Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Golf Needs to be the Winner

It's almost time to kick off the Presidents Cup.  I've enjoyed Golfchannel's pre-match coverage, especially with the addition of Paul McGinley to the crew.  

I don't particularly care who wins, so long as the matches are closely contested in the spirit of the game.  I was disappointed to hear Nick Price inject the idea that this was a must-win situation for the internationals, and that some players were talking about skipping the event in the future if the Americans dominate again.  It suggests his team already have a questionable attitude, and this may not bode well for them.  

I liked Jack Nicklaus' comments about the competition being about the game and not winning and losing.  I'm disappointed that Nick and some of his players seem to have other ideas.  I think Nick Price is one of the classiest acts the game has ever known, and highly suspect that his comments had more to do with what he was hearing from some of his players, rather than how he really felt about the situation.

I find some of the pairings for the opening matches are interesting, particularly Mickelson and Zach Johnson.  I thought Mickelson was added to the team for his experience and leadership.  If so, both would seem to be wasted on Zach who is both a leader and very experienced.  Perhaps, in this case, the thinking is that Zach may be expected to carry Phil rather than the other way round.  It will be interesting to watch.

I was very disappointed to see Sang Moon Bae sitting out the first session as the only Korean on the team, other than Korean-born Danny Lee.  I would have somehow found a way to include him.  But, then again, I am not Nick Price.  He obviously has his reasons, which apparently included not wanting to break up the team of Bae and Schwartzel.  He's in a tough spot if he really thinks he has to produce a win to somehow save the Presidents Cup from becoming irrelevant.  Second guessing the captains is all too common a practice in my mind anyway.  Ultimately, it's the players who must step up.

I look forward to seeing some exciting golf on a course designed to yield birdies, and expect to see great things from Lahiri, who is quickly making a name for himself on the world stage.  I hope Bae plays great and that Danny Lee continues his good form.  As usual, the Americans, on paper, look to be the superior team.  The great thing is, in this game, anything can happen.

As Jack so aptly pointed out, at the end of the day, golf needs to be the winner at the Presidents Cup.  I think it will be.