As the Ryder Cup (October 1-3, Celtic Manor Resort in Wales) fast approaches, I’m excited as if it were a Major. The Ryder Cup has drama, intensity, team spirit, patriotism, great pressure golf and so much more. Adding sizzle to this year’s version are two colorful captains and Tiger Woods’ participation.
Europe team captain Colin Montgomerie is a controversial figure who tends to put his foot in his mouth quite regularly with spicy quotes, and the fiery American captain Corey Pavin had a recent dust-up with Golf Channel reporter Jim Gray about whether Tiger Woods would be a Captain’s Pick.
Woods, who has struggled on the course since he obliterated a fire hydrant with his Escalade on November 27th, has been lobbying to be one of Pavin’s picks since he didn’t accumulate enough points to make the team. What do you do with a guy who has 14 majors on his resume but now can’t seem to find a fairway or hit eight-foot putts consistently? This is golf’s ultimate reality show with big egos and intrigue.
Everything about the Ryder Cup from the trash talking and national pride to the attractive wives following their husbands around the course to the champagne shower for the victors is fun to watch. The pressure of playing for your country and teammates is sometimes overwhelming and you see some of the best golfers in the world wilt right before your eyes.
In contrast, the FedEx Cup, the PGA Tour’s annual playoffs is not much more exciting than watching Tour pros hit balls at the range. First, find me one person, anyone, even a PGA Tour player, who completely understands the complex points system and who’s eligible and who’s not. I’ve tried to follow this thing since its inception in 2007 and I just can’t seem to get into it. I remember when it was announced in 2005 and how the PGA Tour said it would be like the NASCAR-like points race and provide fantastic golf and playoff intensity. Aside from the big bucks the players stand to win, nothing seems too exciting about the entire series.
Do we really care who wins The Barclays, Deutsche Bank Championship, BMW Championship and the Tour Championship? Not really.
Quite frankly, I wish we had the Ryder Cup every year and the FedEx Cup, let’s say, every four years like the World Cup. After all, it’ll take about four years to figure out the goofy points standings.