UK writer John Huggan calls Ryder Cup Captain Tom Lehman 'America's Mister Angry'
“More than one former skipper has pointed out the folly of even attempting to play and captain at the same time,” Huggan writes. “Apart from anything else, the two roles are logistically exclusive. … Still, none of the above seems to be putting the five-time PGA Tour winner off.”
Huggan also details a few incidents from Lehman’s past - “behaviour that can only be described as unacceptably ill-tempered.”
About Lehman’s “unprovoked attack on his entirely innocent golf bag” at the WGC Match Play Championship, Huggan wrote: “This isn’t the first time Lehman has lost the plot under pressure. Nor is it the first time he has failed to live up to his self-proclaimed and supposedly deeply-held religious convictions.”
And he saves a good bit of venom for Lehman’s “part in - and subsequent strident defence of - the indefensible when a large proportion of the 1999 US Ryder Cup side took it upon themselves to charge in premature celebration across the 17th green at the Country Club in Boston.”
In closing, Huggan writes: “The last thing the always-volatile Ryder Cup needs right now is a team captain who doesn’t know how to control himself in stressful situations or, indeed, when to keep his big mouth shut.
“Come to think of it, maybe Lehman should play in the upcoming matches. At least then he’d be out of the way when the time comes to make the big decisions or say the right things to the watching world. Just a thought, Tom: Calm down, will you?”
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I usually love Huggan's columns. He has a decidedly Euro view of things and is often right on the money. But this time he should just shut up. He obviously has ventured beyond his area of expertise.
PS - I've played Duggan's home course in Dunbar, Scotland. It is an awesome links track. I highly recommend it.
And Jim's right too -- In this age of short-term memory, people think all of the Ryder Cup Matches have been like the '99 Matches in Brookline. Wrong. The VAST majority of the Matches have been stately affairs with an emphasis on sportsmanship and camaraderie. I really hope they get back to that. I doubt today's fans and fat TV contracts will allow that to happen, however.
Could be Huggan's just miffed that, in 35 matches over the past 77 years, the Americans have 24 wins to the British and British/European teams' 9 wins and 2 ties.
Too much pressure can cause a normally calm person to erupt. Lehman should stick to playing.
While two wrongs don't make a right what about Sergio Garcia leaping into the arms of Jesper Parnevik. There were MANY times when a European player made a big shot, chipped in or holed a long putt when their celebrations did not show the sportsmanship they claim to have been robbed of on the 17th green. The European fans were so obnoxious in their celebrations with the players and their chants (with the European players encouraging them) at every big shot that I vowed to never return to the Ryder Cup matches. In (not so) short terms I think the Europeans suffer from selective memory loss. They claim the Americans were bad winners but they were at least good losers the first two days versus the Europeans who were bad winners and for seven years now have been bad losers as well.
Knowing Tom, I know he's already forgiven the latest attack. He knows it's easier to blame someone else for your problems than to face them as your own.
I don't have a clue what Mark is talking about. Never did almost the entire European team come hurtling across the green, right across someone's line when the hole wasn't even over yet, just to celebrate one holed putt. You could tell Olly wasn't impressed.
THAT was obnoxious, Mark. Sure, Sergio hoisted himself up onto Jesper, got a hug, and whatever else - but so fuck? What's wrong with that?
There's nothing more annoying than seeing a bunch of blonde, gold-digging, American bimbos (the American PGA Tour wives) screaming and chanting like stupid little girlie cheerleaders, pretending they actually give a shit or even know the slightest thing about golf. I'm sure their smiles would be so wide and their laughs so cheesey if they knew that their husbands weren't receiving money to play in the Ryder Cup.
Oh, and the 17th green thing was pretty off-pissing as well from a European standpoint. Not because a putt was holed - putts fall all week - but because for a good two minutes, the Americans thought they were centre of the universe, showing no regard for the fact that there was another guy waiting to putt.
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