Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Will the Presidents Cup Always Be Ryder's Step-Sister?

Back in 2003, when the Presidents Cup was being hosted by Gary Player and the country of South Africa, the matches, as you probably know, ended in a tie after all play was complete.

So, Jack Nicklaus and Player decided to pick their best two players, Tiger Woods for America and Ernie Els for the International squad (talk about a dated pick), and the two went toe-to-toe until darkness engulfed the course and the captains decided the pressure was too much. The matches that year ended in a tie, and basically defined the Presidents Cup as we know it.

See, watching that playoff was exciting, but it wasn't "sit on the edge of your seat, scream at the top of your lungs for Justin Leonard's putt to hit the back of the hole on my god it went in HOLY SHIT THIS IS THE BEST MOMENT OF MY LIFE!" exciting. It was the Presidents Cup. It pits the United States against vanilla characters like Vijay Singh, Adam Scott, Mike Weir, K.J. Choi, Ernie Els and Retief Goosen (honest to god, when I started to type out the vanilla characters for the International team, I intended to list two or three, but they kept coming out ... that is how intimidating and interesting these guys are).

The question is, will it ever gain the steam the Ryder Cup has? The players, no matter their obvious push for payments ever year, want to beat the hell out of the other side when those matches roll around. For a week, Americans hate Sergio Garcia more than they normally do, and Europeans poke fun of Phil Mickelson. It is the international competition that makes our world so great. It has the history and the moments to go with it, and just breaths better than the Presidents.

Yep, golf fans will be huddled around their televisions this weekend, watching the top players in the world, sans Europe, try and take out the other team. It'll be fun, because watching a different type of golf is always fun (also why I think the PGA Championship should be match play). But, it will never be the Ryder Cup, and that's disappointing. No matter how hard the PGA pushes for it, we will always look at this event as something highlighted by a hat of a caddie. "Tiger Who?" If Colin Montgomerie's caddie had sported that on American soil, we might have seen our first ever golf brawl.

Stringer, AFP


Mike said...

All it will take is for the ROWorld team to win 3 in a row. In fact, if they could just manage to win just one - on American soil - they'd be well on their way. Let's not forget that the Ryder Cup was considered just a good will gesture by the US until the Euros kicked our ass *here* one time.

The Euros have "lived and breathed" Ryder Cup for a long time, simply because they were driven to prove they could beat us. To build excitement in the US, the ROWorld team just needs to prove they can.

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