As anyone who plays golf knows the Ryder Cup is almost upon us and a myriad of commentators and ‘those who know about these things’ have espoused their opinions. So maybe I should throw my lot into the ring!!
Without wishing to sound cynical, people in the game have a vested interest in playing up the significance of the contest. For many years and I am old enough to remember these times, the American almost always whooped us good! By ‘us’ I mean GB & Ireland who have produced some terrific players (O’Connor x 2, Weetman, Clarke, et al).
Since 1979 when the GB & I Team was extended to continental Europe our fortunes have improved considerably. Now you notice I have become a European!!
Obviously that has had the effect of increasing potential tv audiences although for the past few events it has not been available on something called terrestrial tv (to me that means the good old ‘Beeb’!! Sky’s dominance of this flagship event causes many golfers to switch off and although many golf clubs have satellite tv, the event will go unwatched by a potentially large audience.
That is a great shame for club golfers and in my opinion reduces the attraction of the competition. But I guess the organisers have worked out that they make more by going satellite than they can through terrestrial and the extra viewers that would attract.
Now that we’re only one week away from this year’s competition opinions are coming from players, captains, vice-captains and probably Uncle Tom Cobley! One can’t help but wonder how much is done for effect.
Amongst all the hype it is good to see that one of my favourite players is remaining calm and unchanged. Miguel Angel Jimenez says that his routine, diet, exercise and life will not be any different next week than it normally is. No wonder he is such a consistent performer on the course.
As far as the contest is concerned, I believe we will win but there must be a few concerns over the lack of match fitness of Westwood, great player that he is. Also Peter Hansen appears to be struggling with injury whilst the form of Poulter and Harrington has been patchy as of late.
I read somewhere the other day that Paul Casey is arrogant. All the pros I have worked with are and need to be full of confidence. Casey has more confidence than most and I wish he were in the Team.
That said, I thought Clarke should have been in the Team last time instead of Poulter. What do I know!!
What I do know is that golf is a great game and the first rule is ‘Enjoy the game’. I hope this series will be played in the true spirit of the game. Come on us!!