10 Reasons To Love The Ryder CupInto the Rough > Golf Features
Published 15/09/2008 18:00:43
The Ryder Cup is upon us once again and we love it. We get to see the world's best golfers treated like "slaves" and not get paid a penny for it. Tears, tantrums and moronic shouts of "get in the hole" are all part of the fun. Here's our top 10 reasons to love the Ryder:
- Misguided Patriotism - the scene of hundreds of Americans whooping and hollering on the 17th at Brookline 1999 stirred the embers of even the most disinterested European. The fact that Europeans get heckled whenever the event is played in the USA - fantastic. More of the same please, this is a competition not a polite Sunday game..
- Embarrassing Celebrations - we've mentioned Brookline '99 but what about Olazabal's dancing in '87? If he was English it would have been called Dad-dancing but because it was a Spaniard it was labelled "latino flair". Or something. Probably.
- Terrible Clothes - see picture - words not required.
- Pride over money - the Ryder Cup is played purely for pride, no multi-million dollar prize lavished on the winner here. Tiger Woods once joked there were "a million reasons" why he'd prefer playing a tour event than the Ryder Cup. Sorry Tiger, don't you think you've got enough ?
- Emotion - fist pumps, crowd cheers and players tears - the Ryder Cup has got it all. Who could forget Darren Clarke's display in 2006 after losing his wifejust months before? Or what about Faldo and Seve blubbering in 1995? I love you, man.
- Sporting Gestures - in 1969 Jack Nicklaus and Tony Jacklin came to the last neck and neck. Nicklaus trickled home a four footer to leave Jackling with a three foot putt to level the hole. Nicklaus picked up his ball and said "I know you would have not missed that, but, in these circumstances, I did not want to give you the opportunity". I'm choking up here.
- Great Chokes - this is more like it! Mark Calcavecchia blowing it against Monty in 1991, Mickelson's wayward tee shot in 2004, Ian Woosnam not winning from eight attempts, the list goes on. The pressure of the Ryder Cup is like no other because it's not just for yourself - it's for the team, even the nation.
- Great Quotes:
- "Nick Faldo is as much fun as Saddam Hussain" - Scott Hoch, 1997
- "Maybe the Americans know me now; tell 'em I'm related to all those Waltons on that TV show" - Philip Walton, 1995
- "I only played in three matches, and I hit three fairways the whole week, but I cleared out a lot of rough and all the branches on the golf course. I'm sure the members of Oak Hill aren't going to lose balls any more..." - Seve Ballesteros, 1995
- "The only thing that scares me about the Americans now is their dress sense" - Mark James, 1993
- "If you don't pull yourself together, I'm going to join them, and you can play all three of us, you useless bastard!" - Sam Torrance to David Feherty, 1991
- Camaraderie - history has shown the team who bonds the most wins. Look at the USA's ragged team of hot-shots over the last few tournaments - they've been beaten handsomely despite arguably having the best squad of players. Yet their last win was summed up by their fierce patriotism and lack of ego. For every Ballestero and Olazabal, there's a Nicklaus and Watson.
- Excitement - alright so 24 men in slacks isn't exactly a recipe for a heart attack but the Ryder Cup is genuinely exciting. Twists, turns, chokes and a frenetic pace give the event its magic aura. Play is packed into three days and wherever you look on the course a star is taking aim.