We need a reason, a theory why the U.S. can have the best golfers in the world but can’t win the Ryder Cup. The Americans lost again Sunday, after holding a huge lead.
For every success, there's a failure. Sorry, biggest chokers in sports.
Did U.S. captain Davis Love III screw up the lineup? Do Americans just not care about the Ryder Cup as much as the Europeans do? Is there something about our culture that keeps us from understanding how to play golf as a team, rather than a bunch of uptight individuals?
Did Tiger Woods let down the team?
Well, yes. A little of all those things. But they seem like awfully big reasons when you see Jim Furyk and Steve Stricker miss 6-foot putts, and then Martin Kaymer, ranked lower than every American here, sink his 6-footer to allow Europe to keep the Cup.
Time and again, the Americans missed putts on the final two holes, in crunch time, when the Europeans made theirs. A bigger reason?
What happened is this: The U.S. choked. Just choked. I guess you could say it was contagious, but each player who missed led to more pressure on the next guy, who missed, too, which led to more pressure. It was the worst choke job in Ryder Cup history.
Plain and simple. The pressure enveloped the Americans and spurred on the Europeans.
“There’s a lot of expectations on us,’’ said Stricker, who played worse than everyone else on the team. “We put a lot of expectations on ourselves to perform, you know. And sometimes it’s good and bad.