Hav­ing been to Le Golf Na­tional for the Satur­day and Sun­day of the Ry­der Cup, if ever there was a demon­stra­tion of the dif­fer­ences be­tween a group and a team, this was it! Just pitch­ing 12 guys to­gether does not make a team – theirs was a bunch of in­di­vid­u­als, with the pos­si­ble ex­cep­tion of Justin Thomas and Jor­dan Spi­eth.

The Eu­ro­pean team was a ‘band of brothers’, united in a com­mon cause. Hind­sight, a won­der­ful gift, showed us that Tiger was ab­so­lutely washed out and his toxic ef­fect on his team was se­verely un­der­es­ti­mated by their cap­tain. Tiger car­ried a face like a smacked back­side all week­end!

The dam­age was clearly self­in­flicted. There was no rea­son for the Amer­i­cans not to play the French Open in the lead up to this Ry­der Cup – their ar­ro­gance in only hav­ing a few there cost them a huge ad­van­tage in course knowl­edge and the con­se­quent lack of fa­mil­iar­ity.

It was well doc­u­mented that driv­ing ac­cu­racy would be key, so why, as highly in­tel­li­gent play­ers, did they not ‘throt­tle back’ and get bet­ter sec­ond shot po­si­tions? As for Mick­el­son’s rant about the rough, it didn’t hin­der our play­ers as much and there cer­tainly wasn’t any rough on the 16th that made him put his ball in the wa­ter!

This bril­liantly or­gan­ised event – stands, hos­pi­tal­ity, view­ing po­si­tions, trans­port in and out and the elec­tric at­mos­phere – made it an un­be­liev­able ex­pe­ri­ence never to be for­got­ten, par­tic­u­larly with the end re­sult.

Chris Whe­lan, Cosby

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