Ryder Cup Fever
If stroke play golf had a face, match play golf would bash it in with an aluminum baseball bat. I love this event. Keep in mind that I am a rabid lunatic of a sports fan. Therefore I watch everything. There's no big golf fan bias here. That being said, given the chance to go to the Superbowl or spend the weekend at the Ryder Cup? It wouldn't even be close I would be at the Ryder Cup draped in an American flag heckling the unholy shit out of Lee Westwood. I’ll explain why.
For starters international competition in general gets my blood pumping. I bleed red, white, and blue in these instances. Especially if its an event that our competition is perceived to be better than us and or the favorites. Anyone remember the 2010 winter Olympics? When a plucky US Hockey team backed by a hot Ryan Miller nearly upended the heavy favorite Canadians in Vancouver. How insanely intense was that?! Game 7 of the stanley cup could not have competed with that. America loves its underdogs, especially when its an us vs the world underdog story. Nothing would please me more than to have a US soccer team go on a rampage at the world cup. Can you imagine our boys celebrating in victory after upending a stunned English team in the final? Especially if it was on their home soil. What could be better than ripping the soul out of an entire populace? (Which it would) And I’m not even much of a soccer fan. Oh, and for the love of Christ can we get a decent US men's tennis player?
Back to the Ryder Cup. As previously stated I wish we got to watch more match play throughout the year. The PGA championship used to be match. Who do I have to sleep with to get that back? As a spectator sport it’s simply superior to stroke play. By and large save for the last couple of holes on Sunday, golf is a one man game. Its you and the ball and the hole. Then you count up the strokes up at the end. Match play adds the intensity of you are playing another person or team directly. You stare into the gaze of the enemy for the entire round. Anyone who doesn’t believe that match is more intense should watch Ian Poulter’s Saturday afternoon round. The man was an English demon from which there was no hope of escape. The Americans could only hope not to have their bones gnawed on. You see very few highlights like this in normal stroke play. Sure Tiger has had some throughout his career but they are defining moments in big tournaments. With 97% of them coming on Sunday. At the Ryder cup there is one of those butt-hole puckered up moments followed by dejection or jubilation damn near every 12 minutes!
Speaking of Ian Poulter thats another interesting Ryder Cup phenomena. The rapid corner changing for we the fans. Not so much switching alliances with your home country’s. That would make you an asshole. But fan allegiances for the individual players. Generally speaking I keep up a good level of hate for European players throughout the year. Mostly because of lingering Ryder Cup hatred. Poulter however is one guy that I just can't bring myself to hate. In a world of extra frumpy Westwoodian golfers Poulter stands out. He’s got some style, hes a an explosive player, and is usually good for a humorous soundbyte. I cannot bring myself to hate the man. So who is it that deals the biggest blows to my squad? Poulter of course. A man I usually cheer on in tournaments I find myself cursing at the TV saying outlandishly offensive things about him, his family, hell I may even have wished his cat would choke in his goldfish. I'm sure the European fans think the same thing. Phil Mickelson is well liked in Europe, but no doubt fans this morning were calling for him to be hung and drawn Braveheart style as Phil rampaged through his match. He and Keegan Bradley were like Optimus Prime fighting C-3P0 in a cage match.
These big robot on small robot hate crimes need to continue in our favor. So here's to hoping that someone from the American team slips Poulter a poisoned cup of tea with a crumpet tonight. That way there will be no dramatic come from behind victory tomorrow morning. So go America! Get out there disembowel those haughty Europeans! USA, USA, USA!