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ryder-cup-updateAs the Ryder Cup kicks off with the Captains Match and Opening Ceremonies today at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, MN we sit down with a group of PGA professionals at Westhaven Golf Club to handicap the US Team’s chances of bring back the Ryder Cup on this home course this weekend.

Meet the Pros

Perry LancianesePerry Lancianese, General Manager and Director of Golf Operations

Perry Lancianese recently re-located to Westhaven Golf Club from West Palm Beach, FL.  He is a third-generation restaurateur, culinary chef, and golf professional.

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Chris CauthenChris Cauthen, Head Golf Professional

Chris Cuathen is originally from Jefferson City, TN and was the Head Golf Professional at Richland Country Club before joining Westhaven Golf Club.

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Rick MartinoRick Martino, PGA National Teacher of the Year

Rick Martino is a Visiting Professional this month at Westhaven Golf Club, and is based at the Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, FL.  He is a highly-distinguished PGA Professional.

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The Ryder Cup Team

 

The US Team, led by Captain Davis Love III, features Nashville-area touring pro Brandt Snedeker.  Last week’s Tour Championship Runner-Up, Ryan Moore, was Love’s final Captain’s Pick — rounding out a team of 12 of US golf’s best, including names like Spieth, Mickelson, Fowler, and two Johnson’s — Dustin and Zach.

Q:  You guys predicted that JB Holmes, Ricky Fowler, and Matt Kuchar would be among the Captain’s Picks, and you were right.  Why do you think Love went this direction with his picks?

A:  {Rick} There is always a question of youth versus experience, and you have to mix in the overall chemistry of the team because the players are in twosomes on Friday and foursomes on Saturday before the singles round Sunday.  {Chris} The Captain has a difficult job because the pairings are key — you want players matched up who have similar games so they work well together in 4-ball, particularly, but even in foursomes you want guys together that get along, play at similar pace, and things like that.  {Perry} There is a great mix this year of youth and experience, and the Vice-Captains certainly provide the experienced leadership this team needs.

An Era of European Domination

The Europeans have dominated the last two decades, winning 6 of the last 7 Ryder Cup tournaments; often by a significant margin.  In face, the Europeans have won 8 of the last 11 Ryder Cup tournaments.

Q:  Is the era of European domination over?

A:  {Perry} There is definitely not a stomach for losing any more.  {Chris} You can tell from the way they’re approaching things this year that they’re serious about winning.  This team is built to win.  {Rick} Hazeltine is the type of course where these long-hitters can really do some damage if they are making putts.

Tiger Woods as Vice-Captain

Tiger Woods has joined the US Team this year as one of five Vice-Captains, including Jim Furyk, Tom Lehman, Steve Stricker, and Bubba Watson.  And Tiger seems to be embracing the role.  He was seen during yesterday’s practice rounds walking the course with the team, highly-engaged in his role as coach.  Even though Tiger isn’t actually playing on the course, he’s still a focus of attention.

Q:  Tiger has announced his intentions to re-join the tour next month at the opening event of the 2016-2017 season.  Will we see the Tiger of old?  Or something else?

A: {Perry} Let Rick answer that first; Tiger plays at his club.  {Rick} Well Tiger has been better about this injury than others, but still seems anxious to get back out there.  With this announcement, he’s set a deadline for himself; given himself a goal, basically.  We probably won’t see the old Tiger because he just doesn’t intimidate the rest of the field like he did in the late ’90s and early ’00s.  {Chris} Tiger set the bar for today’s biggest stars.  They see how he put in the work, and many of them have been doing the same since high school or college — so it’s just not possible for him to dominate the way he did.

We’ll check back in as the Ryder Cup action unfolds to give you more perspective from our local PGA professionals at Westhaven Golf Club.

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About Westhaven Golf Club

Westhaven Golf Club is a private golf club adjacent to the Westhaven community.  You do not have to live at Westhaven to be a member.  Full golf and social memberships are available.  The golf shop is open to the public for apparel, equipment, and custom club fittings by Tim Sygerych, Master Fitter.

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