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Monday, September 6, 2010

The Ryder Cup Team 2010

I don't think I've commented on Tiger Woods since the scandal broke last November.  It's not really up to me to make judgments or decisions for him and Elin.  I'm sorry that their life together crashed and burned in such a public and awful manner and I'm really sad that Tiger brought two kids into the world while mired in such a difficult moral failure.  But I hope he gets it together enough to be a good father to those kids.  As for his golf, I'm not a fan.  I never was a huge Tiger fan even though I greatly respected his incredible skill.  But we were at the Masters this year when he made his first public appearance after the scandal and I was not impressed by his manner.  He looked great.  He played great.  The fans were great.  However, his post tournament interview was not great.  He came in 4th place after not playing at all and all he could do was grouse about not winning.  He didn't thank the public for welcoming him in such a warm and gracious manner.  He didn't congratulate Phil Mickelson on a great win in the face of Phil and his wife's incredible struggle against breast cancer.  All in all, he just wasn't very pleasant.  And I think that's the core of who Tiger is.  Fine.  He's alive to play golf.  I get that.  But to me, it's not a great existence.  You just don't get the impression that he's a very nice guy to be around.  I think he's incredibly selfish at his core and well, in the end, being great at something isn't usually enough.  So I cheer against him now and hope that he never touches Jack Nicklaus' record for most majors won.  This opinion has nothing to do with his moral failure.  It's related to the fact that I just don't care for the guy.
So, now that Tiger's blown his chance to make the Ryder Cup team through his own merits a lot of conversation is being held about whether or not captain Corey Pavin should pick Tiger as a wild card.  I say no and here's why.  Tiger is a wild card.  The Ryder Cup is a team event that Tiger has never been good at.  He's not a team guy.  Isn't that obvious?  His record in the Ryder Cup is 7-11-2.  And no one seems to enjoy his company or want to hang out with him.  Being together, playing with random partners and making it work is part of the magic of the Ryder Cup.  So in my opinion, I think Tiger only hurts the US team.  Now, my opinion begs the question, who else should make the team then if not Tiger.  I'm not going to answer that because I haven't paid close enough attention to analyze that.  But based on Tiger's not so great record in past Ryder Cups, coupled with the fact that he's not playing all that well right now, combined with the fact that no one seems to want to be around the guy, I hope Pavin does not pick him.  I think he will though because it would be too bold of a move not to and if he loses without Tiger, that'd be the great speculation for weeks to come.  But for me, the real mystery is this: Can they win with Tiger?  What do you think?  I'd love to know what golfers are thinking on the eve before the team gets finalized.