Why Europe Always Wins (And The U.S. Always Loses)

Golf Digest editors try to explain the recent run of European dominance in the Ryder Cup.

Released on 9/24/2014

Credits

Director: Harris Levinson
Executive Producer: Harris Levinson

Produced by: Emoticon Productions

Transcript

00:00
(soft rhythmic music)
00:08
The American teams over the past few years,
00:11
there's just this expectation of because of who they are
00:15
they should come out and roll all over the Europeans
00:18
and I think just looking at the number
00:19
of majors they've won, the number they won,
00:21
the amount of money these guys have won.
00:22
They just seem better.
00:25
They have the unenviable position
00:27
of being the favorites constantly.
00:29
They're the best golfers, they should have the best team.
00:31
If they lose, it's an upset,
00:33
that's a lot of pressure
00:34
because I don't think they truly feel that way themselves.
00:37
And so when you're a favorite,
00:38
it's really easy to feel okay,
00:41
as long as I don't screw up we'll win,
00:44
which is the complete antithesis
00:46
to have these guys think week in and week out
00:48
of the PGA tour where they say, hey,
00:49
I gotta go beat 155 guys this week,
00:52
I have to play my absolute best.
00:55
The Europeans play to win and Americans play not to lose.
01:01
For whatever reason, maybe the pressure gets to them,
01:04
representing their country,
01:05
push them so far outside their comfort zone
01:07
that they just can't quite perform at the same level
01:09
we're used to seeing these guys perform to.
01:12
The Europeans, even when they're the clear favorites,
01:15
perceive themselves as underdogs.
01:18
They see the Americans as spoiled, as rich,
01:22
just a little bit arrogant, and you know,
01:24
they can't wait to kick that silver spoon
01:27
out of their mouths.
01:28
There's an us verses them mentality.
01:30
They still have their roots, they still have that
01:32
you know when they played with each other
01:34
as juniors over in Europe and these are guys
01:36
that have played with each other throughout their lives
01:38
and now they're trying to assemble together
01:40
and beat the other guys.
01:42
On the European side they're playing for their tour,
01:44
I think they feel like it's validating the European tour
01:47
where they play week in and week out so they feel like
01:49
they're there to represent the quality
01:50
of golf that's played.
01:52
I don't think that they wanna win the event
01:54
more than the U.S.
01:55
but I think that they're genuinely a little closer
01:58
and I think that comes through when you see the pairings
02:01
and that's why they're more successful in those pairings.
02:04
It's not just this, let's flip the switch
02:06
and be buddies this week and play for each other.
02:11
You know, I think the best way to explain the problem
02:13
with Americans perception of Europeans
02:17
goes back to an interview I did with Payne Stewart in 1999,
02:20
and he says instantly,
02:21
on paper they shouldn't be caddying for us,
02:24
but then he says, but it's not about on paper,
02:27
it's about bringing your game to the event,
02:29
and they bring it.
02:32
It just means more to them, it's how they identify
02:34
their careers, how they identify their value as players,
02:37
how did I perform in the Ryder Cup
02:38
is a big question for them.
02:40
It tells the world that we're great,
02:43
nobody ever thought we were great until the Ryder Cup.
02:45
It's the heart of golf.
02:47
(Rhythmic tones)
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