Imagine being invited to sit on the new USA Ryder Cup task force.
Not only are the eyes of the American team focused on your every action, the whole world is watching. Presidents, golfers, non-golfers, Americans of every walk of life are all waiting to hear how their Ryder Cup team will somehow earn a victory.
As I think about the new committee and the members I wonder in that room of egos, how easy it will be to sit as the chair.
Apparently, the PGA has anticipated some rough times because they have appointed two members to act as chair. Will there be an agenda, minutes and/or reports? Will the first meeting be a gripe session lead by Phil?
Will there be sub-committees, with each committee member acting as the respective chairs? Will the junior member, Rickie Fowler, make a case for too many established players with 15 to 20 years contributed to the Presidents Cup/Ryder Cup?
He might point to a diminished level of desire. On the senior side, Ray Floyd and Tom Lehman might support players from the Champions Tour and the European Senior Tour being included.
Knowing that Jim Furyk and Davis Love come from fathers who were PGA members, they might raise the point that life goes in cycles and all they have to do is wait it out.
And then there’s Tiger.
Tiger Woods has been a model for every PGA Tour professional when it comes to playing for his country.
Yes, he commands multi-million dollar appearance fees to play outside the PGA Tour. Yes, he earns millions in endorsements and yet, I have only heard one gripe out of him in all the years he has competed in the Ryder Cup and the President’s Cup.
Tiger Woods has reliably, year after year, represented his country when asked. His record isn’t quite what the Americans have wanted, but he does play and plays hard. It will be interesting to hear his opinion when trying to build a new formula.
That brings us to the PGA of America guys – president Derek Sprague; CEO Pete Bevacqua and secretary Paul Levy. They have the most to lose.
The financial windfall that fills the coffers of the PGA of America would be sorely missed if a solution can’t be found.
In my opinion, there is a very obvious oversight within the make-up of the task force. The Ryder Cup is actually a business and it has partners/shareholders.
The partnership consists of the PGA of America, the PGA Tour and the European Tour. The European Tour has a vested interest in the continued success of the Ryder Cup.
In fact, revenues generated by the Ryder Cup go into the purses of the European Tour, which needs that money How can the PGA of America and the PGA Tour hold meetings concerning changes to the business model and not consult all of the partners?
Who knows, the Euros might slip up and bring their playbook.
On that note, I’ve left Steve Stricker to the last.
Stricker is one of the all-time nicest guys, but who will ask the behind-the-scenes question of players who wonder why they are fighting so hard to line the pockets of other parties? The players don’t get paid to play but they do receive benefits for their chosen charities.
So, how would you like to be Derek Sprague now?
Maybe he should advocate something extraordinary, something politically correct. Perhaps he should support only four automatic spots, with eight chosen by the captain based on recent results or include women on the team, recognizing that women who are members of the PGA of America, as well.