Last week, I hopped on a plane for the first time in over two years… but hey, I’m hoping you read that already during Part I of my Ryder Cup adventure. This is Part II, featuring my final four top takeaways from the event at Whistling Straits in Kohler, WI.
Yes, prepare yourself for another edition of Sexy Seven at The Wife Hates Sports:
Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits: Seven Personal Takeaways – Part II of II
While there are hundreds of thoughts dancing around in my head, here are my seven top takeaways from an incredible week at Whistling Straits – and a dominating victory by the United States (4-7):
Caring is… Sharing
It couldn’t be more clear that the players (in Europe and the USA) really care about this event. It isn’t about the money at all (considering they don’t make much). For most, it’s their favorite event to play in and it really shows. They were loose and they were passionate. Players interacted with the fans and joked with each other. Those not on the course showed up to support their teammates.
All of this really shows and adds an additional element to the event. When you can tell how much the players care and how fiery they can get as a result, it makes it all that much more exciting. It’s about TEAM.
No one was more clear with this message than Rory McIlroy, who delivered an emotional message during a post-match interview on Sunday.
Still can’t get over the Sky Sports interview with Rory. The long silences and tears say more than the words. This is what a role model looks like.
— Harvey Jamison (@HarveyJamison) September 27, 2021
Bryson Love is Building
I certainly don’t have poll numbers when it comes to how fans feel about the Bryson vs. Brooks debate. Following the Ryder Cup, I think it’s quite clear that some of the drama has been overblown a bit by the media. Still, in the past, it appeared that more fans sided with Brooks than Bryson.
Following this year’s Ryder Cup, I think that gap has closed significantly. I’ve always been a fan of Bryson, feeling that he’s a bit misunderstood. Sure, he makes plenty of off-the-collar comments, but who doesn’t? You can’t tell me that you haven’t said something stupid that you don’t regret. At least DeChambeau will pounce on those mistakes and apologize rather quickly.
Bryson DeChambeau adds a unique twist to the game. He’s fiery and he’s unique. He hits for show, yet also putts for dough. That’s not a combination we often see.
Finally, Bryson’s energy and passion at the Ryder Cup had to gain a ton of new fans. Sure, he wasn’t always perfect, sending his fair share of wayward tee shots. He also had incredible stretches, flashing long drives and notching a few key eagles.
Most importantly, Bryson was fun and engaging. There’s one moment I remember the most and that was at the 9th tee during the practice round on Thursday. Fans were cheering hard for a monster drive and quieted down once Bryson stepped to the tee box. When that happened, he raised the roof and asked them to cheer louder. Then when he addressed the ball, they quieted again, only for him to ask for more cheers while he hit. That wasn’t the only time and the fans loved it.
If you watched the Ryder Cup over the weekend, then you’ll know just how well the USA played. This was a dominating performance and one that set records in the 28-point format.
Most notably, the USA team had six newbies. That’s half the team playing in their first Ryder Cup. A number of these guys are in their 20’s (and likely to return multiple times).
On the flip side, Europe had a number of aging veterans that appeared outmatched at times. If the Europeans don’t find a way to counter with some youth of its own, then we could be looking at a very dominant stretch for the Americans. Perhaps names like Robert Macintyre or Matthias Schwab can help inject some youth and join Viktor Hovland when it’s time for the tournament to land in Rome.
PGA TOUR Does Great Work, But…
Hey PGA TOUR: I appreciate how you worked to keep everyone safer this time. Masks were required in the shops and on the shuttles. Unlike the PGA Championship, there was consistency there. The restrooms were widely available and lines were short most of the time. Overall, there were plenty of good vantage points and the grounds were in great shape.
My only gripe is tied to the availability of messages and coverage, but maybe the TOUR can’t even do anything about that. I’m not sure if changes are available to allow for better cell phone coverage. It was way too saturated. Messages constantly failed and the apps spun like a Phil Mickelson flop shot. I couldn’t see a close friend from college and had a hard time meeting up with family simply because messages would not go through.
Despite all that, I think the Ryder Cup app was the best of all the tournaments I have attended. The interactive map was great and it was easy to navigate the grounds as a result.
So, if I have convinced you to check out the Ryder Cup, maybe we’ll run into each other when the next one takes place in Rome, Italy.
Okay, okay… I’m not definitely going, but I certainly have interest – and you should, too.
It promises to be a wild ride.
So, for now, ciao – and thank you for visiting The Wife Hates Sports!
Photo Credit: Kevin Paul (yours truly)
If you enjoy The Wife Hates Sports, you can support my work by buying from Fanatics through my site. It’s of no additional charge to you. I simply get a cut of any Fanatics sale purchased through links here. That goes for any Fanatics Experience ad within posts or via the banners on the home page.