No matter your nationality, watching this American Ryder Cup team has been fun. They had flash, they had confidence but the also had a good time. For some reason, Paul Azinger decided that the best way to beat the Europeans was act like the Europeans. Why not counter your opponent with their own medicine?
Today, 228 years ago to the day that Benedict Arnold gave the British the plans to West Point, the Americans decided that they would not just give away this trophy again, winning seven singles matches on their way to a 16.5 to 11.5 victory over the mighty Euros. It was the first time the Americans had held the trophy sans photo ops since 1999, and did it with a lot of weapons.
Young guns Hunter Mahan and Anthony Kim were absolutely fantastic, rising to the occasion time and time again and gaining points like they were girl's phone numbers. Never without attitude or a chew, Boo Weekley and J.B. Holmes showed that this is more about golf than flash or style. The two country rookies didn't lose a point all week for Azinger, going 4-0-2 together and apart. If you can look past the Sunday round where Phil Mickelson only had two birdies on a red friendly course, Lefty was rejuvenated. Playing with Kim and Mahan, he smiled, he cheered and he fist pumped like we haven't seen since his 32-waist days. He might not have had his A-game at singles, but his short iron play showed why people are so enamored by his wedge play.
There were also some strange occurrences. Sergio Garcia didn't win a match this week. Ben Curtis went from the outHouse to the pentHouse on Sunday, defeating European Goliath Lee Westwood two days after he couldn't buy a birdie. The hottest golfer going into the matches, Padraig Harrington, lost three times at Valhalla. Hell, Ian Poulter was the best player for Europe!
Maybe the most heartwarming story of the entire year belongs to Kenny Perry. Foregoing major championship invites for top-10s in more comfortable surroundings, the Kentucky native willed himself to a 2-1-1 record when he obviously didn't have his best poison.
As an American golf fan, this was as good as I can remember. Azinger brought the right instruments and the team played them like hell all week long. This was what a team plays like, shown by the fact that only one American went the entire match without winning a full point. Guys helped each other out, cheered the others on and are probably enjoying beverages that I have never been rich enough to afford. If you're a golf fan, this was great. In a time when our country might be as confused as a blond girl at a frat party, we need stories like Michael Phelps and this Ryder Cup team.
Congrats gentlemen, you might have done something better for morale than win the Ryder Cup today. You have made a lot of people, once again, proud to be an American.