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Presidents Cup plays second fiddle to Ryder Cup

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Iain Carter | 12:34 UK time, Monday, 14 November 2011

On this side of the pond we are a bit sniffy about the Presidents Cup. The biennial clash between the pro golfers of America and an “International” team is regarded a pale imitation of the Ryder Cup.

It lacks the history, passion and drama that so enthrals not just the golfing community but the sporting world when the United States and Europe trade golfing blows every two years.

“Yeah, it’s not the Ryder Cup is it? The Presidents Cup doesn’t mean so much to the players,” I heard a former American Ryder Cup captain comment a couple of weeks ago.

He is correct but, as Fred Couples’ Americans prepare to take on Greg Norman’s Internationals at Royal Melbourne this week, there is a genuine sense of anticipation for what threatens to be a truly memorable contest.

Presidents Cup

The ninth Presidents Cup, where the US meet a non-European International side in a Ryder Cup-style format, takes place in Melbourne in November. PHOTO: Getty

One of the things that has counted against the Presidents Cup in previous years was that the American players seemed to enjoy it too much.

Some went as far as to say they preferred it to the Ryder Cup because the opposition were not as hell-bent on victory as their European foes.

It is a less intense experience and there is the compensation of a fat cheque to go to charities of the players' choice as well.

It is much harder for us fans to be as interested in a match given such circumstances. We want legs to be shaking with fear on the first tee – we want it to matter.

Also, it is hard for those opposing the US to unite under the “international” banner.

They are playing for the bit of the world that is not governed by the stars and stripes and not directly affected by the Eurozone crisis - a team without flag or currency, and often with little in common.

America invariably run out winners - the Internationals have won only once and there was a famous tie in 2003 when, after the match finished 17-17, Tiger Woods and Ernie Els couldn’t be separated following three holes of a sudden-death play-off.

In the Ryder Cup a draw is a draw, with the holders keeping the trophy. We don’t mess with artificially concocted sudden-death denouements and prefer the drama to develop in a more organic way.

So why should we be interested by the contest in Melbourne this week?

Shouldn’t Els, Masters champion Charl Schwartzel and Retief Goosen instead be in their native South Africa supporting the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek?

Maybe, but the truth is they are in the place that will command most golfing attention because the Presidents Cup really does threaten to be a seriously compelling occasion.

For once there is a discernible edge between the teams, further enhanced because the match has returned to the scene of the Internationals’ only victory, when defeated the US 20½-11½ in 1998.

Both Couples and Norman had plenty to say about each other’s wildcard picks to give the contest some early needle.

Norman raised eyebrows at the wildcard selections of Woods and Bill Haas over the PGA champion Keegan Bradley, while Couples pointed to the lack of recent wins of International pick, Australian Robert Allenby.

This mini-spat provided a healthy dose of posturing in the build-up – but real spice was added unwittingly by caddie Steve Williams’s infamous racially charged slur against his former boss Woods in Shanghai last week.

Williams caddies for Aussie Adam Scott and, with scope for the captains to pre-determine some matches, there will be a huge temptation to capitalise on the controversy and engineer a Woods versus Scott showdown.

“It’s not going to be premeditated,” claimed International skipper Greg Norman. “I talked to Adam about it and asked him if it worked out that way, did he have a problem with it?

“He said, ‘Not at all, I’ll play him and win a point for you’. It can fall that way. He might end up playing with him every day. Who knows? I would expect them to meet some time.”

More significant to generating the feel of a genuine contest is the Australian setting. The home crowds will offer boisterous support and an atmosphere rarely felt in a predominantly individual sport.

The crowds will help unite the International team, which is drawn from Australia, South Africa, Korea and Japan and turn them into a motivated unit.

America needs to win as well. The Ryder, Walker and Solheim Cups all reside elsewhere and the US can ill-afford to let another piece of silverware slip from its grasp.

The match is being staged on a classic course in Royal Melbourne but, as countless Ryder Cups have proven, the quality of the layout doesn’t overly matter.

If you bring together two decent teams desperate to beat each other, you could stage it on a local municipal course and it would still be worth watching.

Funnily enough the last Presidents Cup was played on a rather good public course at Harding Park in San Francisco. But it was a pretty dull affair won convincingly by the United States with Woods enjoying a clean sweep of victories.

As we know, soon after, an awful lot changed in the life of the former world number one who has just climbed back up to 50th in the rankings.

Yes, it is not the Ryder Cup and will never achieve the acclaim of those historic US-Euro jousts – but the Internationals versus America will be well worth watching.

The contest starts with a series of foursomes on Thursday.

With a deeply felt desire for victory and fear of failure, the Presidents Cup may just come of age this week.


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  • Comment number 1.

    If the international team playied europe every two years then surely it would help enhance the presidents cup and we would get to see the best form of golf (matchplay) more often. Why has this not been mentioned? I rate the ryder cup above everything including the open, the drama is second to none to see that more often against the rest of the world would be great. please start the ball rolling x

  • Comment number 2.

    Terrible Blog!

  • Comment number 3.

    "...the US can ill-afford to let another piece of silverware slip from its grasp."

    Really? Why exactly? What's actually at stake here?

  • Comment number 4.


    As clearly stated, what is at stake here is the fact that the ryder, walker and solheim cups, all reside outside of the USA - a big fat wad of pride is at stake!

    Given the continued rise of top australian talent, allied to some very good international (particularly South African and some very good Asian players), this really does promise to be a very intriguing contest!

    Come on the Internationals!

    there is only one Ryder Cup though! ;)

  • Comment number 5.

    If its taking place in Melbourne, then why is Sydney Opera House pictured in the background?

  • Comment number 6.

    You know,I know,we all know, it's not the Ryder Cup! A[Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]ussies feeling left out again?

  • Comment number 7.

    "2. At 07:52 15th Nov 2011, mickysausage wrote:
    Terrible Blog!"

    Well there's nothing like constructive criticism... and that's nothing like constructive criticism! Do you want to tell us WHY it's a terrible blog, or does your vocabulary not stretch that far?

    I, for one, found this interesting as I'm only a casual golf follower who'd never even heard of the President's Cup, but I follow the Ryder Cup every other year (supporting Europe, of course!)

  • Comment number 8.

    @5 Mike Allison- just think how confused those American tourists will be when they arrive in Melbourne for their next holiday!!?

    I've always found it funny how a bit of "petrol money" seems to stir up the patriotism in the US players for this event. As Tenipurist says, pride at stake here. A few years ago, until the US claimed back the Ryder Cup at Valhalla, the Presidents Cup was posing a serious threat to the more established event as the US public were starting to lose interest (perhaps because they got trounced a few times consecutively) and turn their attention towards the cup they were winning. Thankfully the last couple of Ryder Cups have been extremely competitive and at Celtic Manor the passion for the event in the up and coming US players was evident.

  • Comment number 9.

    There is much at stake this week. I for one get totally fed up hearing about "The PGA Tour" from American commentators, particularly Johnny Miller who once said Luke Donald had to play more in America to become a great player. What pompous bosh. The opportinity to put the USA in their place cannot be missed. I shall be watching albeit from 10,000 miles away chearing every hole won by the Internationals.

  • Comment number 10.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 11.

    "Norman raised eyebrows at the wildcard selections of Woods and Bill Haas over the PGA champion Keegan Bradley, while Couples pointed to the lack of recent wins of International pick, Australian Robert Allenby."

    Wrong way round isnt that iain, thought norman was picking the internationals??.....LOL.

    Anyway, looks set up to be quite an interesting competition. And just because it doesn't really matter to us Brit's you can bet the Aussie/NZ golf fans will be well up for this one. Just hasn't got the history of the ryder cup thats all. Ill be watching too, for the simple fact the golfing will be good and i just cant help but revell in a USA defeat!!! up the internationals.......

  • Comment number 12.

    I can enjoy watching the President's cup, but I've never really got too excited by it. Perhaps that's beacuse the Ryder Cup is so engrossing and, for a European, it's a poor relation.

    You also get the feeling that it doesn't matter to the players the way the Ryder cup does.

    I do quite fancy the Internationals to win this week though.

  • Comment number 13.

    As a Scot and an Aussie living 5 mins down the road from Royal Melbourne, I agree it is no Ryder Cup, but to all of you in Britain be under no illusion this event is growing and the players are serious about it. It takes time for events to become great, clearly your memories are fading if you forget the Ryder cup nearly fell to terminal illness when it was only Britain and Ireland playing the US! It needed the likes of Seve, Langer, Jimenez, Olazabel and others to get it back on track. Give it a chance, enjoy the golf and hopefully a history making moment will be made to help the cup grow in the public's mind for the next time.

  • Comment number 14.

    simmotee@11- Iain has it the right way around, he has outlined the reaction of the captains to their opposing captain's picks i.e. "Norman raised eyebrows AT the wildcard selections (of Couples)..................."

    mickeysausage@2- Terrible comment!

  • Comment number 15.


    Totally right about the American commentators... it is funny to hear their frustrated voices as yet another tournament is taken over by the internationals... as has been happening with regularity this season!!! :D

    However, on your point about Luke Donald, as much as I hate to admit it because it is a very arrogant thing to say..... his game HAS come on leaps and bounds while he has been playing over there.... not to say that the two are related, but it might give support to what Mr Miller said!

    I think what we have seen is a "new wave" of European golfers come through extremely strongly, and it has been slightly lacking on the US side, with the "old guard" still very much prevalent.... I think only now are we starting to see some good young blood coming out of the US (Fowler, Simpson, Baddeley etc), and no doubt next ryder cup will be as tough as celtic manor for Europe, if not tougher given that we are away!

  • Comment number 16.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 17.

    Not only has Luke Donald improved his game in America but I think in general most players on that tour now believe they can win in the absence of Tiger Woods at the top of his game. I think the key is belief and Luke Donald has a steady game which needed fine tuning. He has done this to great effect and is now very consistent with this performances. His iron play was always a strong part of his game.

    Onto the Presidents Cup - I think it really depends on if the International team are up for it then the score will be close. Far too often their players seem to not produce the intense consistency you would normally associate with their match play performances.

    I'll be watching so lets hope for a good contest. Golf is the winner and the end of the day.

  • Comment number 18.

    Yeah, and where is BiloMcT after he called for Woods to win by 4 shots last week?

    Given how rarely and how poorly many of the US players travel (notable exception of Woods), the Internationals with 5 Aussies playing at home surely have to be strong favourites. Also, I'd bet on Norman being a more inspirational leader than Couples, but then I'm a huge Norman fan.

  • Comment number 19.

    Great Blog Iain. Not sure why mickysausage didnt like it.
    Don247...BiloMcT was almost right about predicting Tiger to win it! that bad round on the Saturday scuppered the chance. Least i stuck out a prediction unlike anyone else last week! have we all become cowards scared to voice our predictions or opinions?!
    Presidents Cup should be interesting. The build up has been great, i particularly liked Greg Normans comment yesterday " Never look at your Mother eating a Banana "

  • Comment number 20.

    powerhitter....i just explained myself, seems we must have posted at the same time.
    wonder when jeffkenna is going to grow some backbone and predict soemthing. and Sumo82 for that matter!????

  • Comment number 21.

    Presidents Cup is nowhere near as good as the Ryder Cup. End of Story.
    Anyone watching last week would have seen Tiger play some of the best Golf seen by anyone all year. Pity he didnt win but i feel he'll be in line for at least 2 Majors next year if he continues that ball striking.

  • Comment number 22.

    bilomct- your predictions are like firing arrows in the dark, if you fire enough eventually one will hit the target.

    Anticipation about a match between TW and Adam Scott (and by Adam Scott I mean the tag-team that is Adam Scott-Steve Williams) is just plain silly. These two players have nothing against each other. Personally I feel for both players somewhat as they have been dragged into a race row by an egotistical pr!£k and now expected to answer questions like "will there be any hard feeling between you and Tiger if you match up this week?" "Tiger would you relish the opportunity to play Adam Scott this week?"

  • Comment number 23.

    PeterThe Hoss, it's not as good as the RC as it doesn't have the same edge. That might come in time though.

    The Australian open wasn't the strongest field and while Woods is definitely getting back on track, he's still some way short of competing for 2 majors. Also, to say it was some of the best golf by ANYONE all year is nonsense.

  • Comment number 24.

    BiolMct i heard Norman made that comment, how ridiculous! Did you hear Couple's comment in the press conference i think it was aimed at Norman - "Always give your best, never get discouraged, never be petty; always remember, others may hate you. Those who hate you don't win unless you hate them. And then you destroy yourself."

  • Comment number 25.

    mickysausage - was Couples blowing smoke-rings while saying that?

  • Comment number 26.

    I agree with PeterTheHoss, Tiger displayed in three rounds of golf what very few have displayed all year, it was a joy too watch, hitting some what i can only describe as freakish shots and thunderous drives. Powerhitter Woods will be up there next season with your beloved Westwood and Donald in the world rankings, but its a shame i cant say they will be with Tiger in the major rankings, because as we all know they will never win a major, and Tiger will win two next year. Maybe he will share them out?

  • Comment number 27.

    Mickysausage sounds like a bitter person.

    Its just a blog ment for some entertainment.

  • Comment number 28.

    Europe has enjoyed a recent resurgence as a golfing power, to the extent that most European Ryder Cup players have been very credible and some big names have struggled to make the European teams. As a "neutral" golf fan this has obviously added to the appeal of recent Ryder Cups, but critics of the Presidents Cup shouldn't forget that not that long ago there were a lot of very average journeyman type players who got Ryder Cup callups for Europe... while at the same time the best players in the world (other than Tiger) were internationals - Ernie Els, Vijay Singh, Retief Goosen.

    Els v Woods, Vijay v Phil Mic, Goose v Furyk etc was a much more enticing prospect than anything the Ryder Cup could dish up at the time. The new breed of internationals - scott, day, schwartzel etc would also all walk into either ryder cup team and should provide a stern test for the yanks. It's a pity they don't also get a crack at the European team

  • Comment number 29.

    Why Does Iain Carter have to bring up the Racism row again!! We have just had a 7 page debate on this!

    RedRoseDave comment 27 - Dont take Mickysausage and BiloMct and Powerhitter on they are all blog bullies and because they have been here longer than us think they can tell us what to do. There is good guys on here though like Don247 and Jeffkenna and PeterTheHoss they will sort things out.

    What do people think of The Big E's performances with the belly putter?

  • Comment number 30.

    TheSorcerer - as usual you're the only one talking about racism. You're getting boring.

    mickysausage, I hope Woods is back competing for majors next year. However, while he was impressive at times at the Australian open his inability to maintain it over 4 rounds ultimately cost him. My point is that one decent tournament doesn't mean he's back - he did well at the Chevron tournament this time last year then did nothing all year. There's been plenty of memorable rounds/performances during 2011; Woods in Australia wasn't one of them.

  • Comment number 31.

    powerhitter i know my Golf and know what i was watching all week. Tiger's ball striking was well above anything any other Pro has done this year. At his best his level is way above the others.

  • Comment number 32.

    PeterTheHoss - but we all know there's more to golf than great ball striking. Tiger was always amongst the very best at this, but his greatest asset was his putting/grinding and making sure his bad rounds were 70 and not 74/75. There will be tougher tests ahead to guage where he stands in this respect.

  • Comment number 33.

    TheSorcerer...why dont you go find a racism blog, its seems thats all you are interested in! go away! dare you! just kidding. Do you not think it would be class though to see Tiger v Scott? The tension would be good. Hopefully it would end with Tiger doing a 'John Daly' to Steve Williams ( slapping him in the face, pushing him over and then kicking him in the back )

  • Comment number 34.

    29. TheSorcerer "Dont take Mickysausage and BiloMct and Powerhitter on they are all blog bullies"

    Bullies on a blog? lol

    Surely im entitled to my own opinion and you must be mad if you think that some online nerd bullies will stop me voicing it.

  • Comment number 35.

    @34 RedRoseDave, dont pay any attention to that Sorcerer, he just says that cause nobody likes him and thinks he's bullied. I like you, do you like me?

  • Comment number 36.

    @14 jeffkenna - thanks mate just read it back now :)

    On a serious note, tigers performance at the australian is encouraging, yes, but almost everyone on here predicted that bad round..... I hope for golf's sake that TW starts competing regularly again because the aura that surrounds him and the excitement he brings to tournaments is unmatched anywhere in sport. I just think he needs that 1 result, preferably a big one and he will find the inspiration to get him back on winning ways. If he wins a major next year i can see him dedicating his life back to the course, people forget the guy is only 35 years old!!!

    spent force......... my arse!!

  • Comment number 37.

    BiloMcT ... ah ok good...thank you for clearing that up. He does seem a bit irratic with some of his responses.

    I donno if I like you but you seem nice :) Im just here to discuss golf.

  • Comment number 38.

    I didnt see any of the Aussie Open but by all accounts Tiger was great. I hope he comes back strong all next year now. The Sorcerer is taking over these blogs! Come on mickysausage!!!!

  • Comment number 39.

    PLEASE, don't let golf down! Your blog about the interest in the Presidents Cup is trying to milk the spat between Williams and Woods. How will Adam Scott cope with it? No doubt there have been previous spats between caddies and players? But as a golfing fan we don't want to hear about it. We don't want our sport on the tabloid back pages. Mr Carter you can determine where golf goes. You have that power with your pen.....PLEASE don't let the game down! In every club in the Country there will be unfaithful husbands and people who aren't that careful about what they say. Golfers aren't interested in that. We LOVE the game.......just a suggestion, report solely on that!

  • Comment number 40.

    @39 Paxo - Your bang on the money there, i'm not really interested in the woods/scott/williams spat now, in fact i feel sorry for them (woods & scott) answering awkward questions because some idiot can't handle his mouth.

    P.S. love your stuffing balls!

  • Comment number 41.

    Good Blog Iain.

    I think it thoughtfully and intelligently explains why the presidents cup falls short of the Ryder Cup in terms of prestige. You cant just give a competition history, it has to grow over time, its a similar problem with the Seve/Vivendi trophy. Both are interesting comps though and i hope they grow in stature.

    As for the Williams/Scott vs Woods issue it is a very interesting side plot and has been treated as such by Iain, he could easily have made it the focal point of the blog in an appempt at sensationalism but he didnt, equally to have made no mention of it would have been to ignore an element that adds a little bit of spice to the event. Lets be honest the body language of the protagonists with be fascinating if Scott and Woods meet, particularly at the conclusion of their match, whatever the result.

  • Comment number 42.

    Wouldn't it be nice to see Europe take on the International Team every two years, and leave America to play with itself.

  • Comment number 43.

    The Ryder cup is like Wimbledon or the Tour de France, it brings out the jingoistic British sports fans who don't follow these sports the rest of the year and don't know what they are talking about. They are an embarassement and a disgrace to golf with their flip-flops and vests and bellies, almost as embarrasing as the American fans shouting "get in the hole" off the tee on a par five, or all the giggly players wifes trying to look like they care or understand the scoring. Its not golf, its a circus.

  • Comment number 44.

    Sorry to say it Ntrofee but you sound an awful lot loke a snob, golf has a reputation for being rather eliteist and uninclusive and you come across as the type who exacerbates that impression.

    "An embarrasment and a disgrace to golf" Give me a break

  • Comment number 45.

    @Golfnut99 Woods was on fire, was like the Woods of old!

    TheSorcerer nobody is interested in your constant racism talk thats in the past, get a grip!

    To be fair @TheSorcerer your point on El's using a belly putter is interesting, i think BiloMct may be able to answer that one for you!

  • Comment number 46.

    @Jimmy i take it you wasnt involved in the Racism blog then, all that was talked about for 6 pages was the Adam Scott vs Woods match up, lets move on please!!!!!!!

  • Comment number 47.

    @43 ntrofee....get a grip mate! although i do agree about idiot shouting 'in the hole' on a 500 yard hole from the tee. so stupid.

  • Comment number 48.

    Where is james mathew to tell us what he thinks about (his self-confessed favourite player) Luke Donald? More importantly, where is Don247?

  • Comment number 49.

    here here, we need Don247 now. Don247...what do you think of the Greg Norman Comment " Never look at your Mother eating a Banana " ???

  • Comment number 50.

    Actually Micky it was 6 pages of "Williams is a racist" followed by "He isnt a racist, he's just a moron" ad nauseum. Very dull.

    I was referring to a potential match between the two (As no doubt it would be billed in some of the dafter parts of the media) How can you move on from something that hasnt yet occurred?

  • Comment number 51.

    @Jimmy,@ Golfnut99,

    You are right, I'm sorry, I need to get a grip, I didn't mean to say that these fans were an embarrasment and a disgrace to golf, I dont know what came over me.

  • Comment number 52.

    People i am here to talk about golf and i have said and people know my beliefs on the racism blog like my mother always said "You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometime you just might find, you get what you need".

    What do we reckon on the broom handle vs belly putter battle this weekend? Surely thats more interesting than the Woods vs Scott saga!

  • Comment number 53.

    At 15:45 15th Nov 2011, TheSorcerer wrote:
    People i am here to talk about golf and i have said and people know my beliefs on the racism blog like my mother always said "You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometime you just might find, you get what you need".

    TheSorcerer- your mother was Mick Jagger!!??

  • Comment number 54.

    @Jeffkenna, you dont know my mother how can you say she looks like Mick Jagger?? That is bang out of order, can somebody please do something about these bullies on here?? I dont deserve this! As my father always say's "Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names".

  • Comment number 55.

    100% Certain now, He's a wind up merchant.

  • Comment number 56.

    Who is this Sorcerer guy? is he a wind up or is he genuine? He seems to want to talk about golf?? But then he's got some wierd catchphrases.

  • Comment number 57.

    IMHO, Iain Carter has unfortunately fallen into the age-old trap of suggesting that "everything traditional is good" and "everything new is less good". He's expressing a long-held but now totally outdated, rather narrow and insular view of the Presidents Cup (... by the way, who forgot or didn't know where to put the apostrophe in President's Cup or Presidents' Cup?) Trying to maintain this pseudo-patriotic British/European golf point of view, i.e. "them" versus "us", in a fast-changing golfing world is futile, I'm afraid. Indeed "jingoism" is just as detestable as "racism"..... and has no place in the new world of golf, which now stretches from all the traditional golfing nations through Qatar etc. to Korea, Indonesia and China.

    British golfers, like Donald, Laird and Casey etc., who play on the PGA tour, are all held in high regard in the US, not only because they play high-quality competitive golf but many of them have also studied at American colleges/universities, embraced the American way of life and subsequently married American women. Generally speaking, there is no resentment expressed in the US about these players at all. The same is true for the many Australians, South Africans and Koreans who play on the PGA Tour. They're all just very good golfers trying to win tournaments, earn as much money as they can and climb up the rankings.

    Greg Norman is on record as saying that, in the past, the "Internationals" stood on the sidelines and looked on at the Ryder Cup rather enviously because of the excitement and rivalry generated by this traditional team competition ..... but, at the end of the day, even multi-major winners like him had absolutely no chance of ever taking part in the competition. Consequently, GN was one of the prime movers in trying to set up the Presidents Cup ... a completely separate competition from the Ryder Cup altogether giving the Internationals the chance to show off their not-inconsiderable ability and talents.

    The Presidents Cup has been building over the years and now is a very worthwhile competition in its own right (... like the Seve Trophy is beginning to become as we saw recently, albeit it on a smaller scale!). With three Koreans in the International Team this time around, it also highlights the emergence of new golfing nations since the Presidents Cup competition first began. Korea is a huge market (also in the women's game as we know) and is now being touted as a possible venue in the very near future.

    Fred Couples - in a joint interview with Greg Norman on CNN this week - said that he had played in both the Ryder Cup and the Presidents Cup and preferred the Presidents Cup (.... yes, the Presidents Cup!), which kind of scuppers Iain Carter's argument somewhat. The American players have all been extremely keen to get on the team ... with much discussion in the US media about the exclusion of Keegan Bradley (who will miss out completely it seems since Steve Stricker has decided against having surgery on his injured neck and Hunter Mahan has recovered from his shoulder injury). The US Boys are fired up and want to win. Even Tiger seems to be looking forward to getting into the team room (.... and, no doubt, renewing his now-famous rivalry with Big Phil on the table tennis table!)

    The Internationals - including the surprise captain's pick Robert Allenby (who is a Melbourne course specialist it seems, although his short game has been absolutely diabolical of late) - are also up for it. Plus, given all the real or surreal subplots regarding Stevie Williams/Adam Scott and Tiger Woods (as well as the Joe LaCava/Dustin Johnson split), the Presidents Cup will be of great interest to all us real golf fans ... and, of course, a great many "day-trippers" who buy a day-ticket on the final day of the Open because they're attracted to the big spectacle and circus atmosphere.

    So please Iain Carter spare us the phoney comparison with the Ryder Cup - which is a totally different beast with its own history and traditions - and give credit to a competition which is not only growing in stature but also in quality every time it's played. (How many multi-major winners are playing this time? More than in last Ryder Cup I would say without counting them!)

    As for "my" Ernie, Retief Goosen and Charl Schwartzel choosing to miss out on the Alfred Dunhill Championship to take their (well-deserved) places in the International Team is an absolute no-brainer" ... a totally spurious and inappropriate comment if you ask me. Our golfing correspondent should keep up with the times and the every-changing golfing landscape. Golf is now truly an international game with bloggers coming from far and wide - yes, we even have "self-confessed Germans" making comments on this BBC blog!

  • Comment number 58.

    Jimmy comment 55 - I am not a wind up, i just want to blog about golf, but people arnt being serious! i just want to talk golf, i like golf

  • Comment number 59.

    Don247 is back!!

    Agree with much of what you say, although I suspect that Couples preferred the Presidents Cup to the Ryder Cup as it offered the players a more relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere. Anyyone who remembers Couples missing the 18th green at the Belfry (after Christy O'Connor's great 2-iron) with his 9-iron will know that Freddie wasn't always the best under pressure.

  • Comment number 60.

    BiloMcT and mickysausage:

    Remember I predicted a 74 in among Tiger's 68s; well, in fact, he had a 75 due to some poor putting and ... then two horrendous tee-shots (read: snap hooks into da deep d**kie) in the final round, which put paid to all his previous good work. But credit where credit's due, TW made an excellent comeback (only his real fans like you two ... and maybe jeffkenna, could have kept the faith and predicted it).... and absolutely nobody foresaw Greg Chalmers winning before the start of hostilities! (My tip Stevie/Adam acquitted themselves well enough but were never really in contention!!)

    In Singapore, "my" G-Mac (as well as his caddy Ken Comboy) was "grappling with a debilitating stomach complaint "in the second round so he "felt very lethargic" and "played the front nine like a blind man". All in all, however, G-Mac did very well in the trying circumstances and his comeback/resurgence is well on track.

    However, BiloMcT, because the Singapore tournament was curtailed due to the "rainy season" starting early and forgetting to finish, the result should not count in our little "Officially Correct Prediction's League Table"! ( .... so it's still BiloMcT - 0; Don247 - 0 in official predictions at the moment!!)


    Regarding this prediction lark, you're right - BiloMcT and Don247 might as well be shooting arrows in the dark. Nobody predicted or even came close to predicting Greg Chalmers (... an excellent putter but - at 105th on the PGA just ahead of "your" Padraig at 107th and never won in the US - surely a "journeyman" par excellence) as the winner, nor this Spaniard chap, Fernandez-Castano (.... who even I would be hard put to recognise him on the putting green) in Singapore!

    It just goes to show that the level of competition is very high and, on their day, even a trail-ender (.. like Kenneth Ferrie, I hear you say!) can pull off a remarkable win.

    Anyway, after Sunday, I think the jury is also out on "our" Jason Day. He was in the final group but started off by putting his very first tee-shot into the water. JD then clawed his way back with a couple of birdies, only to lose it completely down the home stretch and finish up with a 74 - the worst score of any of the players in the top 30! (Geoff Ogilvy shot a 65, so it wasn't a weather-related meltdown!!)

    JD's done this before, of course, e.g. most recently at the FedEx Cup Play-Offs, where he bogeyed the 16th to slip out of contention.

    As you know, we have "Luke Donald Disease" and also the newly discovered strain called "Rory McIlroy Disease", but do we now have "Jason Day Disease" on other hands? I have ordered another immediate examination of his "stones" to see if he has a serious/recurring problem in this department.

    We'll see how JD performs in the Presidents Cup. Maybe it's a case of Don247 having to "get on his tail big time" just like he did for a certain Martin Kaymer previously (and Rors! ... Any up-to-date news of ou love-sick puppy from the Maldives?) so that JD can become the major winner that we both think he should be!

    P.S. - Good result for Catriona Matthew (... Solheim Cup winner against "your" Paula!!) in Guadalajara, Mexico, at the weekend ... now there's a wind player for you and a great putter to boot. Hail Archerfields' Finest!!

  • Comment number 61.

    Don 24/7 I agree, a better and more informative passage than Iain's......

  • Comment number 62.

    No#57 i mean..... ant got time to read #60!!! lol..... home time, yes i secretly blog at work!!!!! :)

  • Comment number 63.


    Don't try and turn me into some sort of cult figure with "Don247 is back!" ... because then the "vitriolic and universally unloved" James Mathew will just get all riled up again, come on the blog and call me a "Bully"! (I'm just trying to be fair and express a balanced point of view.)

    I totally agree with you about Fred Couples (... great driver of a ball, hits superb irons but is a bit wobbly on the putts) ... yes, maybe that painful loss to the "largely unsung, unheralded and underrated" Christie O'Connor Jnr had a telling effect on his judgement.

    Although, say what you will, Fred Couples is still a very formidable competitor as his recent wins - and good showing in the Australia Open - have shown ... in spite of all his recurring back problems!

  • Comment number 64.

    There is plenty of interest on this side of the pond and I will be cheering for the Internationals. I am however BORED with TW and it is high time the golf world moved on. All the talk about how TW struck the ball better than anyone else this year in Australia makes me wonder what the heck Rory was doing at the USO for four rounds!

  • Comment number 65.

    Was not going to comment on this but some people really need to get a grip. An major matchplay tournament is taking place in a global sport so the BBC is covering it, SHOCK HORROR.

    A few points, of course the Pres Cup is not going to have the history of the Ryder Cup, it has not been going as long. If people don't understand that it takes time to develop history then I suggest a nice long bath with a hairdryer.

    As far as I am aware it is the Europeans who have been reluctant to play against the internationals. Would it not be better for the game globally to try and incorporate all three teams into a 6 year cycle.

    Aquaticape - Your a WUM, if you feel threatened by Australia's rise in global importance in things such as Politics and Economics that is something you will have to deal with, but your envy and bias is transparent for all to see.

    Tenipurist - Baddeley is Australian. Great knowledge.

  • Comment number 66.


    I firmly believe that if "Stevie" had been on Tiger's bag "Down Under", "your man" ( ... no, not Martin Kaymer) would have won the Australian Open.

    According to Joe LaCava, Tiger was hitting it great ("really nailing it!"), even better than Fred Couples at his best.... but Tiger (in Tigerspeak) forgot "some of the old keys" and "had to reset" his game. TW also said .. "they were simple fixes, easy fixes!" ... about the solutions to his putting and occasional swing problem!

    My theory is that Stevie knows Tiger's game inside out and would have been able to give him "the fixes" immediately, whereas Joe LaCava - relatively new on TW's bag - would have been more likely to hold back (... in "running-in mode" so to speak) with his opinions, trying to work his way into the job. This "reluctance" may have cost Tiger the shots that he needed to win.

    Is that interesting enough for you to get your teeth into (... not your usual old boring run-of-the-mill blogging twaddle)?

    In fact, what is the relationship between TW and his caddy? Is a bit like "my fave-rave" Rory and JP ( i.e. just standing there and waiting in total silence) or like Ross Fisher's caddy (who is a veritable mine of information and a dispenser of good things to eat and cool refreshing drinks?)

    Come on mickysausage, spill the beans on your man and his "ex"!

  • Comment number 67.


    FYO, Aaron Baddeley was born in Lebanon ..... check it out on Wikipedia!

    Otherwise, I like the rest of what you say. Cheers mate!

  • Comment number 68.


    Yes he was born in the US but moved to Oz when he was two. He considers himself Australian and represents Australia in the game. No one can choose where they are born but we all decide in the end what we are. If given the opportunity.

    Is a big point really as being born in the US and now basing himself in the US to compete in the PGA Tour he could have pledged his allegiance to the US and maybe played Ryder Cup. Maybe the Ryder Cup is not the be all and end all.

  • Comment number 69.

    Oh and by the way Don, both his parents are Australian and they were only in the states because his dad was working as a mechanic for Mario Andretti in Indy cars.

  • Comment number 70.


    I'm serious about golf (no doubt, you've seen!?) ... so what do you think?

    Does Jason Day - who is tipped for "super stardom" (even by me!) after his terrific performances at the Masters, the US Open and indeed in the FedExCup this year and last - suffer from "Jason Day Disease". i.e. consistently "grabbing defeat from the jaws of victory". In other words, is JD a "choker" ... following in the tradition set by his Presidents Cup Team Captain, Greg Norman?

    (Sorry powerhitter, I see that you're a bit of a Greg Norman fan ... in spite of his repeated melt-downs in different decades!!)

    Jason Day works very hard on his game ( ... just like his idol TW) and analyses his strengths/weaknesses after each round with his coach, mentor and caddy. So what is JD doing wrong?

    (It's certain not rushing his shots because he's one of the slowest players on tour ... but, of course, not as slow as Ben Crane, who incidentally humbled/embarrassed/thrashed Rory McIlroy 8&7 in the second round of this year's WGC Accenture Match Play in Arizona.)

    Come on TheSourcerer impress the waiting world .... and a certain mickysausage who thinks that you are a bit of a WUM who uses "weird catchphrases" (... he's one to speak that German-loving, red-card specialist who actually has the gall and audacity to slag off a certain Don 247 ... especially about the inconsistent genius that is Martin Kaymer!)

  • Comment number 71.


    Good info ... you're my kind of anorak!! (Should we now just "go off and get a life"?)

    Aaron Baddeley ...or "Badds" as they call him on the PGA is a seriously good putter and a highly underated golfer. I hope he does well in the Presidents Cup .... 'cause I really rate him.

    Plus, he's an all-round nice guy!!

  • Comment number 72.


    He has calmed down a bit from his early days. I think the worst thing to happen to him was winning the Oz Masters, i think though may have been the Open, at such a young age. It just put so much pressure on him and also made him a little bit arrogant. I think winning it put him in the fishbowl in Oz which I think contributed to him heading over to the states even though I don't think he was ready.

    I think that playing in the US has helped to calm him down and improve alot and I def think his best is yet to come.

  • Comment number 73.


    When you have a spare moment or three ( ... in between dealing with all that "racist aggro" you seem to generate), maybe you could tell me what happened to "your" Craig Parry at the weekend?

    Quote from a certain Jimmy (who never seems to share Don247's opinion): "Craig Parry is lurking with intent to strike just a couple behind Tiger and far more likely to make a blistering charge!"

    Is this the self-same Craig Parry who then went on to shoot a 78 to go with his first round 70 and naturally (i.e. obvious to anyone who knows anything about golf that Craig Parry's days of making blistering charges in Australian Opens etc. are well behind him) failed to qualify?

    (Oh, by the way, does "your" Craig prefer the Tom Petty version or the Johnny Cash version? .. "Oh I won't back down!

    Beware the "dark brooding side" of Don247 ..... as someone has once said!


    What is the latest on Mike Weir - former Masters' champion and gutsy left-hander, (who also had a fine record in the Presidents Cup) - who is recovering from a serious elbow operation, if my memory serves me well?

    And an old favourite of mine, Stephen Ames, formerly of Trinidad & Tobago, whose game has declined quite rapidly of late.

  • Comment number 74.

    There is a theory that the Ryder Cup only started to matter when America started to care, And America only started to care when they stopped winning (85-89). Therefore perhaps the kick up the backside that the event needs is an International win.

    Or Is the lack of a common identity for the internationals a major impediment the the tournaments attaining the prestige and passion of the Ryder cup. A personal favourite Ryder Cup memory of mine is watching Parnevik and Garcia going mental after Garcia (I think) chipped in at Brookline. If felt a real feeling of pride in supporting these two, despite having no real affinity for Spain or Sweden. Would An Australian for example be able to gererate the same feelings watching the likes of Choi, Schwartzel or Ishikawa?

  • Comment number 75.

    Oh Don, fear not, Craig will come again, Form is temporary, class is permanent.

    By the way, I take it your no big follower of F1, If you were you would have noticed sports golden couple doing the rounds in the paddock

  • Comment number 76.

    Not related to the President's or Ryder Cup, I was reading the new rules of golf. I was intrigued by the new rule regarding the ball being moved by wind on the green the ball having been addressed. There is now no penalty and the ball is played from its new position. What happens should the ball end up being holed out by the wind?

  • Comment number 77.

    Not sure about your comment about:
    "compensation of a fat pay cheque at the end of the week".
    Has the compensation plan changed then?
    As recently as 2009 each player received a notional sum, in 2007 it was $150K, to be awarded to a charity or charities of the players' choice. That was the practice from the late nineties and I'm surprised to learn you think it's changed.
    Details please. Thank you.

  • Comment number 78.

    @ Jimmy,

    Am going to give you the benefit of the doubt but to be honest I would say that most Australians would have MORE affinity for Koreans, South Africans and Japanese than say the English would have for Germans, Poles, Russians, French or even Scots or the Irish......

  • Comment number 79.

    Why not have 4 world teams? The USA, Europe, Australia/NZ/South Africa and Asia. The latter two would have culturally more in common and would probably bond better together. I am sure it could all be played on one course over 4 days having semi-finals for the first 2 days (foursomes/four balls on the first day and singles on the second day). The final and third place play off on the last 2 days.

  • Comment number 80.

    the golf blog on the beeb needs a title, how about Royal Trolls, the arrogance and banality of the members needs documenting, the ethical vacuum and the lack of any real moral compass are the exact same as in a 'real' club, golf does not have human values, the blacks can all just use the caddies entrance as far as the amoral majority that govern it are concerned, the planet could all be a desert as long as a few snotty clubbies can still exhibit their status seeking arrogance on their private pastures.
    The attitudes of the 'elite' posters in here is a real example of this 'kiss my butt' i am a golfer attitude.

  • Comment number 81.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 82.

    this new rule is radical, some might say that gary player was using this rule years ago, but it may be aimed at making the game a bit easier for the newcomers and high handicappers who make up the majority of the golfing population, ninety percent of which will never break 100 on a decent course, it will be interesting to see if it causes any controversy in the pro ranks.
    I hope normans bi polar wierdness kicks in big time, the most famous loser in the history of golf, Tiger will maul scott.

  • Comment number 83.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 84.

    Shame on you, mickysausage for that last comment.

    All this talk of somehow combing the Ryder and Presidents cup is just nonsense. Both competitions have their place, and in time the Presdients Cup might just become as big as the RC. Remember the RC was pretty much a non-event until it changed from GB&I. One thing they do need to make sure of is that it's moved around and not just held in the USA/Canada because that's 'easier'.

    Don, you're right, I was a big Norman fan. He was one of these players that had real charisma and a certain aura about him, the way Woods and Seve had. I agree he massively underachieved though - he should have easily won another 5 majors.

  • Comment number 85.

    The presidents cup, the world cup, the dunhill cup etc all these have their place in golf but all are insignificant to the Ryder Cup.

    Like with the British Open its considered the main major to win because of its history. Like the ryder cup, its around since the 1920s and therefore have much more history and importants then these other side events.

    Speaking of the world cup...thats on in a couple of weeks I think...I suppose Rory & Graham will be representing Ireland again. I dont fancy their chances. Give me Luke and Lewis anyday. As long as Luke can keep his head and not choke.

  • Comment number 86.

    mickysausage shame on you again for that comment! you really do put up some disgraceful stuff at times. i can see whyit has now been deleted. Jimmy would not have been happy reading that one.
    I see people are starting to realise that Don247 is a better Blogger than even Iain Carter. I just read Iain's blogs so i get to see what Don247 has to say. Don247 is a legend. Although Don247 you disapoint me slightly...i asked you what you thought about Greg Normans comment " Never look at your Mother eating a Banana " and you havent said what you think of that yet.
    76.At 21:23 15th Nov 2011, nmahubbard...ridiculous question.
    I think we dont hear from Sumo82 much anymore cause he has become powerhitter

  • Comment number 87.

    Don247- did you happen to see the ultimate sporting couple that is "WozzIlroy" (just think how good their kids will be at sports) enjoying their VIP passes in the pitlane at the Abu Dhabi F! Grand Prix? The Customary appearance on camera for a quick word with BBC, our curly headed red cheeked Irishman (I'm sure he was enjoying the hotter climate, as we all know he doesn't like less than perfect weather conditions) ensuring that he stood in a certain way so that certain logos on his tshirt would be clearly visible (have to keep the paymasters happy of course, perhaps he was there to get tips on cramming as many sponsors as possible onto his attire from the walking talking billboards that are modern F1 drivers). Seems like he has fully embraced his "celebrity" status.

  • Comment number 88.

    @ james mathew

    I think you will find that to the vast majority of golfers and golf fans, ie, North America and Asia as their numbers far outstrip Europe, the number one major is the Masters at Augusta.

  • Comment number 89.

    Davico, Thanks for the benefit of the doubt, though I would ask what doubt? My question wasnt rhetorical it was genuine and to be honest as you're an Australian (I presume) it was aimed mainly in your direction. On the basis of what you say then perhaps the vague nature of the "Rest of the world" or "Internationals" tag wont be an issue. I'm still not totally convinced but i'm happy to be proved wrong with time.

    As an aside i'd say that the English can tend to get behind sportsmen and teams from the other British countries and Ireland quite strongly where there isnt any English involvement. I'm not entirely sure its always reciprocated. We admittedly dont support the Russians and the Poles quite so fervently, but then thats getting off point somewhat.

  • Comment number 90.

    With Europe being undeniably better than the US it would be nice to see a Europe ROW competition.

  • Comment number 91.

    Looks like our Friend Iain Carter is realising that Don247 is overtaking him as blog king by removing my last comment, shame on you Iain! I demand you replace my comment immediatley!

  • Comment number 92.

    @WaldoSpur Who told you that Europe are "undeniably" better than the US?? Europe may have won the last ryder cup but i think th US have grown in strength since and with the likes of Bradley, the return of the best golfer in the World Tiger Woods and with amzing US talent like James Duffner and Sean Micheel i can see a US win next time

  • Comment number 93.

    powerhitter - like you I have always been a huge Norman fan, he did underachieve, had the talent to win many more majors. His career for me epitomises why this game of golf is so difficult. Closing out ONE major championship is tough enough never mond achieveing the feat on multiple occasions. That is why only a handful of players (particularly in th modern era as it has become more competitive) have managed to achieve more than 2/3. More than any other sport mental strength plays a key role. In 86 he led all four majors after 54 holes, winning the Open but faltering in the other 3.....................

  • Comment number 94.

    ...........................Continuously being in contention at majors demonstrates his enormous talent but as his ratio of turning these into (as TW would say) "Ws" fell it was inevitable that mental scars would develop. In many of the majors he should have / could have won he was beaten by mentally tougher opponent e.g. Nick Faldo in 96, even "my" (as Don247 would say) Padraig at Birkdale in 08. Just to see that man strike a 2iron on a windy links - undoubtedly one of the greatest "ball strikers" ever.

  • Comment number 95.

    #88., Davico

    Are you saying that the US Masters is the MAIN major because of the population of America?

    Thats ridiculous. The history of the event is what makes it unique and the British Open was established some 80 years before the US Masters was even thought of.

    Lets see what people think.

    Which do you consider the most prestigious golf Major?

    The US Masters
    The British Open

  • Comment number 96.

    BiloMcT, I'm not sumo82 I assure you. I have my doubts that you aren't TheSorcerer, however.

    Davico - not sure about The Masters being regarded as No.1. I don't think the majority of US players would rate it above the US Open, but I could be wrong as I've never seen any kind of poll.

    Jimmy - you're in danger of opening a real can of worms with the topic of British sporting allegiances. As a Scot, I don't support England at football or rugby (though don't support their opposition really either), but I do support them at cricket and I regard English golfers as 'ours'.

  • Comment number 97.

    the only desease Mciroy has is 'superstardom '
    has finished in the top 4 in every start since the USPGA winning the largest prize in golf during that period and every final round was in the 60's be real people leave him alone

  • Comment number 98.

    mickeysausage - another snap hook off the tee into the boonda. It's a developing problem mickeysausage as soon as you get under a bit of pressure and a bit rattled that snap hook can rear its ugly head. (There is a certain curly headed young man from "Norn Iron" who suffers similar problems with a snap hook) Mickeysausage I hope you don't do a John Daly and proceed to put your next 5 balls in the same place thne have to walk off the blog because you have ran out of ammunition, do the sensible thing, put the ball in play and move on.

  • Comment number 99.

    " I regard English golfers as 'ours'."

    Off course you would, as English, Scots and Welsh are all from the 1 country. Britain. Scotlish and English isnt actually a nationality...British is...and its good to see you admit that and accept your fellow countrymen for what they are and support them.

  • Comment number 100.

    JeffKenna lets just say me and your fav golfer and best buddy Padraig have at least one thing in common, i may hit a few stray shots into the water (open championship against Sergio) and may have to take a couple of drop shots, but i will always come back and win that elusive major!


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