2nd November 2014
Showdown - The Inside Story of the Gleneagles Ryder Cup
This excellent book provides a written coverage of the Ryder Cup nearly as meticulous as Paul McGinley's captaincy.
With a foreword by Graeme McDowell and an Afterword by Colin Montgomerie it is a book I thoroughly recommend to any golf enthusiast. They both write of their enormous admiration for the great captain that Paul McGinley proved himself to be.
Following in the redoubtable footsteps of Tony Adamson, Iain Carter has been the BBC's Golf Correspondent for 11 years leading the commentary teams for Radio 5Live at Major Championships and Ryder Cups. A voice I've listened to on many occasions bringing alive to us the on-the-minute news from golf tournaments all over the world.
Following the “Miracle” of Medinah in 2012 the Americans pulled out all the stops, appointing the legendary figure of Tom Watson as captain. As he said at Gleneagles they were seeking “redemption” for the devastating meltdown of 2 years ago. The Europeans, meanwhile bet on Irishman Paul McGinley, a team man and an astute tactician. It was a fight between acumen and aura. Acumen won.
His book is a fascinating history of this year's Ryder Cup, and the various events and tournaments leading up to Europe's emphatic victory over the American players. From the time the “late” Ted Bishop invited Tom Watson to captain the USA Team to the now infamous comments of Phil Mickelson, Carter gives a fascinating insight to what went on. The only pity from my point of view is that the book was completed before Bishop disappeared from the public eye after tweeting about Ian Poulter, Iain's Carter's take on that would be fascinating to read.
The enthusiasm of Tom Watson when asked to take on the Captaincy is well captured, as is the enthusiasm of Ted Bishop, the then President of the USPGA to have this revered figure in charge. In the light of what has now transpired Iain Carter gives a fascinating insight into the man, Ted Bishop, and what he achieved for himself and American golf. As the year unfolds we read how the world of golf is evolving with the extraordinary demise of the Tiger Woods era and the McIlroy march to become the new number one in the world.
The book reveals the backroom planning of captain McGinley leading up to his choice of captain's picks, in sharp contrast to what was going on in America. As you continue through this fascinating book you form the view that before the players even reached Gleneagles, Europe had established a grip on the Cup that America would find difficult to loosen.
When it came to the great Gleneagles showdown, the biggest event in his sport, McGinley's meticulous backroom planning came to fruition. Telling the actual story of each session of the three day match brings them to life for the reader. Whether you were there, or glued to the remarkable coverage, TV, Press, or radio, the book vividly captures those moments that became turning points in each match.
This book also reveals in detail the great gap in communication between the respective captains and their teams. It shows the meticulous planning and delivery by McGinley, his Vice-Captains, and every member of his team. This in sharp contrast to that of Tom Watson, it gives a glimpse behind the scenes of what went on in that American camp. We have at our fingertips a fascinating look at the pivotal moments that reaffirmed Europe as the undisputed leaders in the Ryder Cup, and the background to the American rethink for the future.
As Tom Watson said the players have to perform and his weren't as good on the day, so they lost. That is not the full story as the book reveals. The planning and execution of Paul McGinley's Ryder Cup might well serve as a blueprint for a very instructive insight into the planning and delivery of a successful commercial strategy for business.
Iain Carter has vividly brought all this to life in his book which I thoroughly recommend to all golfers of whatever age. A great read I'd suggest you go out and get a copy before it sells out!
SHOWDOWN Published by Elliott & Thompson on the 30th October 2014 at a price of £14.99 hardback and as a simultaneous ebook