I’M going in to bat for Italian Costantino Rocca to be the next Ryder Cup captain when the Americans head to the Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in Rome in 2023.
Why? Because Rocca would know all the ingredients of an authentic Italian pizza.
He could lace it with something like salami, or anchovies or even rabbit and make sure it is just slightly past its best.
I’m not saying poison eight of the 10 best players in the world. Maybe just upset their stomachs a little bit.
After all, that might be the only way that Europe could somehow get over the top of the US and wrest the Ryder Cup away from the now defending champions.
How else are they going to beat the rampaging Yanks following their 19-9 shellacking at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin?
I know I’m starting to sound a bit like my fellow Inside Golf columnist Larry Canning here.
But I do recall some stomach upsets causing the mighty All Blacks to lose a World Cup rugby final against South Africa in 1995.
The history books don’t say how South Africa won – just that they triumphed.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy! Always have.
I even detoured to visit his home club, Holywood Golf Club, in Northern Ireland the last time I was allowed to travel to Europe … if you can remember that far back.
So, I really felt for him as he shed tears as I was simultaneously tearing up the tickets that I had I foolishly placed on Europe to win the Ryder Cup.
What was I thinking?
How could I not see how outclassed they were?
Where was Justin Rose? Francesco Molinari? Those Danish twins that won in successive weeks on the European Tour?
You know, blokes who aren’t too frightened to take down the American superstars.
Because let me tell you folks, they need something. Or someone.
Otherwise at the next Ryder Cup, they’ll get the same sort of hiding that ‘our’ Presidents Cup team will probably have to cop next year.
Someone has to say it … a few of those European guys must surely have played their last Ryder Cup.
I’m sorry to say this, but even their best golf wasn’t enough to take down Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau and the rest of them.
Westwood, Casey, Poulter and maybe even Matthew Fitzpatrick just couldn’t get the job done – even though some of them picked up a point or two. Maybe it was asking (or expecting) too much … remember the ones mentioned do have just one solitary major championship between them.
Sure, Jon Rahm was fabulous. And Shane Lowry gave it his all too. Victor Hovland also looked the goods.
But where to now?
Remember Great Britain used to get thrashed in nearly every Ryder Cup until it was decided to include the rest of Europe to make them more competitive.
What’s next? The US vs The World?
Let’s just point out that 24.8 million people played golf in the US last year. So, they do have a fair few players to choose from.
And Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth have all been No 1 in the world at different times as well. DeChambeau will eventually be No 1 and I think Collin Morikawa will get to the top as well. As it stands, the US have 13 of the top-20 players in the world, so it’s no scoop that they are expected to win.
Maybe Europe needs to lure Jack Nicklaus, the greatest golfer of all time, into their camp to give them a few pointers.
He could ‘happen’ to be in Italy to look at designing a course and besides I’m sure he’d love to share a pizza with Costantino.
I don’t think Tiger would help given he allegedly sent a text to US team captain Steve Stricker to tell him to tell his players to step on the European players’ necks.
That was to pump them up even further, not that they needed it in their record victory.
Frankly it was painful to watch and Europe deserved to be more competitive – to be better.
While the world knows how much it meant to them and how devastated they were with their failure, the world still wants answers on how “we” can beat them next time.
I say “we” because let’s face it – everyone wants to see a few of those smug Americans taken down a peg or two.
Bad enough that they expect to win – and the rest of the world expected them to win too.
They just needed to go out and do it.
I’m not trying to be a bad sport here; I just feel a few stomach cramps might even the odds a little.