Ryder Cup travesty: Larry Nelson will never be U.S. captain
Thank God that Larry Nelson has finally been elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame. Although he would never come right out and say it, he must feel like the PGA of America has slapped him in the face every two years by never naming him captain of a U.S. Ryder Cup team. Given the popular players who will be coming up for nomination during the next few contests such as Paul Azinger and Fred Couples, it is a virtual certainty that Nelson will be left out.
It is hard to imagine what the PGA has been looking for when they by-passed Nelson so many times. We are talking about a 3-time major winner, including the 1983 US Open and two PGA Championships in ‘81 and ‘87. On top of that, Nelson has one of the best Ryder Cup records in U.S. history. In three separate contests he won 9 matches, tied one and lost only 3 out of 13. It would be fair to say that this man is one tough competitor.
And bear in mind that his major victories were achieved during the golden age of European golf when Seve Ballesteros, Sandy Lyle and Bernhard Langer were leading the Euro charge to the top of golf world over the likes of Tom Watson, Jack Nicklaus, Ray Floyd, Ben Crenshaw, Lanny Wadkins and Curtis Strange.
Nelson’s problem in this ridiculous situation is that he is a very spiritual and humble man. His intense will to win was forged during 2 tours of duty in Vietnam. The man was a late starter in golf, never touching a club until he turned 21. Once acquiring the bug, he learned how to play by reading Ben Hogan’s great instructional book and within a years time was breaking par. You think he doesn’t know a thing or two about motivation?
The PGA of America should take a good, hard look at its captain selection process when Tom Lehman is selected as captain ahead of so qualified a man as Larry Nelson. It’s an absolute travesty.
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He just never gets the credit he deserves, as he is as modest as the day is long. It seems that he doesn't mind being largely unrecognised as being one of golf's greatest ever (top 100 best ever), as he is, as stated, very spiritual and has already received his rewards for hard work and determination. He doesn't seem interested in mass fame and media attention.
It's the big-headed, loud a**holes that tend to be remembered as being better players than they actually were.
Sandy Lyle is exactly the same, and it pains me over and over again, there is talk of Montgomerie being the next Ryder Cup captain after Faldo, ahead of Sandy, but why should that be, Sandy has won 2 Majors, 6 times in America, countless Tournaments around the world, as Shanks pointed out, at the time they were all playing together, it was not just one Superstar, there were many, not just the handful you have now, but every Tournament was filled with these stars all competing against each other, they call Monty a star, but how can you be a star when you have never won a Major, nor won in America, and yes he did win the European order of merit 7 years in a row, but I ask you who did he play against, the golden boys of Lyle, Watson, Nicklaus, Crenshaw, Faldo, Seve, et al had all but gone.
For Larry, I am so happy he has been accepted into the Golf Hall of Fame, perhaps people will now realise what a TERRIFIC person and golfer he was, Shanks I don't understand why he was never picked as a Ryder Captain, I would bet he was never even thought about, I would rather have decent upstanding gentlemen like these, than the loud mouthed, egotistical golfers that now inhabit our TV screens.
But what has Lehman ever done as a player. Granted, he won the 1996 Open, the Open probably being the most prestigious golf tournament in the world. But what else?
We have all met people that will never admit fault, nor listen to any advice, and it was such a shame to see this happen, please no repeat, the Ryder Cup is a wonderful spectacle, and I hope it never becomes blasè.
Commiserations to Tiger on the loss of his Dad
Sutton was a disaster. Lehman will be much better.
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