To max­imise in­ter­est and ex­cite­ment on both sides of the pond, does the great bi­en­nial team event need the USA to tri­umph at Hazel­tine?

Golf Monthly - - Your View -

urope have won the last three Ry­der Cups and eight of the last ten. A sug­ges­tion heard in golf­ing cir­cles on this side of the pond in re­cent years has been that the Ry­der Cup needs an Amer­i­can vic­tory, to keep the ex­cite­ment lev­els at fever pitch plus in­ter­est and ex­pec­ta­tion high on both sides. Is this the case? Is such a view a lit­tle su­per­fi­cial and pa­tro­n­is­ing, or would The Ry­der Cup be in a bet­ter place if the USA wins at Hazel­tine?

If Davis Love III’s men tri­umph in Min­nesota it will be only the sec­ond US vic­tory of the 21st cen­tury. The USA pre­vailed com­fort­ably at Val­halla in 2008 when the Euro­pean cap­tain, Nick Faldo, was thor­oughly out-thought by his op­po­site num­ber Paul Azinger. But, in the other six con­tests this mil­len­nium, Europe have come out on top.

Euro­pean golf fans have be­come used to win­ning the great bi­en­nial event, and US play­ers and sup­port­ers are hun­gry to si­lence their in­creas­ingly vo­cal sup­port­ers – think Pa­trick Reed’s shush­ing at Gle­nea­gles!

When the USA dom­i­nated the con­test in the mid-to-late 20th cen­tury, Euro­pean fans held more hope than ex­pec­ta­tion, and most of the cheer­ing was left to those wav­ing the stars and stripes. How good it was for Europe to stun those ex­pec­tant Amer­i­can fans at The Bel­fry in 1985 and to prove that the event was no longer a mere pro­ces­sion. Per­haps it is in­deed time for the Euro­pean devo­tees to re­ceive a gen­tle re­minder of the same sort?

EThe Amer­i­can pub­lic is spoilt for choice when it comes to top-level com­pe­ti­tion. They have a plethora of op­tions of what, and who, to sup­port, from base­ball and bas­ket­ball to NFL and NHL, track and field and tennis to NASCAR. There are those who think that if the USA con­tinue to lose in The Ry­der Cup, the fickle fans will switch off and move their al­le­giance to some­thing else. This seems a rather ma­li­cious gen­er­al­i­sa­tion. The Amer­i­can golf fans love their sport and their play­ers, and they will con­tinue to sup­port and believe in them in The Ry­der Cup.

The US may have lost at the last three at­tempts, but these have been close con­tests. In 2010 at Celtic Manor, the event came right down to the wire. Graeme Mc­Dow­ell edged out Hunter Ma­han in the fi­nal sin­gles to leave the Amer­i­can so over­come with dis­ap­point­ment that he was un­able to speak in the post-tour­na­ment press con­fer­ence. In 2012, Europe pulled off one of the great­est come­backs in cup

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