On the eve of Ryder Cup, strategy is the most important

Ian Rutherford/USA TODAY Sports

On the eve of Ryder Cup, strategy is the most important

2018 Ryder Cup

On the eve of Ryder Cup, strategy is the most important

(Note: Golf professional Mike Thomas is the father of 2017 PGA Player of the Year and 2018 United States Ryder Cup team member Justin Thomas. Mike will be sharing his impressions of this week’s Ryder Cup matches at Le Golf National outside Paris with the (Louisville, Ky.) Courier Journal, which is part of the USA TODAY Network.)

SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France – Bonjour depuis la France.

Hello from France.

One thing about being in a foreign country is when you spout off some clever one-liner, or a real funny thought you have, they look at you like … ???

Can’t use a sense of humor with those who don’t understand or appreciate the joke. I have learned that here.

Wednesday night was the Ryder Cup gala dinner. It was held at the Palace of Versailles, which was spectacular. Only about 1,200 or so people attended, which was a major food and beverage undertaking. The Palace dates back to the 1600s (my history is only slightly better than my French, which is non-existent). To think someone put this thing together with no computers, engineers and machinery is amazing. Let alone no planning and zoning commission, or attorneys? How’d they do it? Sorry, humor there.

Thursday was the final day of prep. In addition to making sure your game is where you want it, it’s also important to finalize plans with your playing partner. The weather is supposed to be quite windy Friday, so players need to confirm who is doing what in foursomes and in four-ball.

For the captains – Jim Furyk for the Americans; Thomas Bjorn for the Europeans – strategy centers around which players to send out in the morning rounds, what order to start them in and who will sit out. Stats have shown that players playing all five rounds have fared worse in singles (Sunday’s fifth round), than those playing three or four rounds. So the leadership has to decide who will sit and when.

Of course, after all the debates and strategy sessions, everything is subject to change, based on a player – or players’ – performance. Stay tuned, you will probably find out for sure when we do.

Now, it’s off to the opening ceremonies and then rest up for the start tomorrow. It’s been a wonderful experience, a beautiful area, and the people have been very nice – I think.

I’m never sure what they are saying. Haha.

Thanks to all for your support! GO USA!!

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