In the European team's press conference Justin Rose criticised Hazeltine but was Justin Rose right to criticize the Ryder Cup course set up? We take a look at the arguments
Justin Rose Ryder Cup Course Comments
The losing team’s Ryder Cup press conference is usually worth watching. As the players try to process what’s happened, still frazzled from a day in the cauldron and passions run high, strange things are often said. Just ask Phil Mickelson.
On the whole Europe’s press conference last night was conducted in the right spirit. Magnanimous, jovial and acceptant, there were few headline-grabbing moments. Losing to a quite brilliant US team was a fate they had quickly come to terms with.
One contentious comment however, came from Justin Rose – as this video shows. But was Justin Rose right to criticize the Ryder Cup course set up at Hazeltine.
The crux of the issue revolves around the pin placements over the last few holes. With water in play on 16 and 17, pins cut tight to the hazard would have placed more pressure on the players. For those carrying a narrow lead into the final few, there would have been no playing it safe. For a tournament that represents the pinnacle of the sport, this was not challenging enough for the very best players in the world. Fair point?
Well, it is the home Captain’s prerogative to set the course up however he wants. Knowing that his team were better putter’s, Love had the pins placed in flat areas and located them centrally. Was this the right decision? The score line tells you all you need to know. What’s more, watching putt after putt drop from both teams created all the excitement you could possibly want.
The truth is these comments from Justin Rose do have a slight smell of sour grapes. However, would bringing the water more into play in the last few holes have added to the excitement? Quite possibly. Would they have changed the result? Absolutely not. Europe were well beaten by a far superior team, that the act took place at Hazeltine was largely incidental.