Presidents Cup not very thrilling
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
The Presidents Cup has a problem: When it comes to golf, there is no genuine rivalry between the United States and the rest of the world. There is no compelling distinction between the two squads of golfers. There is no reason to get excited about a contrived competition that lacks any historical or emotional foundation.
The Ryder Cup is different. In golf, there is a well-chronicled rivalry between the United States and Europe. Furthermore, many of the players on the European team compete in Europe more often than they do in the United States. It’s largely the U.S. PGA Tour against the PGA European Tour. It’s us versus them.
On the other hand, the Presidents Cup is us versus us. Most of the international players are based in the United States and play the American Tour. There is nothing remarkable about the Presidents Cup.
The oldest intercontinental rivalry in golf is between the United States and the United Kingdom. It dates back to the 19th century, when the spark for competitive golf in the U.S. was provided by golfers from Scotland and England. The U.S. Open was first played in 1895, and not a single native born American was among the winners of the first 16 championships.
In the 17th U.S. Open, played in 1911, John McDermott finally broke that streak.
The point here is that golf history – and not the PGA Tour – should be telling us what which events are truly important and which are not. This is why golf has four major championships and why the Players Championship is not the fifth major. This is why the Presidents Cup is not a heart-pounding golf experience.