Sunday, 18 September 2016

Ryder Cup

We will likely be treated to some exciting golf again at this year's Ryder Cup.  Unfortunately, we are also likely to see some real partisan nonsense, disguised as patriotism.  Somehow, since the "War on the shore" at Kiawah Island, the Ryder Cup has become much more than just a "friendly" exhibition between great golfers on both sides of the pond.

Gone are the days, it seems, of true gentlemen like Jack Nicklaus, who famously conceded the putt on the last green to Tony Jacklin, telling him he wasn't going to give him the chance to miss it.  Jack was willing to settle for a half, knowing the Cup was won.  That sort of attitude may still exist among some of the players, but, particularly on the American side, there seems to exist this need to win at all cost.

If the US fail to win it becomes a time for recriminations and second-guessing, rather than a simple admission that they were out-played.  I just hope this year that there isn't a war.  It would be nice to see the players actually enjoy themselves and play some excellent golf, regardless of the outcome.  

In the attached video I noted two things.  First Calc referred to it being "disgusting" to see the Europeans celebrating their first victory on US soil.  It may have been just an unfortunate choice of words for Mark, but the fact remains that the Americans have a thing or two to learn about losing gracefully.  On the other hand, Seve Ballasteros was not the picture of grace during his Ryder Cups either, so the Americans didn't have the corner on the market when it comes to poor sportsmanship.

The other interesting bit was Calc telling about David Feherty saying to him at Kiawah, "It isn't supposed to be like this, is it?"  Feherty was, of course, absolutely right.  One can only hope that this year is closely contested in the true spirit of the game.

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