It is in the nature of the American male to over-value both himself and his nation, at all times and in every situation. If you had to nail down the national character in a word, that word would most likely be overconfidence.
Our self-belief is so strong, and so resilient, that we don’t need facts or history to bolster our arguments. We are baldly delusional, and when we don’t succeed on merit, that delusion is the cornerstone of our everlasting certainty.
Years from now, when our empire reaches the stage of inevitable collapse, you will not find a shred of cynicism in the American populace. Instead, you will look around and see the shining eyes of true believers, insisting on our superiority even as the last walls tumble to the ground and the invaders charge over the rubble.
We will never stop believing in the idea of America, even when the reality of America has been leveled to the ground.
Which is why it’s so easy for me, an American, to say the following: The hour of our triumph is nearly upon us. Team USA is going to win the Ryder Cup in 2016.
Sure, a European-hater might say the odds are against us. They might say Team Europe has won eight of the last 10 contests, including three on American soil.
They might say the Europeans are better team-mates because of the socialist cultural underpinnings that go against the me-first capitalism that defines the American upper class.
They might say the European captains, aside from Nick Faldo, have universally been better prepared and smarter than their American counterparts. They might say the Americans have lost so badly, and so often, that losing at the Ryder Cup is now a part of their psyche, the same way that winning defines the Europeans.
They might even say that America has made an art of losing, running the gamut from embarrassing blowouts to embarrassing choke jobs. They might say that we’re doomed.
But I’ll ignore them and give you four key reasons why they’re wrong, and why you should back America in 2016 to finally win the Ryder Cup.
1. Davis Love III is actually a smart, well-organized, well-respected captain.
He may be a little boring, and his captain’s picks may have been a little conservative, but when it comes to managing a Ryder Cup team, organisation and respect are the name of the game.
The players love…Love and are going to trust him implicitly.He’s already shown courage by shying away from the No. 7 player in the world rankings, Bubba Watson and going with Ryan Moore for the final pick – leaving off a dynamic personality in the name of team chemistry and the hot hand.
More importantly, his system from 2012 was very successful. People forget that he out-managed Olazabal that year, and got very unlucky with a “fluke” Sunday comeback that saw the Europeans emerge from a 10-6 hole as they dominated the singles.
He can’t control that, but he can control his pods, and team chemistry, and smart pairings over the first two days. I’ll be shocked if the U.S. doesn’t finish Saturday with at least a 2-point lead.
2. The U.S. youth movement has fully infiltrated the Ryder Cup
In are guys like Jordan Spieth (below), Patrick Reed, Brooks Koepka, and Dustin Johnson, who have had solid to spectacular success in international team play thus far.
Gone are guys like Furyk and Stricker with their miserable records and poor pressure play. The changeover isn’t complete – Brandt Snedeker will inevitably choke away at least one match, and it would be nice if Rickie Fowler’s record matched that of his younger colleagues – but the situation is much rosier than it has been in years. The taste of losing is faint with this crew.
3. It’s very hard to win on foreign soil
Since 1983, when the Ryder Cup became truly competitive, home teams are 11-5 in the Ryder Cup (one of which was a “tie” in which Europe, the home team, retained the cup).
That’s a solid winning percentage, but it’s even more instructive to look at the margin of victory for the five teams that did manage to win on the road. They are: 2, 2, 1, 9, 1. Aside from the debacle at Oakland Hills in 2004, the only time a road team has been able to win has been in a squeaker. The U.S. comes in with a built-in advantage.
4. Europe has six rookies, and that’s too many
Davis Love wasn’t wise to say that the U.S. had the “best” team it’s ever had, but I do agree with Johnny Miller that at least on paper, Europe has its worst team in years.
The names Thomas Pieters, Chris Wood, Rafael Cabrero Bello, Matt Fitzpatrick, Andy Sullivan, and Danny Willett don’t exactly inspire fear. Willlett is the only Major winner among them, and his form has been rough since winning the Green Jacket last spring.
While Europe has a proud tradition of no-name rookies becoming Ryder Cup forces, it’s rare to see them rely on so many. With six playing in front of hostile crowds, it’s too much to expect.
How about some interest bets? The U.S. is going to win 15.5—12.5 at , McIlroy and Rose will tie for the most European points, Reed will lead the U.S. points scoring with four points , Wood will be the only rookie to get 2.5 points for Europe , and Stenson will be the top continental scorer.
And with that, enjoy the greatest sporting event on Earth!