Bryson DeChambeau was so enthusiastic about making the final Ryder Cup workforce that he went out and acquired a brand new ping-pong paddle to deliver with him to France. Patrick Reed celebrated the 2016 U.S. Ryder Cup win in Minnesota by taking part in ping-pong with actor Invoice Murray.
And when Phil Mickelson is working off about dominating and hitting bombs, he may very well be speaking about his ping-pong sport and never his golf.
Sure, the U.S. workforce has struggled mightily on the golf course towards the Europeans in recent times, dropping 9 of the final 12 Ryder Cups and 4 of the final 5.
Give them paddles and a correct ping-pong desk, although, and so they flip into world beaters.
“There’s one thing in regards to the hand-eye coordination and the aggressive drive,” Stewart Cink mentioned a number of years in the past. “I don’t know, golfers and ping-pong, they simply go collectively.”
That’s true at the very least within the U.S. workforce room, the place over time Mickelson has confronted off towards gamers from Tiger Woods on down, and the motion has gotten sizzling and heavy. The People like to explain it as a workforce constructing train, although it doesn’t appear to have constructed the sort of groups essential to beat the Europeans.
Nonetheless, at each Ryder Cup there’s discuss in regards to the U.S. gamers and their ping-pong matches. The workforce that performs collectively bonds collectively, the idea goes, and if there’s something the People are in determined want of is a few good workforce bonding.
So there was DeChambeau on Tuesday speaking not about his feud with Brooks Koepka however his match the earlier night time with Daniel Berger.
“He beat me. There are clearly excuses I might make, however I received’t,” DeChambeau mentioned. “I’m fairly bitter about it.”
On an analytics pushed workforce, there aren’t any official stats from the ping-pong matches. No units measuring paddle pace or the smash issue of a paddle assembly ball, both.
And no option to quantify the sport’s impact on the Ryder Cup as a result of, reality be advised, there in all probability isn’t any.
However enjoyable is enjoyable. Having one thing to do whereas spending hours at a time within the workforce room is necessary.
And bragging rights are bragging rights, irrespective of the game.
Mickelson isn’t taking part in within the Ryder Cup for the primary time since his rookie debut in 1995, however he’s right here as a vice captain. As a substitute of packing golf equipment, he packed his paddle and presumably shall be in the course of the desk tennis motion.
Lefty, by all accounts, is a Ryder Cup ping-pong Corridor of Famer. However the perfect U.S. participant over time is claimed to be Matt Kuchar, who didn’t make this yr’s workforce.
Kuchar can also be thought to be a grasp trash talker, which he confirmed off after dispatching a younger Jordan Spieth within the 2014 Ryder Cup in Scotland.
“I feel Jordan Spieth was the one man that challenged me to singles, and he obtained what he knew he was going to get,” Kuchar mentioned.
Whereas the People attempt to bond as a workforce on the ping-pong desk, their opponents appear to have no use for the game, which apparently sufficient was invented by an Englishman. They bond the quaint means, which this week included watching an inspirational video about how uncommon it’s to make a Ryder Cup workforce in comparison with different sports activities.
No have to manufacture workforce spirit among the many Euros. Not when it comes engraved on the invitation to hitch the workforce.
“To be sincere, my workforce in the intervening time the environment is precisely the place you’ll need it,” European captain Padraig Harrington mentioned. “Actually, I don’t wish to mess it up from right here.”
The purpose on either side stays the identical, ping-pong or not. The Europeans simply appear to know how one can execute it higher.
“We play for one another. I feel that’s the perfect factor that you are able to do,” Rory McIlroy mentioned. “You play for the blokes which might be beside you. You play for everybody that’s serving to our workforce attempt to win this week.”
To not point out, you play to beat these ping-pong loving People.