Zach Johnson says he used analytics provided by his “nerd herd” in selecting the six captain's picks to complete his U.S. Ryder Cup team (“No apologies: Struggling Thomas makes Ryder Cup team,” August 29, GGP+).
But maybe there’s an element beyond analytics that comes into play – something higher than number crunching.
In the 1976 movie “The Omen,” Damien Thorn, the son of the devil, had a birthmark of 666, linked to the “number of the beast” in the New Testament’s Book of Revelation 13:18. Consider these non-analytics for the American squad:
6 – the number of automatic qualifiers;
6 – the number of captain's picks;
6 – the number of captains (one) and vice captains (five).
It goes even further:
6 – the number of majors won by the captain and vice captains: Zach Johnson (two), Davis Love III, Stewart Cink, Fred Couples and Jim Furyk (one each) and Steve Stricker (zero);
6 – the number of letters in the first and last names of captain’s pick Justin Thomas, who finished outside of the top 12 in the standings;
6 – the number of letters in the first and last names of Rickie Fowler, who also finished outside of the top 12 in the standings.
And the bow that ties it all together? The fictional Damien was born in Rome, the site of the Ryder Cup.
When the proposed alliance with the Saudis was announced on June 6 – yes, the sixth day of the sixth month – some said that PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan “sold his soul to the devil.”
“The Omen” was only a movie. And 6 is just a number.
Awesome article by Scott Michaux on Allen Doyle (“Ageless story of Allen Doyle,” September 4, GGP). What a great player.
I have a small story to add: In 1983, the Georgia Amateur was held at Dunwoody Country Club, where I was a member. I took a lunch break from work and went to the club. I asked head pro Darrel Knicely where Doyle was on the course. He said, “You’re in luck as he’s turning now.” I rushed over to No. 10 tee to watch. At that time, I was a 9-handicap. I saw his swing and went back to Darrel and said, “No way that guy can win with that swing. I swing better.”
Allen Doyle won going away.
I wish that Michaux had gone into a bit more detail about how unorthodox Doyle’s swing actually was. Amazing. And an amazing career.
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