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Golf Australia Express : Issue 13
By Sam Gole VIEW THE WEALL love an underdog. Especially when it wins. And it’s great for any sport when an upset occurs. It keeps the contest exciting for viewers, fans and players. Golf’s no different. Since Tiger Woods’ public fall from grace, fresh and exciting faces have emerged on the PGA Tour. Despite doomsdayers saying golf was dead without Tiger, events have on the contrary been far more intriguing and interesting—particularly the four majors. There’s nothing more exciting than seeing a player achieve a long-held dream. And watching a first-time major winner capture that dream is more inspirational than an emotionless player ticking off yet another. And that philosophy applies equally to team events. Take the Ryder Cup as an example. The US won 13 Ryder Cups in a row between 1959 and 1983. That domination nearly killed the event. Public interest waned and the golf media speculated about the relevance and importance of the event. It wasn’t until Europe surprised the golf world with an upset win in 1985 that reignited the transatlantic grudge match. For the women, the relevance of the Solheim Cup has been equally questioned. The US women have dominated this biennial series since its inception in 1990. Leading into the 2011 event, the Solheim Cup appeared to be dying a slow death, with the US having secured eight wins from 11 encounters. And heading to Killeen Castle the US had won the last three Solheim Cups—each with a familiar ending. In 2009, the scoring on Sunday was almost identical to 2005. Both teams were tied at 8-all and on both occasions the US girls dominated the final day’s contests. In 2007 Europe lead by a point going into the singles, only to capitulate, gaining just 31⁄2 of the 12 points on offer. But like a good underdog will occasionally do, the latest Europe team reversed that trend to out-American the Americans. And how good was it to watch? All of a sudden there’s life in the old girl. And we’ll now be keenly awaiting to see if the Europeans can break one more curse and beat the Yanks on their home soil in two years. Of course it’s also time for the International team to follow suit at Royal Melbourne. After all, they are the underdogs. EMAIL YOUR THOUGHTS TO: firstname.lastname@example.org RISE OF THE UNDERDOGS What needs to happen to keep our sport interesting