An Event to Unite US
As we all salivate over the matchup between golf's two biggest names, the reality is that they may never even square off against each other this week at Medinah Country Club, just outside of Chicago. This is a team event directed by United States team captain Davis Love III and European team captain Jose Maria Olazabal. Don't underestimate the significance that the skippers will have on this weekend's outcome. In the first set of matches, Love benched Masters champion Bubba Watson and U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson. Suffice it to say, the talent in this competition is immense - 27 combined major titles (22 on the U.S. side) and 24 of the top 35 golfers according to the World Golf Rankings. As you know, this is a continent versus a country (which is to say, much bigger than any two people). The stakes are high and the rivalry is heated. The Europeans hold the Cup at present and the Americans want it back. Badly. It didn't take very long for enemy lines to be drawn Friday morning.
On the second hole of the first match pitting McIlroy and Graeme McDowell against Jim Furyk and Fed Ex Cup Champion Brandt Snedeker, the head games began. During the Alternate Shot play, McIlroy's tee shot on a par 3 left his teammate with a short chip that the European duo claimed was obstructed by a sprinkler head. When McDowell asked Furyk about getting relief, the 42-year old American made it clear that this wasn't a friendly game. "We've been friends a long time," Furyk said to the Northern Irishman. "But I've got to do what's right for my team." The gentleman's game is anything but at the Ryder Cup.
People are getting booed ON A GOLF COURSE! We only see this once every two years and it's only on American turf for 3 days out of every 4 years. Let's face it, you can't describe this unique event in three words. But if I may have a second shot at a tagline for the Ryder Cup.
THEM versus US.