The Library

The 1999 Ryder Cup - One Pro's Opinion
By Pat Dolan

The trampling over the green in front of an ongoing match was despicable and totally unforgivable, especially since it was done by members of the United States team. I cannot accept those who try to cover it up by saying it was an emotional moment. Emotional moment or not professional golfers "above all others" are supposed to set examples and what they did on that green was totally unforgivable.

I can forgive the gallery for some of their attrocious manners but not the professionals who are themselves the first ones to complain when as much as a camera is clicking thirty feet away.

What a sad climax to what surely could and should have been a truly memorable match.

I had just been thinking earlier of all the ghosts who were in the gallery. In my mind I could see Frances Quimet who gave the United States it's first ever win over the then unbeatable European champions Harry Vardon and Ted Ray. Sitting proudly beside him were ALL of the deceased past members of the U.S. Ryder cup teams. I easily recognized a few among these were Walter Hagen, Gene Sarazen, Johnny Revolta, Ben Hogan, Julius Boros, Tony Lema, etc. Yes they were all there and looking proud as the others.

Then as I scanned the hillside I also saw sitting in the "ghostly" gallery all of the great teachers Willie Ogg, Labron Harris Sr., Harvey Penick, Joe Kirkwood Sr., Joe Ezar, Richard Eduard "Bumps" Barnes, etc.

Then sadly I saw they were all crying, NOT tears of joy but tears of shame and I could hear them saying "that is not what we taught."

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