The Forecaddie: Bjorn’s Ryder Cup warmup? Too funny

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The Forecaddie: Bjorn’s Ryder Cup warmup? Too funny

Forecaddie

The Forecaddie: Bjorn’s Ryder Cup warmup? Too funny

The Man Out Front had to laugh reading the European Tour’s preview of the EurAsia Cup in Kuala Lumpur this weekend (Jan. 12-14): “The event will be a dress rehearsal for captain (Thomas) Bjorn for when he leads Europe at the Ryder Cup at Le Golf National in eight months’ time.”

TMOF can’t stop chuckling.

Comparing the EurAsia Cup to the Ryder Cup is ludicrous: it’s nothing like the Ryder Cup.

And Bjorn needing a Ryder Cup dress rehearsal is equally laughable. The Dane’s been assistant captain three times: 2010, 2012 and 2016. He’s also played on three winning European teams: 1997, 2002 and 2014.

Bjorn was chairman of the European Tour’s tournament committee for 10 years, and still serves on the committee. He’s one of the most powerful men on the European Tour. He’s used to dealing with players. He doesn’t suffer fools lightly. More than one European Tour pro has felt the force of his tongue after bringing up a complaint Bjorn felt was minor at best.

Darren Clarke allegedly used the EurAsia Cup as a dress rehearsal for his term as Ryder Cup captain at Hazeltine two years ago. The disparity between Asia’s best versus America’s best was obvious. Clarke’s team won the EurAsia Cup 18 ½–5 ½. That was a poor rehearsal for Clarke losing the Ryder Cup 17–11.

Bjorn’s team overwhelms Arjun Atwal’s side. Ten Euros are in the world top 50, with Henrik Stenson tops at ninth. Paul Casey (14), Tyrrell Hatton (17), Tommy Fleetwood (18) and Alex Noren (19) are top-20 players. Only Alexander Levy (74) and Paul Dunne (75) are outside the top 50. Six players have Ryder Cup experience.

Atwal’s top player is Yuta Ikeda at No. 36. He’s one of only two top 50 players with No. 49 Kiradech Aphibarnrat. Four other players are inside the top 100. Two players are outside the top 200 with Nicholas Fung at 335th.

It’s hardly the sort of challenge Bjorn will face in Paris.

Bjorn said he wouldn’t be complacent, but he shouldn’t have a problem winning the EurAsia Cup. A cardboard cutout could probably replace him and still guide Europe to victory.

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