US Ryder Cup Qualification Process

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US Ryder Cup Qualification Process Yanks unveil their latest scheme to try to field a competitive team in the Ryder Cup. It seems unnecessarily convoluted, and still leaves the possibility of players who are well on form in 2005 but not in 2006 making the team. I suppose they are too arrogant to do what the Europeans do: calculate the points (by whatever method they choose) from a LOT closer to the date of the event. If Woods keeps getting shut out of majors, maybe he won't even make the team...I wonder if he would be a pick if that happened? For all his mannerly response, Lehman can hardly be feeling well-disposed toward him right now!

We had trouble fitting,Marsh,Hoddle and Le Tiss in our soccer teams,tremendous and prodigeous talents but unappliable.Great for the Yanks as I wholly approve of that selection process,another win for us in Ireland den me boiys,oh what de craic.

Maybe if the Americans developed their teamwork skills instead of trying to apply different numbers. Ahh who cares anyway..... The Ryder Cup just shows how good European Golf really is!

Agreed, both. Now they'll obsess about the "system" for the next two years, just providing another roadblock to team-building. I can't help but think US golfers must be brain-dead: year after year the European players and the press from both sides of the pond reiterate the strength of the teamwork on the Euro side. And year after year, the Americans refuse to practise together, refuse to obey their captains (who are always terrified of the team, or at least Woods, Love and now apparently wussy-pussy Mickelson), and in a new wrinkle last time turn up to compete never having played foursomes and without a notion that it might have been worth ONE day off somewhere to give it a try. They speak so little that Sutton foolishly paired Woods and Mick without apparently consulting either, and Woods is so hostile to Mickelson that he refused to play the World Cup in Mexico when Mick would have had to be his partner; he couldn't bury his feelings at the RC and I daresay his chilliness was part of what unnerved Mickelson into dire mistakes (not that Tiggles was all that impressive himself -- again).They're all great players. They have been told, and told, and told that the Europeans start with a built-in edge: their team feeling. It's not some kind of magic. While Europe is obviously, and demonstrably, a friendlier Tour, it is not a Pollyanna existence. Miguel Angel Jimenez was FURIOUS at Sergio Garcia when he declined to turn up to defend the Dunhill Cup in 2000. But they both got past that, to the point that they played well together at RC and were strong contenders for the World Cup together this year -- they both clearly believe in playing for their country (or for Europe) and it is probably golfing together that repaired their relationship. But that's the key difference; Americans are always xenophobically braggarts about the greatness of America, but American golfers are first and foremost businessmen, and can't get seriously behind the concept of playing for their allegedly beloved America because there is no money in it. (Their tennis players are similar; they rarely get a top player for Davis Cup). And their general arrogance about all things American is, instead of an advantage that, coupled with their general physical ability, ought to hand it to them almost every time, a detriment, because none of them can get past their gigantic egos. They are always wittering that "golf is not a team sport." Well, mates, keep on thinking that, but in point of fact, when you are playing another's ball, or trying to set up another shot to the best advantage of your partner, or trying to work a hole so that there is at least one gimme on the green, it IS. And anyway teamwork is not just strokes, it's frame of mind. It's supportiveness, not Woods v. Mickelson v. Europe.The US reaction to the last RC result was "I wanna be the undergog. Pwease, pwease, pwease call me the underdog next time! No fair you guys get to be the underdogs every time." It was pathetic, and they are still working it. Between that, mixed feelings about Lehman, the potentially struggling and increasingly frustrated Woods (though that could change in a heartbeat) and the new system, they should be as fractured as ever come the K-Club. Bring it on, sez me. Let's go for a shutout!

Yep, pretty accurate assessment as usual, thought I would just add a little more flavour. I lurk on a site called which is mainly US populated. You should read the RC posts on there, comical doesn't really cover it. Then there was the reaction to the Paul Casey interview. In one thread it quickly degenerated to America polices/saves the world so be grateful. One of the moderators even came out with an arguement along the lines of:-how dare he when the US only got into WW2, and laid down lives, to save European butts. Some people tried to post a more factual historical picture and it was as if they hadn't said a word.Another interesting point was made by a Canadian expat living in the US. He indicated that whole swathes of mid-West US schools do not recognise Darwinism or the theory of evolution. Now I don't mean they just dibelieve it, rather it is actually eradicated from the sylabus altogether. We worry about fanatics/zealots and yet I find the above just as scary!

We are a cosmopolitan nation{Europe}with all the different attitudes even on this site,we get by because we want to.We are gregarious by nature and have grown together because we are so close in history and developement.Importantly,we have the great ability to take the micky and laugh at each other and the realisation at the end of the day,no matter how important it was at the time,nothing really's that important.Ego's are to be shot at and not people.Americans are one of the most dnagerous breeds on the planet,why do they kill each other so readily and trust their futures to plea bargaining.They'll never come together as a team,Clinton said"Embrace your differences and search for the common goal".Has that coyote caught Elmer Fud yet?.

Al - I lurk on Golf Opinions sometimes and saw that. I also post on Ham n Egg and was in the middle of the Paul Casey argument there which went pretty much the same way.As for the eradication of Darwinism, you have to understand that some of the southern bible belt states are full of christian fundamnetalists, basically. Their star is somewhat in the ascendancy at the moment.We are apt to generalise about Americans and, normally, not very favourably. I tend to find that Americans, as a nation, are very difficult - arrogant and narrow minded. As individuals, however, they tend to be some of the most pleasant and generous people I've ever met.I have to say that if faced with a stark, no-3rd-option choice between America and Europe, I'd take the Yanks.

Fair point Longshot, I think I was just taken by surprise a bit. You read someones golf posts and think they come across ok. Then touch a nerve and it is like a rabid dog and sod the actual facts.But yeah I'd take the US over Europe, probably because I'm rubbish at languages!

I could go on for days on these themes, chiefly the dangerous effects of their religious fundamentalism (it has precious little resemblance to any Christianity I ever encountered in real life and everything to do with a hard right agenda).I know lots of wonderful Americans, but I find their collective arrogance, combined with their exhaustive ignorance and insularity, maddening, frustrating, and totally dangerous.And there is more chance of Hootie letting a woman into Augusta National than of what the right calls a "liberal" (i.e. anyone who dares criticise ANY aspect of the government of that fool in the White House who has said he does not believe in evolution) getting into MANY golf clubs in the US. Golf is not a sport there; it's a business, at every level. The PGA Tour is conservative almost to a man; there are allegedly two Democrats on the Tour. (I'm only sure of one). Not many things that concern me more than political monoliths and grouphthink.Casey, on reflection, may well have a very hard time when he hits the mainland (he shouldn't be too badly off in Hawaii, but it may deflect him from what's coming). He committed the first cardinal sin: he did not kow-tow to all things American.No, thanks, I'll take Europeans -- and Canadians are substantially realigning themselves with the European part of their heritage lately, now clearly aware that they are much more in synch with Europe than with the hard rightism of Bush's America. Canadians also know that WW II did not run from 1942 till 1944 (when the Americans "won" it singlehanded by their unilateral D-Day landings; because they do not actually know that it ran until 1945 in Europe they never stop to think why it took the vaunted Americans yet another year to wrap it up; if they did of course they would blame the French).

I think referring to Middle Americans as religious fundamentalists or zealots is narrow minded. Try visiting and watching some of the recent beheading videos (the ones of Nick Berg and Ken Bigley are exceptionally chilling) before classing Bible belt christians (who for the most part have excellent moral values) with these animals. Europe has this image of everyone in the US apart from NY & LA as an insular bufoon, this in itself is a stupid and dangerous point of view.Bush won the election not on the "war on terror" but because of his conservative home policy manifesto. The conservatives in this country could do a lot worse. The religion and values of middle america are not that far removed from what we had a couple of generations ago. Some would argue we could do with a few of these moral standards and values back.

I agree more with the others on this thread, but Harry (the devil's advocate incarnate ;-) ) has a valid point in there - we all need to be careful about generalisations, it is all too easy to tar the Americans with the same brush.

For once, I'm not trying to be flippant. The intelligensia in this country now see America bashing as a full time sport, even having the audacity to try to tell American citizens how to vote (thanks Guardian readers for giving me the best laugh of the year).The US has been a good, loyal friend to us for over 200 years. 51st state or member of the United States of Europe? I know which one I'd pick.

It's a tough choice....if I was given the option of siding with mad George, the barmy Brussels bampots, or hacking off my own genitals with a blunt knife....well, pass the knife, please.

Good point Al, you can do mine while your at it.

Of course generalisations are foolish. But so is the notion that the "moral values" crowd are highly-principled. Certainly in many cases they are, but the EXTREME "religious right" (who in my view are virtually always the religious wrong) are a long way from the decent, pray-together-stay-together little family you seem to be espousingidealising. For one thing, these pseudo-"christians" consider that everyone who is not one of them is doomed to hell, and they constantly say so, which is one reason why there is a strong resistance to religion in public schools in America. They referred to the opponent of that moron they elected as if he were not a Christioan. He is a practising Roman Catholic. And I've got news for those bible thumpers -- Catholics are the FIRST Christians. EVERYONE else is just a spin-off. And whatever Kerry's political position on contentious issues, his CHURCH holds exactly the same views as do most mainstream Christian churches, on abortion, gay marriage, etc.There is something seriously wrong with a professed religion (born-again or fundamentalist "christianity" as practised in the US) when it is so politically aligned to one party. It is not normal. Every other religion appears to have a cross-section of political views among its members. But these extremist "christians" have VERY hard right views on taxation -- the number one political issue in America, don't kid yourselves -- and guns -- also very high on the top ten list of the "religious right." Their views on gays are vicious; these people not only conducted and condoned the crucifxion of a gay teenager in the northwest somewhere (Matthew Shepherd; think it was Idaho) but also put up a big billboard in the park where he was murdered (a place his parents occasionally visited) quoting some bible chapter and verse opposing homosexuality. I don't find anything remotely Christian in any of that.Their high moral values rarely seem to include anything like environmental issues -- which might affect their and others' children -- or aid to the less fortunate, who are generally characterised by the right as "the entitlement society." They are certainly not troubled by the Iraq war -- the fundamentalist churches are actively recruiting. They are, on the whole, bible literalists with a reductivist view and exclusionary in the extreme. You should hear their radio programming. They have long since forsaken information for raving. And what they are promoting is nothing less than hatred of anyone with a more liberal veiwpoint. They are terrifying.

"you seem to be espousingidealising"I'd never have guessed that's what I was doing!

VenetianI've always admired the quality and depth of your posts and dont want to get into a full blown arguement (not least because you seem a bit brighter than me) but I'll pick up a few of your points 'cos I think you're generalising again."For one thing, these pseudo-"christians" consider that everyone who is not one of them is doomed to hell, and they constantly say so," - As does every religion I can think of including RC."Catholics are the FIRST Christians. EVERYONE else is just a spin-off. " - Strictly speaking yes, but the Jews may argue with this remark. You keep referring to this "extreme religious right" well who are they? I've no doubt Christian extremists exist, there are headbangers everywhere, but to suggest these people are running the most powerful country on earth?The murder of Matthew Sheperd in 1998 when good President Clinton was in the house, was not conducted by religious fanatics but by 2 young drunken hicks high on methamphetamine. It was actually a sadistic robbery that resulted in this guys death, there is little or no evidence to suggest this was even a 'hate' crime. Apart from a couple of anonymous quotes from "Wyoming residents" saying he deserved it, I can find only one example of a Kansas Baptist Minister trying to get the boys funeral disrupted. I would be glad to see the same fate befall this minister. The Gay rights movement are the people who forwarded their agenda and got most milage out of this tragedy, I wonder if it were they who reported all this christian extremism, after all they seem to be sworn enemies.As I said before the US has been a good friend to Britain and Europe and I think they are getting a bit of a raw deal at present.Are you named after Marco Polo or the Las Vegas hotel?

Al, I think your post is highly intelligent, and thanks for the reminder that the Matthew Shepherd case was in Wyoming, not Idaho. Also the details -- you may be right that the thugs were just that (as bullies and murderers usually are) -- but he was chosen because he was gay , which makes it a hate crime, and the anti-gay extremists, professing themselves Christian, were all over it with a sort of "he brought it on himself, how can you blame straight white men" attitude that was nauseating. And that billboard was constructed and defended by alleged Christian ministers.And while I think the majority of mainstram Christian denominations have brought something extremely valuable to all inter-faith discussions, the Catholic Church IS the one that tracks right back to the chap it's named for. The Jews were the first CONVERTS! Even in the time of Henry VIII, the Church of England was the Catholic Church in England; it has moved in directions of its own since, although they still share much with the Church of Rome. It's probably a toss-up, but over all I suspect the Anglicans have the better musical heritage...I daresay, because I am not aware of anything remotely equivalent in England, that you are not subjected consistently to the agenda of the "religious right" in America. Here in Canada, where we receive a lot of US media, we are probably over-exposed to it, and it's quite alarming. The arrogance and the political agenda is devastating. Jerry Falwell, one of its stalwarts, said on TV on the night of September 11, 2001, that the attacks on the WTC and the Pentagon really devolved back to American tolerance of homosexuality. Even Bush, who depends upon Falwell and his ilk for money and political support, had to rein him in over that comment (which was echoed by another of the Falwell types, Pat Robertson, on the same broadcast). That did not stop Bush from appearing on closed-circuit TV at a Falwell rally saying how wonderful and holy he was a couple of weeks later).The Catholics, by the way, do NOT teach that anyone who does not believe as they do go to hell. There was a thing in my local paper today -- a weekly canvass of major religious figures in town -- on how to deal with the question of "the truth" when professed by others claiming to have it. To a man, Catholic, Anglican, Sikh, Buddhist, Jew and Muslim talked about truth and whole truth and none claimed the latter. The one exception was the fundamentalist Christian, an ex-politico I recall from his days as an activist on the wrong side of every issue. For him, he knew the truth and everyone else was wrong.As for my rubric, it's an old handle from back in the day. An online mate ran a link from The Sopranos in its heyday, in which you could type in your name and get your Mafia street name. I liked it -- hours of fun, running those of my friends and of pro golfers -- and as other options were things like The Iceman and The Butcher, thought I'd come out pretty well. So I kept it.

I think this thread is now running at a level higher than my intellectual capacity, the risk of offending those of a religious faith......far too many people have died, and are dying, or are being persecuted in the name of religion. As an atheist, it's something I just can't get my head round. Is religion therefore a "bad thing"? If there was no religion, would the bampots find a different reason to justify their actions? "Maybe" and "Yes" are the answers in my mind, but who knows....

Hmmmmm....just reminded myself that this all started as a thread on the U.S, Ryder Cup's funny how these threads evolve sometimes.

"It's probably a toss-up, but over all I suspect the Anglicans have the better musical heritage..." - :0)Jews believe they are the "root" of Christianity.All Christians believe you can only enter the Kingdom of the Lord if you are a believer, therefore presumably doomed if you aren't. There are many biblical references to this mostly from Jesus himself.The rest of it I give up on. I bow to your superior local knowledge, plus I know better than to argue the toss with someone who uses words like "insularity", "ex-politico" and "rubric"! Your prose and vocabulary are superb, if you don't write for a living then you should.Where abouts in Canada are you? Banff is my third favourite place in the world after the Yorkshire Dales and Northumbrian Coast.

Thanks for the nice comments. I do write for a living...Live in eastern Canada. I've been to Banff and also like it; it's a nice little town, and of course the "features" are spectacular. Not even close to making my top ten places in the world, though. They would include Cornwall and Glencoe, among others, in Britain, Hong Kong, the north coast of Colombia, Bahia in Brazil, Havana, Mexico City and environs, Madeira, Morocco and Buenos Aires (not in order, though Hong Kong is probably my favourite place outside Britain).I also study Theology, and while I think I know what you're driving at about the Jews, and the fact is that they did form part of the first Christian community, in general Judaism has not followed the Christian faith. Along with Islam, these are the three Abrahamic faiths. But as you doubtless know, Jews do not accept that Christ was anything other than another prophet or teacher.And the current position of the Catholic Church is quite clearly that anyone who lives a good life can go to heaven and reach God. Many faiths do not adhere to the Christian traditions or mythologies (and I do not mean that word in any fictive sense, more in the anthropological). But their sense of God and the living of good lives is built on similar principles and Catholic teaching has it that they will not be rejected for the absence of exposure to Christian teaching.The religious right in the US, however, is not nearly as tolerant. Catholicism does not admit to moral relativism, but neither does it maintain the absolutist strain of the born-again fundamentalists. They are reviewing certain positions that previously looked intractable: there is discussion going on in the Vatican about permitting the use of condoms in certain circumstances in order to prevent the spread of disease. It may take them ages to work this out, as they will still maintain their absolute stance against using them for birth control, and a few radical archdioceses may feel that to sanction them for one thing is to essentially sanction them for others, but I can see how it could be worked out as a matter of conscience.The Catholics are harder line on certain issues than, say, the Anglicans (the gay bishops issue comes to mind). And they certainly won't be softening any time in the foreseeable future, if ever. The gay bishops question is likely to cause a massive division in the Anglican/Episcopal communities, which is regrettable. The Catholics have enough problems without initiating a schism. Only 18 priests were ordained in all Britain this year; next year the number is going to be zero. All interesting stuff. But as I said earlier, when the pseudo-"christian" right wing campaigns against Kerry, as they did, on the grounds that he is not a Christian and they will only support "Christian" candidates (though he's a faithful attender at Mass and Dumbya never darkens the door of a church except to campaign or for an event such as the 9/11 memorial) I have to wonder at their conception of Christianity. And they are utterly opposed to social programmes, considering them to be aimed at idlers. They frequently cite the Old Testament, but are very picky about the New -- for many of these so-called "christians," the eponymous hero is an inconvenient icon whose politics they detest! If they were not so powerful, it would be funny.