have you seen an interesting golf story? Tell us about it!

Images via PGA of America, Wikipedia

[ comments ]
legitimatebeef says:
Where's Congress, the POTUS, the FBI, CIA, etc in all of this. Where is the brain-trust of America's greatest intellects. Clearly not everything is being done to remedy this, a serious situation. There are resources going untapped here and I want to know why.
Torleif Sorenson says:
DING! The first 1,000 points go to Beef!
bkuehn1952 says:
We need nothing less than the golf equivalent of the Manhattan Project. Gentlemen, we can rebuild our Ryder Cup team. We have the technology. We have the capability to make the world's best golf team. Ryder Cup 2016 will be that Team. Better than they were before. Better...stronger...faster.
Torleif Sorenson says:
Man, the points are just *flying* out the door this morning.

(Not that the points really matter. Right, Drew?)
jasonfish11 says:
Does you count as a "Destroyer of Worlds" if you destroy your own country, or that countries hopes of a Ryder cup victory?

If so any of those players could be your Oppenheimer, based on their win percentages.
jasonfish11 says:
Do you count*

My proof reading leaves more behind than fat man or little boy ever could.
falcon50driver says:
Sparker1969 says:
Europe's Ryder Cup record since 1985: 10-4-1

Tom Watson's Ryder Cup record as a player: 10-4-1

joe jones says:
The first thing I would do to straighten out this mess is to ban anyone that has taken a cheap shot about our failures in past Cups. That includes the doom and gloom press, T V commentators , Past members of other failing teams and any sitting member of the PGA Board. Throw the names of the tours top performing players up to 2 weeks before the event in a hat and draw 12 names out at random.Screw all of the so called experts. They don't know their ass from a hole in a wall. Hopefully we can have a young team that just want to kick the european teams butt. Our new team can't play worse than the last few.
joe jones says:
Have those 12 guy's appoint a spokesperson for the team and select who they would like to have as Captain and Assistant Captains.Get the hell out of their way and let them play.
Matt F says:
I'll take bets that they come up with some really strange idea that everyone is utterly speechless about and it fails...again.

This is usually the result from knee jerk committees.
Trip says:
Wow, they just added a ton of unneeded pressure on the next team. If they lose, we might need to bring in the Avengers.
douglugg says:
could always call in an air-strike next time they're so far behind
[ post comment ]
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