Now, another descent into the abyss. Or as some call it, the weekly Van Cynical Mailbag.
If the U.S. wants to win the Ryder Cup, why not make Donald Trump our Ryder Cup captain? — Michael O’Connor via Twitter
I assume you mean the 2018 Ryder Cup, Mannix, since Davis Love is already on the case for 2016. It would be quite a precedent for Trump, a sitting U.S. President, to also captain the Ryder Cup team while he was in office. I’m not sure he’d have time for the gig. That’s a record that would stand at least until 2024, when Phil Mickelson will be elected U.S. President. (After his stint as Secretary of State during Trump’s second term, he was a shoo-in.
Serena Williams losing to Vinci this week is a big upset. What was the biggest upset in golf? Fleck over Hogan? Yang over Tiger? — David Troyan via Twitter
Francis Ouimet over Vardon and Ray is a candidate. Yang over Tiger at Hazeltine, in some eyes, was the start of the Fall of the House of Tiger. Even Hogan didn’t see Fleck’s win coming. But due to the game-changing nature of the win and basically announcing the arrival of golf in America, I’ll go with Ouimet. Honorably mention: Shaun Micheel over Chad Campbell?
Van Sickly, Solheim Cup this week. Will Europe win again? — The Bogey Train via Twitter
Team play is impossible to predict, Trainwreck. All it takes is two players to get hot putters and it’s a game-changer. I look forward to team match-play events, they’re the most compelling spectator shows in golf. That said, seven of the world’s top 11 women golfers aren’t from the U.S. or Europe, and No. 1 Inbee Park and No. 2 Lydia Ko aren’t playing. That subtracts a little of the relevance, but it will still be fun to watch. The U.S. got crushed last time so I’ll go with the redemption angle and pick the Americans. No reason except they should be, ahem, highly motivated.
Van Cynical, Who is the best of the Big Three and why? — PaulRWilkinson via Twitter
Nothing against Palmer and Player, Wilko, but I’ll go with Jack Nicklaus and his 18 majors. Pretty easy call. If you meant the New Big Three, well, it’s way-yyy too early to call. Rory has the power advantage and Spieth has the touch on the greens but in the last month, Day looks to have combined both of those attributes. Was he just on a run or is that how good he is going to be from now on? It’s hard to argue against Spieth, who was in contention until the final hole in all four majors, winning two of them. Day looks like Rory but maybe a slightly better putter. That would be something. Let’s hope we get a New Big Three showdown or two in some majors next. Then maybe we can draw a conclusion.
Vans, I think the OWGR should include negative points for a missed cut. Thoughts? — Dave Conlon via Twitter
Not a bad idea, Con Man. The rankings do a decent job of letting players rise rapidly when they play well but they are far too slow to react to poor play. I wouldn’t mind players get tagged with demerits for missing cuts. We could call them Demarets.
Cynical Zenmasters, Jay Haas said everyone wanted Phil on the Prez Cup team. Is that because he’s playing poorly and they want to win back some Tuesday-game money? — Kevin Montminy via Twitter
Thanks for providing the question and your own punchline, Mini-Mont. That allows me to just tread water here in the lava pit and let the laughter wash over me. Seriously, Phil is a walking wall of positive vibes. That’s a good thing to have in the team room. Less seriously, Matt Kuchar needed a Ping-Pong opponent who could put up a fight before losing.
Hey Big Gary Deal, is the whining about the OWGR proof positive that no one reads anything, anywhere, any more? (‘cept u, of course.) — Chris Brooks via Twitter
You got that right, Chad. We’ve got to grow the game and, of course, Tiger’s fall from No. 1 hasn’t helped the public’s interest. I’m pretty sure I answered your question after reading it carefully. Good luck with that archery you mentioned!