Europe’s dominance over American golf in International competition, as evidence by this week’s lopsided Solheim Cup outcome, speaks loud and clear. It’s time to invest in our future and indoctrinate new players into the fold of International team competition.
As Fred Couples prepares to make his two Captain’s selections for the upcoming President’s Cup Matches being held at Muirfield Golf Club in Dublin, OH, let’s hope Boom Boom has an eye on the future. Sure, the President’s Cup is important, but let’s be real. This President’s Cup is as much about gaining momentum for Team USA leading into next year’s Ryder Cup when Tom Watson leads an American team to Scotland to attempt to regain the Ryder Cup.
As we left Medinah Country Club following the amazing comeback by the European team, the conversation was around a few Ryder Cup veterans. Did Steve Stricker and Jim Furyk, who both struggled at Medinah, just play their last Ryder Cup? If so, who would succeed them to carry the Red, White and Blue flag?
Six years ago, Corey Pavin made a commitment to team USA taking a flyer on a young Rickie Fowler. Fowler emerged to earn a critical half point in singles competition, serving as his “coming out” party on golf’s grandest stage. While Fowler has since won on the PGA Tour and continues to contend for a position on these International teams, he hasn’t parleyed his Ryder Cup moment into elevating to one of the elite players in American golf.
Enter Jordan Spieth, the young stud from the University of Texas. After one year competing for the Longhorns, Spieth turned to the pay for play route and in his rookie season has earned his PGA Tour card by virtue of winning the John Deere Classic. Spieth was competing on the PGA Tour in 2013 with zero status on any professional tour. Relying on sponsors exemptions, Spieth successfully earned conditional status by virtue of early success. No longer limited on the number of starts he could accept, Spieth played his way into the winner’s circle. At the age of 20, Jordan Spieth is enjoying success along the lines of Tiger Woods during his early professional days.
American golf needs Jordan Spieth on this President’s Cup team. He’s currently 38th on the Presidents Cup Points Standings, but keep in mind he’s earned these points with a limited schedule. Spieth has made 14 of 19 cuts on the PGA Tour this year, finished runner-up twice and in the top 10 seven times. He currently sits 36th on the Official World Golf Ranking.
The window for earning points concludes after the Deutsche Bank, September 2nd, and it’s highly unlikely Spieth makes his way inside the top 10. So it’s going to be on Freddie to make the right decision and invest in this young man and give him a chance to experience International competition in advance of next year’s Ryder Cup.