Yeah yeah. We know it’s easy to do. The USA lost, and their best player – rather, their marquee player – is a guy named Tiger. You all know him. He used to have a temper and swing with chicks he wasn’t married to. Now, we say, he just can’t swing. Period.
But, really, when you look back on yet another Team Europe Ryder Cup win, don’t blame Tiger Woods. Don’t blame the guy who draws the toughest matchup, the highest level of scrutiny, or the brunt of everyone’s problems. Every time the United States loses this thing, people blast Tiger. Just like how every time someone loses a job now, they blame Obama.
The Vancouver Province even captioned their front page photo with this phrase: “Visitors gulps the champagne after Tiger chokes.” That either shows that the Province has descended into the aggressively inaccurate tabloid we all feared it would become, or that the majority of people agree with their rudimentary assessment.
The fact is, Tiger shot last. He was thrown into the lion’s den (pun intended) against Francesco Molinari, a fiery European who wanted to win. In reality, only a couple Americans looked like they wanted the Ryder Cup yesterday. Jason Dufner. Zack Johnson. Dustin Johnson. And, Tiger.
Woods led Molinari going into Hole 18. They finished tied, of course, but only after the Americans had already lost the Cup and blown a 10-6 lead heading into the final day. Tiger missed his final putt – a five footer that Molinari inexplicably wouldn’t let him just pick up – and the Europeans stole half a point from a guy who had already seen his country beaten for the second straight outing.
Yet again, the Europeans won as a team. Just like all those World Wars. (Oops.) And, somehow, it was Tiger who shouldered all that extra baggage. Somehow, Tiger is the face of this loss. Even though – like we just said – it had already been lost by the time he teed off on 18.
It was Jim Furyk who hacked and hashed his way around Medinah’s back nine. It was Phil Mickelson who played inspired but blew a tire down the stretch to Justin Rose.
Now, don’t blame The Province, either. It’s not like any of us expect more from them.
But, hopefully, this won’t all be placed on Tiger’s very physically sturdy shoulders.
In reality, you can’t even blame the States. Blame the Europeans. They won. They actually won the damn thing.
After all, Rory McIlroy won a head-on showdown with Keegan Bradley, the most potent American until Sunday. Ian Poulter was a rock all weekend. Lee Westwood, Martin Kaymer, and Sergio Garcia were quietly incredible.
The Europeans deserve all the credit. The Americans deserve a, “See you next time.”
Let’s stop with all this nonsense of blaming yourself for somebody else’s success. The Green Bay Packers do it enough. They believe they always beat themselves. They believe the referees steal things from them. In reality, the Packers are just another NFL team, just like the Americans are a bunch of golfers.
Sure, on Sunday, they got beat. In sound fashion, mind you. Just don’t pin this one on the orange and black donkey.
And, know this… if that Ryder Cup comes down to the final pairing – to Woods and Molinari – there is no way in Hell that Europe would be drinking that champagne.