French accent on Ryder Cup team could help U.S.

April 26, 2008

American golf fans are looking forward to this year’s Ryder Cup the
same way a PETA supporter looks forward to a pig roast: that is, we
know it’s going to make us sick.

After the Dublin drubbing in 2006, the Michigan mauling in 2004, and
the Belfry bell-ringing in 2002, the Ryder Cup is not even a contest
anymore. We are the Cubs. We are the Washington Generals. We are
Charlie Brown.
This year, Valhalla looks like more of the same. Sure, U.S. captain
Paul Azinger will add a little edge to this year’s proceedings (he’s
already called Europe captain Nick Faldo a “p—k”—he later said he
meant it in a good way). But unless Sergio Garcia has a hair-styling
accident or the Europeans do something incredibly stupid like leave Colin Montgomerie off the team, it’s hard to imagine any other result than blue flags across the leaderboard.
But take heart, American golf fans, we may have a secret weapon this year: the French.
That’s right, according to a story in the Welsh newspaper The Western Mail, this year’s European team may include a Frenchman: France’s Raphael Jacquelin, in Shanghai this week to defend his
BMW Asian Open title, believes that the French boys are again making
waves following victories by Thomas Levet at last month’s Andalucia
Open and Gregory Bourdy in the Portuguese Open the following week.
“It is not a big surprise as the French group is improving a lot.
We are all working hard to compete at the top in Europe and maybe later
the top of the world,” said Jacquelin. “Maybe we will see a French
player in the Ryder Cup team at the end of the year.”
Hmmmmm. So the unbeatable Euros who make so much of their
camaraderie may add a player from a country known mainly for mime and
British Open collapses. Sounds like a surrender monkey wrench in the works.