The Internationals suffered their fourth successive defeat in the Presidents Cup, and it got the Mole wondering if Greg Norman was to blame.
Management has always been a tough job in sport as the players get the glory for success and the men in charge take the wrap for failure, but in this case there could be a valid reason to point the finger at Greg Norman.
The Mole will never claim captaining the Internationals in the Presidents Cup is an easy job. It has to be tough to get 12 players from all over the globe, playing on several different tours, to instantly gel and play like a team.
But I still can’t help feeling he got a couple of fundamental things wrong.
Obviously hindsight provides 20/20 vision, but the Mole did criticise Norman’s captain’s picks as soon as he made them.
When the Internationals host the tournament the captain’s picks instantly become a matter of national vs international pride. Does the captain pick the most in-form international or do you pick a local pro to garner interest in the home country?
Norman decided to go the latter route, picking Aaron Baddeley and Robert Allenby. Baddeley was a solid pick, he is Australian and was in-form – almost a no-brainer – but Allenby was a very strange pick.
Allenby came into the Presidents Cup having not won a tournament since the Nedbank Golf Challenge in 2009 and had missed five cuts on the PGA Tour in 2011.
Needless to say it didn’t turn out very well, Baddeley and Allenby amassed a grand total of 1.5 points between them. And Baddeley earned all of them.
Allenby became the second player in the history of the tournament, after American John Huston, to post an 0-4 record.
At the time the selection was made, the Mole couldn’t help feeling that Vijay Singh would have been a far better pick. The big Fijian almost earned enough points this year to qualify automatically and his experience could have made a big difference. But we’ll never know.
After the tournament Norman was a bit equivocal in his assessment of the Presidents Cup.
"At the end of the day, the Americans kicked our butts," he said.
It would have been good if he’d left it there; but instead he went on to make up some excuses.
Norman suggested that he would like to do away with the foursomes format altogether and argued the host team should have the choice; this after the Internationals basically lost the tournament because of this one discipline.
"It was 8-3 this week. That's the way it's always been in foursomes in the Presidents Cup except for one year," he said.
"What's wrong with the host nation having the choice of the format anyway? It's a win-win for all. I don't see any negative at all."
Norman also suggested that the Internationals be allowed four captain’s picks instead of the usual two. I’m not sure we want to go there after the way his picks performed though.
American Captain Fred Couples hit back immediately saying it just sounded like sour grapes.
"We won this week because we were better players, and I think we have a little motivation, and we teamed well and we won," he said. "I don't know what they would have said if they would have won.
"Everything would have been fair. But we won, and you know, I'm not saying anything bad to Greg.
"I'm just saying, I don't get that. They had 10 players, they got two picks. We got ten players and two picks, and we won."
And the Mole can’t help agreeing with him. If you genuinely have a problem with a certain aspect of something, bring it up before the tournament. Don’t get thrashed and then try change the elements where you fell short.
In the end Norman claimed, "The Presidents Cup is the winner here. I'm very proud of my boys. My team can hold their heads up extremely high. We'll take a lot out of it."
Personally I’m not sure the Presidents Cup won anything at all. The Internationals lost. Again. Frankly it’s getting a bit boring.
Is it fair to blame Norman for the loss? Should the host nation be allowed to choose the format? Did you even bother to wake up early to watch any of the Presidents Cup?
Let me know your thoughts.