Presidents Cup – In the Ryder’s Shadow

Revving Up Interest for the President’s Cup

Even for those of us who follow the game religiously, the larger part of golf’s fan base isn’t able to really say what some of the “other” cups really mean – Curtis? Solheim? Walker? Presidents? Presidents of what?

One reason, in all likelihood, is that the Ryder and Solheim pit the U.S. against Europe. Europe, as any fan can tell of late, is very, very formidable. Secondly, Europe can be perceived as a single, distinct entity, which means that competitive types can drop the détente and treat it as if it were an alien invasion. Those who just appreciate great golf and don’t care where everyone comes from, outside of mere interest, probably won’t get the same buzz as the GI Joe fans. So, this Presidents Cup thing. Apparently, it’s been played seven or eight times, with the U.S. winning all but one, in 1998. The great legends from both sides tend to serve as captains, although since 2000, the “international” team has employed either Greg Norman or Gary Player as head coach.
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So, what’s the problem? Why can’t this rev up the same kind of interest as Ryder does? pres. cup 1For one thing, the Presidents Cup is a format which pits the U.S. against the world, and the world, try as it might, is not such a distinct entity. Second, Europe is left out of the equation. They don’t participate, which means that the U.S. takes on most of the world, blander yet. And, here’s a third problem – there are great golfers all around the world who come from just about everywhere, but when they’re all collected, they probably don’t quite match the power of Europe, no matter the era, no matter whether it’s Sorenstam or Pettersen.

Venues present no problem at all. The tournament is played all over the world, and this year will appear at Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio, site of the Memorial. Ah, we get them on American soil this year – certain victory…um, see Solheim 2013. Ah, but that was Europe, mean ol’ Europe. pres. cup 2The format is similar to other “Cups,” with Thursday’s matches featuring alternating shots, Friday playing best ball, both on Saturday, and singles matches on Sunday, in which everyone plays, all twelve men from each team.
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That reminds me, all men – perhaps mixing male and female champions might generate something that one alone can’t – I’m just saying. Sure, Tiger Woods and Adam Scott are a great match to anticipate, but wouldn’t an international star versus Stacy Lewis match look awfully good right next to it? Now, that’s bringing the best of the world together. Be that as it may, what we’ve probably got is Mickelson vs. Jason Day, Steve Stricker vs. Schwartzel, Kuchar vs. Els, Snedeker vs. Oosthuizen, Dufner vs. Matsuyama, Zach Johnson vs. deLaet/ Keegan Bradley vs. Branden Grace, Jordan Spieth vs. Richard Sterne, Webb Simpson vs. Angel Cabrera, Hunter Mahan vs. Marc Leishmann, Bill Haas vs. Brendon de Jonge.

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I’m sorry, but Stacy Lewis and a few others ought to be in there. That there has never been a female president shouldn’t stop us – that’s just dumb. And by the way, when did Canada, Mexico and South America join the other side? What about a cup that pits the hemispheres against each other, putting Europe back in? Maybe the west would be slaughtered, but then again, maybe not. Regardless, something’s got to be done. It just isn’t ringing like Solheim and Ryder do. There’s something about the matches that don’t scream of a great draw, but at least there will be great golf at a beautiful course in Ohio. I’ll enjoy that while they sort the rest of it out.pres. cup 3

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