Day One of Presidents Cup reveals the big difference between Americans and European Ryder Cup squad
On paper, the International Team for the Presidents Cup looks stronger than the 2006 European Ryder Cup team that laid a serious beat down on the U.S. There are more Top 20 players in the field this week than at the Ryder Cup.
After Thursday’s opening matches in Montreal, it looks like an early route for the U.S., who didn’t lose a single match to lead by five points.
Down in Mississippi Wednesday, I played in the Viking Classic Pro-Am with American up-and-comer Charley Hoffman. He’s never played in the Ryder Cup or President’s Cup, but it’s a goal of his. Like a lot of players, he thinks the secret to the Euro’s success against the Americans comes down to camaraderie.
“It’s different for the European Tour than here,” he said Wednesday. “Those guys travel together and know each other more, they’re around each other more. It’s not like that here.
“I think that was the point of the FedEx Cup, to get us around each other more, get some of that camaraderie that’s on the European Tour. If you look at the Ryder Cup, we usually do well in the singles matches, just can’t play well as a team. They’re used to each other.”
Day One of the Presidents Cup seems to validate that. The “International” umbrella features players from South Africa, Australia, Fiji and Canada. It can’t be a close-nit bunch no matter how chummy Vijay Singh is with his team. It’s not like the European team.
Hoffman is planning on playing out the 2007 season, when many of the big guns like Tiger Woods are about to hang up the sticks in hopes of getting another win or two and reaching the Top 30 on the Money List. He is currently 46th. He shot an opening round 69 at Annandale Thursday - obviously a result of our group’s 14-under Best Ball success in the Pro-Am that surely did wonders for his confidence.
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