Life ain’t easy for European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn. The 47-year-old is tasked with righting his team’s ship after a blowout loss at Hazeltine National in 2016. There’s also the inherent pressures of the position, not only due to the exhibition’s significance in that part of the globe but the stress in trying to preserve the Europeans’ home winning streak (their last defeat on union soil came in 1993). And though Bjorn is blessed with abundant talent, the vast amount of roster options bring their own scrutiny regarding his captain’s picks.
Which makes the sacrifice of one Stephen Atkinson all the more admirable.
If you’ve never heard of Atkinson, well, join the crowd. He appears to be an average bloke who loves the game, evidenced in helming the Babalou Golf Society. Alas, his responsibility to his club, along with the decisive revelation that he’s not good at golf, has led Atkinson to humbly withdraw his name from Ryder Cup consideration.
— Thomas Bjørn (@thomasbjorngolf) April 23, 2018
It’s good to know that, in an era marked by greed and indulgence, there’s a hero who puts country before self.