U.S. Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III held a big press conference Wednesday, announcing Tiger Woods, Jim Furyk and Steve Stricker as vice captains for the 2016 matches.
That’s significant news, but given the hype preceeding the announcement, we were expecting more. Something more imaginative, more radical. After all, the Yanks haven’t won a Ryder Cup since Dubya was in office. Team USA needs a serious shake-up. Here are nine game-changing edicts Captain Love should have announced:
1) Phil Mickelson is the new U.S. captain, effective immediately
Phil showed at the 2014 Ryder Cup that he’s not scared to take on authority figures. But what if he was the authority figure? Every player gushes over Phil’s ability to command a team room and fire up the squad. (We can only guess his main motivational tactic will be placing huge sums of money on Europe to win, but hey, whatever works.) He also proved at the Presidents Cup in October that he can more or less summon his best stuff on command. Phil will be a captain in due time, most likely at Bethpage in 2024. But why wait until then?
2) Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed will be teammates in perpetuity
These guys were fearless in their rookie appearance at Gleneagles and played the good cop/bad cop roles perfectly, before Watson inexplicably benched them in the Saturday afternoon matches. Phil would never do that! (See above.) These guys should never be seperated and can create Team USA’s Ballesteros/Olazabal tandem.
3) Jim Furyk is banned from all future Ryder Cups…
Furyk was a beneficiary of Wednesday’s announcement. Not so much in our hypothetical scenario. Nothing against Furyk personally (we love Jimbo!), but he is 10-20-4 in Ryder Cup play. He has experience, but that experience is only in losing. Replacement: Fred Couples! Sure he’s also got a losing record — what American doesn’t these days? — but we shouldn’t have to convince you why Freddie would be better to have around than Jim.
4) …and so is Ian Poulter
In a similar vein, Poulter has played in his final Ryder Cup. Good run, mate! He’s 12-4-2 all-time and can play medicore all year until he suits up in the blue and gold and turns into a putt-holing Hulk.
5) Tom Watson will replace Darren Clarke as Europe’s captain
In a surprising turn of events, the two-time Team USA captain is tabbed to lead the Europeans next year. Watson was a wet blanket at Gleneagles in 2014. Presumably his hard-nosed, Tom’s-way-or-the-highway attitude will have a similarly stifling effect on the Euros.
6) The matches will be decided not on the course but on the court.
Golf, schmolf. If the Ryder Cup was decided by a hoops game, the good ol’ U S of A would be a shoo-in. Imagine a starting five of Bubba Watson as the elbow-throwing lefty at center, Dustin Johnson as the high-flying power forward, with Brooks Koepka, Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler rounding out the squad. The new Dream Team.
7) Opening ceremony replaced by Keegan Bradley-Miguel Angel Jimenez steel-cage match
8) WAG dress code
The glamorous outfits. The partying at endless pre-match banquets. The hootin’ and hollerin’ on the course. It needs to be said: Wives and girlfriends have become a distraction to Team USA. They still will be allowed to attend the matches but they will not be permitted inside the ropes and they must all wear monotone Team USA-issued sweatsuits.
9) No texting the captain 24 hours before he decides his captain’s picks
We’re looking at you, Webb. It’s just better this way.