Presidents Cup really does prove America is the greatest country - especially when it comes to golf
While watching the U.S. team rout the Internationals in this year’s Presidents Cup golf from Harding Park in San Francisco this weekend, my wife quizzed me about the setup.
When I told her that a team of Americans was playing a team of internationals, she made this observation:
“Well, that hardly seems fair,” she said, “all those other countries against us.”
“Well, it’s not everybody,” I assured her. “The European countries aren’t playing.”
“Because they play us in the Ryder Cup Matches.”
“And it’s all those countries against the Americans?” she asked.
“Yep, but it wasn’t always that way,” I told her. “There was a time when it was just Great Britain and Ireland vs. the U.S., but it was so lopsided that Jack Nicklaus suggested they bring in their allies to make it more competitive.”
Which worked, of course, but if you look at these two international competitions, it does seem condescending more than anything. Yeah, I know we play a lot more golf in the United States than in other countries, but shouldn’t the 2009 President’s Cup have been a little closer given that it was eight countries vs. one?
What’s the next step? Giving them strokes?
It seems like we’re always trying to find ways to equalize, which really isn’t all that bad. I don’t like routs in any sport. I like parity, although all sports need a dominating figure or two - or dominating team or two for the Cinderellas to knock off.
I actually found myself rooting for international players on Saturday just to keep it close. As an American, I still wanted our guys to win, but I wanted it to be interesting during singles.
In fact, Tiger Woods’ putt on 17 and 4-iron on 18 at the end of foursomes on Saturday were nothing less than sensational, but I was sure hoping Tim Clark would hit a closer pitch shot out of the greenside rough on 18 to at least salvage a split in that match. Losing it, after he and Mike Weir were up by one with two to play, changed the whole complexion of the competition. In the end, it probably didn’t matter, but it might have made Sunday a little more interesting.
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Your wife will certainly get the mono-e-mono matchup she's waiting for in the 2016 Olympics, where all the countries will be represented equally. Then we'll see if America is as dominant as you say we are.
In other words, anybody could win it, and that player's country would just simply add it to the medal count. And as we all know, all of these guys are good and if they get hot at the right time, they are all capable of winning.
All we have to do is look at the majors to see that, given that the PGA was won by a Korean and the Masters by an Argentinean, and neither one of those countries are currently dominant in men's golf. Americans did win the other two majors, by the way.
I'd still love to see match play in the Olympics -- at least for the final eight or so -- as I would in the Tour Championship for the FexEx Cup. It's so much more fun that way.