Bart Wiley: The European team is stacked with talent but they’ll lose.


The Ryder Cup is upon us and the biannual golf tournament between the USA and Europe transcends traditional loyalties in the soccer community.

Earlier this week, Prost Amerika ran its preview of the tournament but much as we love the contest, there is one Sounders FC personality whose golf passion and knowledge exceeds ours.

So we went to that man, our occasional Golf Correspondent Sounders FC’s Director of Business Development Bart Wiley for his take on the 2012 Ryder Cup.

I’ve convinced myself that this Ryder Cup might be exciting

by Bart Wiley

Before we dive into the upcoming golf weekend I’d be remiss without mentioning the FedEx Cup.

Brandt Snedeker seems like a nice guy, and he was genuinely excited to win the Tour Championship and FedEx Cup, but I didn’t watch more than 10 minutes of the coverage.

With all the drama NBC tried to create it still came down to a few guys playing for over 11 million dollars in a trumped up playoff event that I still – after six years – can’t figure out – nor do I want to spend the time figuring out.

The four major sports have figured out that playoffs don’t mean showing coverage based solely on a huge payday – people watch the NFL, MLB, NHL, MLS and NBA playoffs more on emotion and excitement, not the dollars associated with trophies.  The PGA still hasn’t figured that part out – the emotion and excitement – that compelling reason to keep Bart Wiley interested.  I’m not into it, and the golf friends I talk to and play golf with, they too could care less.  Wonder if we’re in the minority?

Now onto the Ryder Cup…is it me or does it seem too soon for another Ryder Cup?

I feel as if, with the President’s Cup every two years, the Ryder Cup has become a watered down version of its former self.

Gone are the glory years of Seve and Jose Marie paired together and ‘emotionalizing’ their way around the course.  No more innocent, into it, muscle-free Tiger Woods smiling his way to another beat down of a Euro.

No, it seems forced now – especially to the Americans who are neck deep in the President’s Cup as well.  A President’s Cup, by the way, that was the brain child of the PGA of America.  Sure, a quick money grab for someone, but without much thought to the Ryder Cup.

Maybe I’m wrong though.  Maybe more people are into the Ryder Cup.   I love golf but certainly won’t plan my weekend around watching on TV.

Wiley fulfilled a dream by playing the Pebble Beach course

Of course I want the Americans to win and recapture the Cup, but can they do it?  I say yes.

I feel since and because of The Hydrant, Tiger Woods is now more of a team guy.  He needs the guys around, he wants to be part of the group, he’ll play more ping pong, he’ll communicate more, and he’ll try to act like he’s enjoying himself – and he just might.

With his struggles in the Majors, and his ailing body, and his age, I think he’ll relish his Ryder Cup experience and take care of business.  I don’t see him losing a match.

And no doubt in Sunday’s singles he will be paired with Rory McIlroy – his new chief nemesis and the players he’s supposedly intimidated by – that according to Greg Norman who showed just how intimidated he was at the 1996 Masters when he choked up a six shot lead to Nick Faldo.

So I am not sure what gives The Great White Shark the gumption to make the comment ‘Tiger is intimidated’ but I don’t see Tiger losing to Rory on Sunday.  He won’t let that happen.

Snedeker is playing with tons of confidence, Bubba showed well at the Tour Championship, Webb Simpson is hopefully over his U.S. Open win funk, Dustin is a gamer, Stricker and Furyk are so boringly consistent, Zach Johnson is a fighter, Kuchar and Keegan Bradley are bulldogs, and Jason Dufner, well, I’m not sure he’ll even know where he is but he seems to rise to the occasion.

The US team will rally around Captain Davis Love III – he’s well respected and will get the most out of his team – couple that with Michael Jordan cigar smoking his way through the team room and the U.S. team will have all the inspiration they need.  Oh yeah, lets not forget they lost the last Ryder Cup and this one is being played in the U.S.

The European team is stacked with talent but they’ll lose this Cup in Chicago.  Why?  Just a feeling I have.

And lets call a spade a spade – Westwood hasn’t played well in a few months.  Martin Kaymer hasn’t played well since he fell into the PGA Championship win a few years ago.  Ian Poulter will be too concerned with whether or not his pants are ironed and if his Tweet exceeded the proper amount of characters.  Sergio has gone through more putting groups than Olazabal has had foot surgeries.  McDowell, McIlroy and Justin Rose are the only three that scare me in this group.

Now that said, this is a fiery group that won’t let go of the Cup easily.  Tons of pride and a tactful anti-U.S. angle will only fuel the fire within team Europe.

You know what, maybe I will watch this weekend.  I think I’ve convinced myself that this Ryder Cup might be exciting.

Will have to finish watching on Saturday and then roll right into a huge Sounders away match at Vancouver.  We need three points and the U.S. Ryder Cup team needs that trophy.

Hopefully all will fall into place.

Also See:

Europeans Face Chicago Fire to Retain Ryder Cup

From 2010: 

Europe v USA – The Ryder Cup Divides the Sounders Press Box Like Nothing Else


About Author

Steve is the founder and owner of Prost Amerika. He covered the expansion of MLS soccer in Cascadia at first hand. As Editor in Chief of, he was accredited at the 2014 World Cup Final. He is the former President of the North American Soccer Reporters Association/ Originally from Glasgow, he is a supporter of the Great Glasgow Alternative, Partick Thistle.

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