The Sweet Spot: Weekly Notes from the Wisconsin Golf World
“The sweet spot” is a new weekly column of news and notes written by Gary D’Amato of Wisconsin.Golf. Stop by every Monday for the latest golfing tidbits and email Gary at [email protected] with the latest news.
Stricker wants to repair fences in Green Bay
It’s hard to find fault with a single thing Steve Stricker as captain of the US Ryder Cup team did or not. He was widely praised for his restrained leadership style, and rightly so after the Americans’ record 19-9 win at Whistling Straits.
However, if he had one repetition, he would surely take back four words: “I’m a bear fan.”
Say it’s not like that, Steve!
US Captain Steve Stricker speaks at the opening ceremony of the Ryder Cup on Thursday.
That casual slip of the tongue during an otherwise scripted speech at the opening ceremony led the decidedly pro-Packers crowd to briefly turn against the personable, meek captain, who was born and raised in Wisconsin and still lives in Madison.
Boos were heard – scattered and mostly for fun (we hope) – but it was likely the first time a Ryder Cup captain has been whistled on home soil during an opening ceremony.
Stricker immediately regretted the slip and stuttered that he was also cheering on the Packers. But this horse was out of the stable. In the heart of Packers Country, when you admit that you’re a Bears fan, you’ve committed the most unforgivable sins.
The fact that Stricker grew up in Edgerton, about 30 miles from the Illinois border, and was a teenager than that Mike Ditka-guided bears looted and pillaged the NFL in the mid-1980s, likely explaining its allegiance.
Nevertheless, Stricker knows that he still has a lot of fences to do.
“The Packers, you know, I think I have to take a trip to the Packers and sort of mend that relationship,” he said at Constellation Furyk & Friends last week (he ended up finishing T-7). “You know it’s a work in progress.”
Green Bay plays in Chicago next Sunday and welcomes the Bears in a Sunday night game on December 12th. The latter would give Stricker the opportunity to swallow his pride, step into midfield at Lambeau Field during halftime and win the Ryder Cup. Call it his mea culpa.
As long as he is not on the sidelines of the bears, everything will be forgiven.
Brooks-Bryson pairing was in Stricker’s back pocket
We’ll never know how a Brooks Koepka–Bryson DeChambeau Partnership would have worked out at the Ryder Cup, but Stricker said he had the pairing in his “back pocket” and might have unleashed the beasts if the Americans had fought four on Saturday morning.
In the weeks leading up to the Ryder Cup, Stricker brokered a truce between the once warring superstars, which ended with the two hugging him at the end of the post-game press conference while their teammates sang “Why Can’t We Be Friends”. “
Bryson DeChambeau, front right, and Brooks Koepka, who have been at odds for most of the 2021 season, hug after helping Team USA win the 2021 Ryder Cup.
In the days that followed, it was announced that Koepka and DeChambeau had agreed to meet for Capital Ones The Match, Part V at Wynn Golf Club in Las Vegas on November 26th.
“During Ryder Cup week, they both came up to me and said they would play together, that they were fine,” said Stricker. “They realized that they would make a good team and when it came down to it, they would go out well together. They even talked about doing alternate recordings together.
“We had it in our back pocket for Saturday afternoons when we needed it, when we were downstairs and wanted to give the team a boost or spice.”
Stricker said he and his assistants eventually decided that a Koepka-DeChambeau pairing would turn out to be such a big story that it would overshadow the team-over-everything issue they had worked so hard on.
“We felt like … if we were to bring them together, this story would have been bigger than the story itself, you know, the team and trying to win the trophy,” he said. “So we kind of put it on hold, I guess. But this team became so close.
“To have these two guys who, you know, didn’t seem very close… hugging at the press conference at the end, yes, it was really a magical week and a magical thing that happened to these two guys. ”
Harrington: Europe receives recognition for the success of the US Ryder Cup
Padraig Harrington of Ireland, captain of Europe’s losing Ryder Cup team, said the Americans owe their success in Whistling Straits in part to their adoption of some European strategies.
“The biggest problem we have in Europe is that we’ve been really innovative over the past 20 years,” said Harrington. “The US just copied us. You do everything we do. Until someone finds the closest unknown, we don’t know what it is right now, but it’s hard to take an advantage.
“The US was very strong at home, but they had it all. They had everything Europe has done over the years, they learned from it and Europe should be proud that … we pushed the US team to work really hard and explore every path to be the best will. You can no longer just throw the balls in the air and go out and play. “
Sentry Insurance supports First Tee
As title sponsor of the Sentry Tournament of Champions, corporate partner of the United States Golf Association, owner of the renowned SentryWorld golf course and host of the US Senior Open 2023, Stevens Point-based Sentry Insurance has bet all-in on golf.
The company is now heavily committed to junior golf by becoming a trustee of First Tee, which has 150 chapters nationwide. Sentry’s investment will support network-wide program expansion initiatives, particularly in underserved and underrepresented communities.
“I am inspired by the work of First Tee,” said Pete McPartland, Sentry Chairman, President and CEO. “First Tee does a lot more than teach children how to golf. They learn integrity, honesty, and determination, and build self-confidence – qualities that will help them be successful in life. At Sentry, we look forward to getting involved in the work of First Tee and helping develop these amazing young people. “
Don’t drink and drive (a golf cart)
Terrence McManus, the CEO of a company that operates a municipal golf course in Daytona Beach, Florida, was recently sentenced to four years in prison after being convicted of DUI in a golf cart, according to the Daytona Beach News-Journal.
McManus, 56, with a criminal record for robbery and trafficking in stolen property, was found slumped over the wheel of the cart stuck in the sand at a construction site in July 2019. His company, Flagler Golf Management, operates the nine-hole Ocean Palm golf course.
Tap-ins, lip-outs and double breakers
The fall discounted rates for all courses in Milwaukee County Parks went into effect October 4th. … Fred Couples, one of Stricker’s deputy Ryder Cup captains, revealed at Constellation Furyk & Friends last week that his training lap consists of “Pod”: Xander Schauffele, Patrick Cantlay, Dustin Johnson and Collin Morikawa. These four went a combined 14-1-2 in their games. “I had a good group to watch,” said Couples. … Despite being the victorious captain of three US Presidential Cup teams, Couples has never led a Ryder Cup team. With Zach Johnson, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods Waiting in the wings, Couples admitted that he will likely never get the chance. “I’m a little old for the system,” he said. “I mean, would I like to be the captain of the Ryder Cup? Of course, but that probably won’t happen. “… The Marquette University men’s team will end the fall season on Monday and Tuesday at the Purdue Fall Invitational at Kampen Golf Course in West Lafayette, Ind.