After Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, and Patrick Reed beat a European team in the Ryder Cup this weekend, they performed “The Mannequin Challenge” with the rest of their teammates.
The Mannequin Challenge is a meme where people freeze like mannequins while someone films them. The video usually has Rae Sremmurd’s “Black Beatles” playing in the background.
The American team version of the challenge is pretty fun to watch. It starts off with a shot of an airplane, then cuts to Rickie Fowler pushing his trolley bag to meet his teammates at baggage claim. The camera then pans around the team as they’re all frozen in the airport: Dustin Johnson does a kind of helicopter spin with his golf club, Phil Mickelson gives a thumbs up and smiles, and Bubba Watson and Patrick Reed pretend to fight each other. The video ends with Rickie Fowler running up to hug Rickie Fowler (who hasn’t moved from the beginning).
Europe has won seven of the past nine Ryder Cups, and there is a growing sense that U.S. players are becoming an endangered species on the biggest stages of golf. The last American to win a major was Phil Mickelson at the 2013 Open Championship. The last American to win a non-major was Steve Stricker in 2011.
The U.S. team has lost eight of the past 11 Ryder Cups, and three of the last five have been blowouts. Europe has won three in a row for only the second time in history, matching their run from 2002-06 when Tiger Woods was at his peak as America’s best player.
This year, however, there may be hope for the Americans in the form of a new generation of talent that features Jordan Spieth, who won two majors this year; Patrick Reed; and Rickie Fowler. Those three are ranked inside the world’s top 10 and have shown an ability to contend in big events, which is what these matches with Europe come down to: 12 singles matches on Sunday when it all comes down to one-on-one competition.
The Ryder Cup is a competition between the top professional golfers from the United States and Europe. The biennial event is held alternately on courses in the two regions. The U.S. won its last Ryder Cup in 2008, when Tiger Woods was still at his peak, but since then the European team has dominated competition. In fact, the U.S. has amassed only one victory in the last six Ryder Cups—and that was due in large part to Woods’ performance (he was on the winning team in 1999 and 2008).
The U.S.’s poor showing at this year’s Ryder Cup—the American team lost 16½ points to 11½—was especially disappointing given that it took place on home turf at Medinah Country Club outside Chicago. It also sparked speculation about whether the American team had outlived its glory days and whether a new era of European dominance was underway.
Both the U.S. and Europe are seeing more young talent on their teams, but only one side has managed to harness it into championship form: Europe’s average age is 29, whereas the U.S.’s is 31 (Tiger Woods is 37). So what’s holding back Team USA?
Some of today’s young golfers are feeling less pressure
The Ryder Cup is back!
This year’s competition will be held in Paris, France. The US team has 10 players in their 20s, while Europe has just four. Who will take home the trophy?
The Ryder Cup is the most prestigious tournament in golf. It’s a three-day event between teams from Europe and the United States. The competition began in 1927, when Samuel Ryder donated a trophy for the winner. Since then, the event has grown immensely popular, with TV coverage reaching millions of homes around the world.
The cup was not played during World War II because of safety concerns. European players were forced to withdraw from the 1941 tournament at the last minute due to travel restrictions imposed by Nazi Germany. Afterward, it was decided that play would resume after hostilities ended with an all-American team facing off against an all-British team on British soil in 1947 (and again 1949).
Europe won this year’s Ryder Cup 18 1/2 points to 9 1/2 points! They’ve now won five of the last six cups, and eight out of 11 since 1985 when they first began competing as a single entity against America’s best golfers (which hadn’t been done since 1929). In fact, Europe has only lost one time
The Ryder Cup is a biennial contest between golfers from the US and Europe. The last few years, the Europeans have been trouncing us. Last year, the US team lost by five points. This year, it was worse. We lost by a whole six points!
The problem is that only about half of millennials, who are age 18-34, even watch golf. And only about 30% ever plan to play. That’s compared to 60% of all Americans who watch or play golf. This is the future of our greatest game?
Now don’t get me wrong, I love golfing with my buddies on the weekends, crushing beers and telling stories. But I’ve got to admit, it’s getting harder and harder to get up early for a round when I’m hung over from partying with my friends the night before!
I wonder if I’d be more motivated if I could play in the Ryder Cup? Maybe I’d try harder at my job if it meant getting one step closer to playing in this amazing event! If our best young players were chosen based on performance at work, instead of just their golf scores, then maybe we’d stand a chance against Europe!
The Ryder Cup is a competition, between the United States and Europe, of professional golf. The tournament is taking place in France, for the first time in its history. The event is exciting—and stressful.
The only way you can win at golf is by cheating. The closer you get to the hole, the more you have to cheat. Look at any professional golfer: you’ve never seen a group of people who cheat so outrageously and pretend it’s all perfectly fair. They’re not just hitting the ball with a stick; they’re allowed to bend the rules in their favor in hundreds of ways we’d all be punished for.
This isn’t just my opinion, it’s also the opinion of the USGA [US Golf Association]. They are a nonprofit that exists to promote honesty and integrity in the sport of golf, and they have an entire section on their website devoted to what they call “the spirit of the game.” The first thing it says is “Play by the Rules.” For example:
* Do not agree to waive a Rule.
* Do not improve your line of play by moving, bending or breaking anything growing or fixed (including immovable obstructions and objects defining out of bounds).
* Do not take an action with the intent to influence the movement of a ball in play.
* Do not substitute another ball for your ball in play without prior approval from your opponent or fellow-competitor in match play.