Athletics Are Not Always About Money
2010 Ryder Cup
The Ryder Cup, one of the last great sporting events founded on prestige rather than prize money, was first contested in 1927. The origin of the idea to stage international golf matches between the best American professionals and those of Great Britain. Now the USA competition includes golfers from all of Europe.
The American Dozen are behind going into the last day of twelve single matches. Play will start at nine in the morning (which will be 1:05 a.m. PDT). Down nine-and-a-half to six-and-a-half points, this may become the biggest Yankee comeback in history.
With the exception of a miracle come-from-behind 14 1/2-13 1/2 victory in the 1999 Ryder Cup just outside Boston at The Country Club in Brookline, the United States took its lumps in the biennial matches from 1995-2006. Those woes included consecutive record loses at the hands of the Europeans in 2004 at Oakland Hills Country Club (18 1/2-9 1/2) and again in 2006 at the rain-soaked K Club in Straffan, Ireland (18 1/2-9 1/2).
All of that changed when the Americans hosted the 2008 Ryder Cup at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Ky., and former PGA Champion and Ryder Cup veteran Paul Azinger took the reigns as the U.S. captain. The charismatic Azinger, who had never been accused of running low on energy, formulated the perfect plan to stop the U.S. skid. Remarkably, Azinger did this even without the services of world No. 1 Tiger Woods, who was forced to miss the matches while recovering from reconstructive knee surgery.
Monday morning’s pairings are: Stricker vs. Westwood (the #2 ranked golfer in the world), Cink vs. McIlroy, Furyk vs. Donald, D. Johnson vs. Kaymer (’10 PGA Champion), Kuchar vs. Poulter, Overton vs. Fisher, Watson vs. Jimenez, Woods vs. F. Molinari, Fowler (21 year-old) vs. E. Molinari, Mickelson vs. Hanson, Z. Johnson vs. Harrington, and Mahan vs. McDowell (’10 US Open Champion).
The Twenty Ten Course at The Celtic Manor Resort, Newport, South Wales, has been specifically designed to stage The 2010 Ryder Cup.
Opened in July 2007, the course combines nine spectacular new holes designed by European Golf Design with nine holes from the original Robert Trent Jones Jnr-designed Wentwood Hills golf course which have been extensively remodeled. The new course measures 7493 yards from the back tees.
Best wishes for some great weather and wonderful golf.
It is not about money tomorrow. This is sport at its finest!