I’m not quite sure what to make of the Ryder Cup post-mortem so far.
It all seems incredibly low-key.
If you’d told me Europe would lose by a record margin I’d have expected there to have been all sorts of stories leaking out and people’s reputations being put on the line in the wake of a defeat of that margin.
It probably says a lot about the team spirit that nobody inside the camp is looking to put the knife in, and the general consensus seems to be that it was almost inevitable this sort of result would happen at some point given the strength of the Americans.
But that shouldn’t mean big questions are avoided.
Let’s face it, most people would have given the Euro Ryder Cup boys a better chance than the Solheim Cup ladies.
But you’d have to say that Catriona Matthew was more successful with her picks and in-game management than Padraig Harrington.
Thanks to all my team. Wasn’t the result we wanted but some great memories all the same. These are the best days of our lives. We were beaten by a better team and I couldn’t of got more commitment from you. Looking forward to seeing you rise for Rome. You will forever be my team. pic.twitter.com/0QCLAFqqws
— Padraig Harrington (@padraig_h) September 28, 2021
The first thing that the men in charge of the European Ryder Cup operation should do is make sure that Catriona is right in the middle of the debrief and the planning for the next one.
What happened last week at Whistling Straits has made her victory even more remarkable and I can’t think of a better person to help the bounce-back in Rome.
I do think that the way in which the home team can gain such a big advantage with the course set-up needs to be looked at.
It’s all getting a bit monotonous with the pattern of the results.
No event – even one as huge as the Ryder Cup – wants to be predictable.
It was a great feeling to win my first big tournament in ages last weekend.
The fact that I can’t remember what my last one was – I think it was in Canada two or three years ago – tells you that it was a while back!
A big chunk of that was taken out by recovering from hip surgery, of course, so getting the first victory since then is a pretty big deal.
It has been a real emotional and mental challenge to adapt to the new squad system.
Swiss Challenge Cup Winners! 🏆 pic.twitter.com/MrW28yattD
— Eve Muirhead MBE (@evemuirhead) September 26, 2021
Last week in Switzerland was effectively the first time that particular line-up has played together.
It has been the same in every other tournament and will be the same in the next two before selection for the European Championships is made.
Not only do I have to make sure I’m producing my own best individual game, as skip I have to help bring out the best in others.
The results for the squad as a whole – two wins, a second and a third – are something for us all to be proud of and to build on.
There have been a few semi-finals, finals and near misses but I totally get why other athletes speak about relief being one of the primary emotions when you finish on top again after a long wait.
It’s a big psychological hurdle to overcome.
We’re out in Switzerland again this week and then we’ll be off to Canada the week after.
It feels as if the top of the women’s game is quite open and level just now, which is a great incentive.
Now that I’ve got the taste for winning again, hopefully the wait for the next one will be a short one!