Ryder Cup 2012

by Michael Vlismas on

First Ryder Cup point goes to Olazábal

The Ryder Cup tees off today, and not a moment too soon following an opening ceremony that was, unfortunately, in the high handicap range.
Justin Timberlake, a very bad golf poem, and an orchestra that at times seemed to lose its sheet music felt a bit like being three off the first tee.

The only good thing about the entire affair was first the speech by European captain José María Olazábal, and then the response from American captain Davis Love III.
Olazábal most certainly took the first point for Europe with a well executed, well thought out address.

He set the tone for the matches when he urged the American fans to support their team with passion, but to do so in the spirit of the Ryder Cup.

He injected the right amount of emotion into his troops by recalling Seve Ballesteros.
He paid Love III and his team the due respect, and he had enough humour in there to have the home crowd laughing.

Love III was gracious in his response, although not as comfortable as Olazábal. But he did make an equally important point when he declared that there should be no talk of “war” or “battles” as this remains simply a golf tournament in a world filled with very real wars and battles.

And so we look forward to the 39th matches. Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy will make for great theatre, no doubt.
Woods has a very definite sense of what he needs to do this week.

Since his debut in the 1997 Ryder Cup, the US has won just once with him on the team, and that was in 1999.
Counting in his favour for an improved performance in the Ryder Cup will be that he has tasted success at Medinah’s No. 3 course, having won the 1999 and 2006 PGA Championships there.
The Americans should win this one.

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