Even though the Ryder Cup has been around for 87 years, in some ways 2012 might be the year that the competition has transformed to another level.
Certainly for the United States, it is a year where rookies and the youth of the team are defining the future of the American Ryder Cup legacy.
It’s hard to say if players like Jim Furyk and Steve Stricker will ever play on another Ryder Cup team. Who knows how many Ryder Cups Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson will be a part of as players? There is little doubt that Furyk, Mickelson and Woods will someday be Ryder Cup captains. It’s doubtful that Stricker will be a captain since he never won a major championship.
Keegan Bradley became the first rookie since Loren Roberts in 1995 to start out the competition with a 3-0 record. He dragged Mickelson along as a partner and the ’12 version of the Ryder Cup is the first time that Phil has ever won three or more points in a Cup match. Those two played 44 holes as partners this week and only trailed three holes.
It was totally Mickelson’s choice to sit out on Saturday afternoon. He made that apparent Friday night as I wheeled him and his wife, Amy, in from the 18th green after watching the end of the Stricker-Woods match. He said he wanted to rest Saturday afternoon so he could be ready for his singles match. It’s a chance for Mickelson to finish 4-0 in the 2012 Ryder Cup and it will certainly open a new chapter in his Cup history which was dismal prior to this year. He entered 2012 with an 11-17-6 record.