One week every two years we judge players’ careers based on an extremely limited body of work. The remaining 102 weeks during that time we consider the totality of their overall playing careers, not just what they accomplished as Ryder Cuppers or President Cuppers.
Ian Poulter will not likely ever win a major. Yet he’s proven himself to be a tremendous leader in this particular event.
But if you asked him if he’d give up the prestige he’s earned during his years playing in the RC for just two of Mickelson’s majors - he’d take it in a heartbeat.
Sure, they all want to play well and experience the joy that comes with winning this event. They all do. There’s some pride at stake here.
But it’s nevertheless a very trivial footnote at the bottom of their career resumes.
When I think of Nicklaus, I’m not thinking about his Ryder Cup record.
Just like I’m not thinking about Poulter’s inability to get it done in a major for that one week every other year in the RC.
Few players are great for a very long while. Many are great only occasionally.