The week that all golf fans have been waiting for has finally arrived; it is Ryder Cup Week.
The biennial match play event, one of golf’s most popular attractions, will be held at the Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland. This year’s USA squad shows off a variety of talents. Ryder Cup rookies Patrick Reed, Jordan Spieth, and Jimmy Walker will look to make a name for themselves on golf’s biggest stage. At the same time, Hunter Mahan, Webb Simpson, Keegan Bradley, and Rickie Fowler will try to keep the theme of success from the youth in this years event. The team’s veterans: Jim Furyk, Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson, Zach Johnson, and Matt Kuchar will look to guide the team in the right direction come Friday morning.
This year’s team has one thing on their mind: REDEMPTION. Two years ago, Team Europe dominated the Sunday singles matches en route to a 14.5-13.5 win over a very talented USA roster. Team USA was left shocked and embarrassed after the Europeans came back from the seemingly insurmountable 10-6 lead the Americans held after the Saturday sessions. This year’s American’s must ride the motivation that comes with being an underdog if they wish to come anywhere close at hoisting the Ryder Cup come Sunday afternoon.
Now to the important question: Do the American NEED to win this Ryder Cup?
Well this is an interesting questions with many different answers. The USA does not necessarily need to win the cup. If the Europeans do win the cup, no one will be surprised because they have 4 of the top 6 players in the Official World Golf Rankings. If we find Rory McIlory, Henrik Stenson, Sergio Garcia, and Justin Rose dancing on the 18th green on Sunday, the world will remain the way it is. So in that sense, no, the USA does not need to win the Ryder Cup.
In another sense, the USA does need to win, or at least give us an exciting three days of golf full of gasps and cheers. Much like baseball, golf is a fading game in America. Not many people understand the tradition, the strict rules, the nice clothes, the respect, and few people out there still want to spend 5 hours of their day trying to fit a small ball into a small hole. Golf still has its die hards (you’re reading the words of one right now), but the game is losing is popularity and intrigue to the general public.
In my dreamland, the 1991 Ryder Cup scenario plays out again; 12 slouchy Americans give an amazing display of team golf and capture the attention of millions of Americans crazy enough to turn on NBC/Golf Channel on their way to a win on the last hole of the last match. I think golf fanatics alike would faint if the slightest of this happened. But, this is dreamland, and this probably is not going to happen.
Anyway, our 12 Americans need to make a statement this weekend. A win could be essential to maintaining the popularity of a beloved game. So, my message is this: Don’t mess this up USA. This is your first time as the underdog in this event since its beginnings in 1927. So PLEASE, do something good, rally around each other, and raise that damn trophy for all Americans to see!