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The U.S. Ryder Cup team couldn't have overcome Europe without the unwavering support of their home crowd.
The U.S. Ryder Cup team couldn't have overcome Europe without the unwavering support of their home crowd. (Brandon Tucker/WorldGolf.com)

Golfer Supremacy Rankings salute U.S. Ryder Cup Team, Captain Paul Azinger after Valhalla victory

William K. WolfrumBy William K. Wolfrum,

Here at the Golfer Supremacy Rankings we are beside ourselves with joy over the U.S. Team's spectacular victory in the 2008 Ryder Cup Matches at Valhalla. Literally beside ourselves. We look to the left and to the right, and there we are, jumping up and down and wearing red, white and blue wigs. We are not ashamed to say we are just plain freaking out with pleasure.

And why not? For months now, American golf fans have had to sit in the corner watching the exploits of such non-Americans as Padraig Harrington and Lorena Ochoa, among others. We have been hungry for a big victory, and Paul Azinger's squad delivered, big time.

... Hold on, we here at the Golfer Supremacy Rankings need to breathe into a paper bag for a sec, we're hyperventilating ...

Okay, we're composed. But barely. So let's get to the Rankings before we pass out in ecstasy.

Golfer Supremacy Rankings

1. United States Ryder Cup Team

Comments: Americans have waited to see this team for some time. And it was a team. A look at the photo of the American squad posing with the Ryder Cup shows an eclectic golfing mix of the elite (Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk), old pros (Justin Leonard, Kenny Perry), and Ryder Cup rookies (Boo Weekley, Anthony Kim, Hunter Mahan). Under Azinger's steady hand, the U.S. presented the Europeans with a challenge they hadn't faced in nearly a decade - a U.S. team that was hungry, focused and united. And with their hometown fans cheering them on enthusiastically, the U.S. was just not to be denied.

2. Paul Azinger

Comments: Fifteen years ago, Azinger fought his way back from non-Hodgkin Lymphona. It was the fight of his life, and he came back victorious. And Azinger brought that same determination to his position as the U.S. Ryder Cup Captain. Azinger did what American captains haven't been able to do in quite some time - he turned the U.S. into a true team. In 2008, Azinger's fight with cancer is but a memory. And now his resume reads thusly: 13 PGA Tour victories, including a major title; two winning playing appearances on U.S. Ryder Cup teams and a victorious stint as Ryder Cup Captain. It's official: Paul Azinger is a Hall of Famer.

3. J.B. Holmes

Comments: We're giving Holmes his due because of his Kentucky roots, and readily acknowledge that every player on the U.S. Ryder Cup Team is deserving of recognition. For Holmes, however, we must tip our hat to a golfer who was often written off as a long-drive competitor on the PGA Tour. Let there be no doubt that Holmes is a true golfer who just happens to be able to rocket off the occasional 400-yard bomb.

4. American golf fans

Comments: Stated as simply as possible - The U.S. would not have won the Ryder Cup without the brilliant performance from its fans. Louisville was the ultimate All-American city for the weekend and the players responded in style. For U.S. golf fans, this Ryder Cup was one big goose bump.

Random Quote: "[Nick] Faldo's thin skin, the need to have his sports shrink by his side even out on the course and his grating sense of humor, had confirmed what we knew all along, which is that he is no natural leader. But what we had not expected was that a man who had dedicated himself so much to this job would make such a colossal mistake." - The Times of London.

William K. Wolfrum keeps one eye on the PGA Tour and another watching golf vacation hotspots and letting travelers in on the best place to vacation. You can follow him on Twitter @Wolfrum.

Any opinions expressed above are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of the management.

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