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Ryder Cup 2023: Former Team Europe member rips Americans for 'disgraceful' preparation

September 30, 2023

If there's one thing you can count on at a Ryder Cup, it's second-guessing. And, boy, is there a wave of that rolling towards Team USA after getting dominated during the first three sessions in Rome.

But perhaps the strongest words so far this week have come from one golf analyst in particular—and he happens to be a former member of Team Europe.

Sky Sports commentator Andrew Coltart, who played in the 1999 Ryder Cup, is perplexed by the way Team USA prepared for this year's event. And he believes it's no coincidence that Europe has been the sharper squad at Marco Simone Golf & Country Club thus far.

"I have a massive question, and Zach Johnson is going to get hit with this," Coltart said on Sky Sports. "Who on earth in their right mind thinks the best way to prepare for a Ryder Cup is to take five weeks off?"

Coltart was referring to the Americans' schedule—or, lack thereof—heading into Rome.

"Nine of the 12 American players took five weeks off," he added. "That's disgraceful."

On the flip side, all of Team Europe played in the BMW PGA Championship two weeks ago at Wentworth. And played pretty well with all 12 members making the cut with seven guys finishing in the top 10.

Of course, Coltart isn't the only person who has pointed this out. Fellow former Ryder Cupper Paul McGinley has been making similar points all week on Golf Channel.

And their argument is strengthened by the fact that the only two Americans to play in a PGA Tour event during that stretch since the Tour Championship were Max Homa and Justin Thomas at the Fortinet Championship. Both finished in the top 10 in Napa and have been two of the team's better players this week.

The counterargument would be Brooks Koepka, the third American who didn't take all that time off. The five-time major champ finished T-24 in the LIV Chicago event and hasn't played particularly well, including being part of the worst loss in Ryder Cup history, a 9-and-7 drubbing with World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler to Viktor Hovland and Ludvig Aberg, on Saturday morning.

And others would point out that Team USA took a similar approach two years ago, and wound up winning in record fashion at Whistling Straits. Johnson's crew also took a scouting/team bonding trip to Marco Simone earlier this month so it's not like they've all just been sitting on their couches for five weeks.

In any event, what's done is done. And no matter how this Ryder Cup turns out, to the victor goes the spoils—and to the loser goes the second-guessing.