Strength to strength
It is now some 40 years since Jack Nicklaus suggested to Lord Derby that, in order to make the Ryder Cup more of a contest, players from the continent of Europe should be included in the team. Over this period we have indeed witnessed a transformation in the competition and, dare we say, a complete reversal in expectation of the result.
It would be too much to ask the USGA, albeit tongue in cheek, to consider including players from other countries to bolster their team – Jason Day, Adam Scott and the strong South African players would be welcome additions. On a serious note, though, it is an indication of how far players from GB&I have progressed over this period that I believe we could now pick 12 players from the home countries who would give the Americans quite a game.
You only have to start with McIlroy, Willett, Fitzpatrick, Sullivan, Lowry, Westwood and Rose and the team begins to take shape. But the contribution of the continental players has, of course, been instrumental in our recent successes, and long may they remain part of the team. Max Stansfield, via email