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Golf Australia Express : OTG Express 166
I’VE long wondered about the standing the Presidents Cup holds in world golf; perhaps even its greater relevance within the sport. Its 21-year history means it is the only tournament of global significance, aside from the World Golf Championship events, that anyone my age can remember every edition of, meaning comparisons between the 10 stagings are valid. I recall Brad Hughes getting a late call-up for the inaugural matches near Washington D.C. in 1994, I remember Fred Couples breaking the Internationals’ hearts with a killer putt two years later, then the stifling heat (and equally hot play of Peter Thomson’s crew) at Royal Melbourne in 1998. And how good it was to be present at the same venue 13 years later. The rise of the likes of Greg Norman, Nick Price, Ernie Els, Vijay Singh and Co. certainly warranted a Ryder Cup-style match that involved non-American and non- European players. Likewise, the US PGA Tour sought a Ryder Cup equivalent seeing as it couldn’t claim a piece of the revenue pie from that cash cow every two years. With the buy-in of a golf-mad American president in George Bush Snr, the wishes of multiple parties were granted with the announcement of the new biennial teams event in the early ’90s. The problem became repetitive outcomes. That the misfit International side was flogged 20-12 in 1994 was acceptable, especially when it took Couples’ heroics against Singh to extinguish an upset the next time. When the ledger went 2-1 after three stagings and even 3-1-1 after five, it seemed to quell any thoughts of disparity between the two sides. Then came the lopsided results. Time and again the Internationals seemed outmuscled or the US side appeared ultra-motivated, still licking their wounds from yet another beating by European hands at the Ryder Cup. Admittedly, none of the post-2003 results have been as bad as the 21.5- 10.5 drubbing issued in 2000, but the repeated three-, four- and five-point margins have illustrated a numerical separation between the two sides to match what many observers would agree is also a visible gap. I felt the 2011 event at Royal Melbourne was crucial to the Presidents Cup’s long-term survival as a viable contest. When those matches again went the way of the US and a similar tune was repeated on home soil last time, the future didn’t look good. Veteran players like Adam Scott are sick of the beatings, but every two years a collection of rookie players surfaces without the familiarity of team atmosphere and experience of playing matchplay. And that rawness is evident. It stands to be the same this year as Sang-Moon Bae, Steven Bowditch, Thongchai Jaidee, Anirban Lahiri and Danny Lee line up for the first time. An amendment to the format – to fewer matches, therefore less exposure of the ‘tail’ of this batting line-up – should help the Internationals. But one can’t help but envisage a similar outcome. It’s the US by four points again for me. But, gee, I hope I’m wrong. OTG the VIEW LOOPY OR JUST LOPSIDED? HOW LONG CAN THE PRESIDENTS CUP SUSTAIN INTEREST WHEN THE SAME TEAM WINS ALL THE TIME? by Steve Keipert Golf Australia deputy editor Awarded #1 Overall Winner in the ‘2015 MyGolfSpy Most Wanted Driver Awards’ # 1 MOST WANTED DRIVER 2015 LEARN MORE
OTG Express 165
OTG Express 167