Most vocal U.S. Ryder Cup enforcer Rocco Mediate might not be on the team
BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich. - When Hunter Mahan went off on the Ryder Cup basically calling it a giant pain only geared to fill the PGA of America’s coffers, a bunch of U.S. golfers didn’t exactly rush forward to condemn him. No word on whether Phil Mickelson gave him a secret pat on the back or anything.
Mahan even had some valid points. But once a millionaire pro athlete compares Ryder Cup service to slavery, he sort of loses anything legit. Mahan’s blast was worse than Latrell Sprewell’s “I have to feed my family” line from several years ago when he rejected the thought of a $10 million-a-year contract.
You have to call Mahan on that. And a lot of European golfers who are bonkers for the Ryder Cup to a level you just cannot believe did exactly that. (See the column on Ian Poulter’s text message stalking of European Ryder Cup captain Nick Faldo for more on the bonkers bit).
But it was mostly crickets coming from the U.S. Ryder Cup vets and potential new Ryder team members on Mahan. Except for Rocco Mediate. Rocco hasn’t been shy about expressing his bewilderment at Mahan’s remarks at the PGA Championship.
“I don’t get it,” Mediate said. “At all. I know Hunter’s a good guy, but I don’t see how you can believe that. How can you not have fun? You’re in the Ryder Cup representing your country. I guarantee you will have fun if I’m on that team.”
Yet, Mediate - who is currently 12th on the Ryder Cup points list is anything but a lock to make the team even if he is Captain Paul Azinger’s buddy (Azinger and Mediate belong to the same club in Naples, Florida and play a lot together). And this is one of the only guys with the courage to call a fellow pro out on something - not to mention his possessing the overall jokey personality to get away with a well-placed meaningful dig. As much as Kenny Perry loves the Ryder Cup, he’s not questioning Mahan.
Remember for coverage of the PGA Championship - otherwise known as the Ryder Cup pregame show - check out the front of WorldGolf.com and this blog all week. And look for Brandon Tucker’s reports live from the Ryder Cup Matches in September.
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