Right around the time the bubble burst and the Great Recession wreaked havoc on the economy, American golf encountered one of its darker periods in recent memory.
That’s not to suggest Americans weren’t still the most dominant country in the men’s game – that’s been the case for nearly a century – but their dominance had been slowed. Signs of the relative struggle may not have been clear because Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson were in their primes. However, in retrospect, the two best players of their generation masked an unsightly lack of depth among Americans.
It was at the 2006 Ryder Cup in Ireland when the U.S. brought not a single player under the age of 30 and filled out their team with the likes of Chad Campbell, Vaughn Taylor, J.J. Henry, Brett Wetterich and Scott Verplank. All are respectable players who won on the PGA Tour, but it’s difficult to argue that any of them had business being on a Ryder Cup team. The results showed as the Americans lost in a landslide, 18½-9½.
What does all of this mean in present day? If ...
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