Jack Nicklaus thinks the US will win this year’s Ryder Cup, but not sure that is what really matters.
“To me the competition is incidental,” Nicklaus said. “Who wins bragging rights — and I know everyone wants to win — but that’s not the important thing. The important thing is the game of golf and people having good relations and goodwill.”
“The Ryder Cup to me — we make a little bigger deal out of it than I think should be,” said Nicklaus, who spoke Thursday at the Creighton Farms Invitational, which raises money for children’s pediatric health care programs.
In an article in USA Today by Roxanna Scott, Nicklaus is quoted saying,”I think it’s a goodwill event. It’s a great event to have bragging rights for Europe or bragging rights for America. It’s a great format; it’s a great competition. There’s a lot of nice things about it, but I wish we wouldn’t make such a war out of it. I love the Ryder Cup, I loved playing in it, I love being a part of it.”
The two time Ryder Cup Captain, who played in six Ryder Cups doesn’t think too much of the task force that was put together after the last Ryder Cup which the US lost.
“That’s part of the things that I think is a little overkill,” he said. “They liked it; that’s what they wanted. I certainly didn’t have my nose in the middle of it so I sort of stayed out of it. But they felt (the task force) was going to get them a little more together and more unified as a team and so forth. That’s OK. I’m 40 years removed from that team as far as a player, maybe my old folks ideas aren’t necessarily the right ones. Maybe theirs are the right ones.I don’t know. I just never thought you made that big a deal out of it.”
Nicklaus also addressed Captain Love and the task force strategy to involve more younger players to get them ready and not depend on the veterans every two years, “I don’t really see the necessity to put the pressure on the young guys to win the Ryder Cup,” Nicklaus said. “They’ve got enough pressure on them week after week. When I was playing we had four major championships. Now we have four major championships, four world championships, the Players Championship, we’ve got the Olympics. We’ve got other significant events, they play all around the world.”
Nicklaus’s advice to the Ryder Cup players, “I said have fun, enjoy it. It’s not a U.S. Open; it’s not a British Open; it’s not a PGA Championship, it’s not a Masters. It’s the Ryder Cup …”