The Ryder Cup Buddy System Rides Again

The criteria for selecting U.S. Ryder Cup captains often has seemed to magnify qualities that are barely relevant to the task, emphasizing personal achievements of an individual over personality attributes that might galvanize a team.

Twenty-eight men have led America into competition since Walter Hagen commanded the first team in Massachusetts in 1927. Every single one of those 28 captains won a major championship during his career. A winning record as a Ryder Cup player once mattered too, but that was when points were easier to come by for Americans. It’s not so important these days since the U.S. record over the last three decades has impoverished the résumés of most candidates for the captaincy.

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Steve Stricker, the presumptive Ryder Cup skipper, with Tiger Woods.

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Little Big Man: Woosie Enters the Hall

A man gets accustomed to hearing that things are out of his reach when he stands just 5-feet, 4½ inches or when he’s the blue-collar son of a Welsh dairy farmer with dreams of making it in a black-tie world.

Ian Woosnam is both of those things, but Tuesday night — four decades after he took to the road chasing the European Tour in a beat-up VW camper van stocked with a frugal diet of baked beans — he arrives at a berth in the World Golf Hall of Fame.

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