BBC BLOGS - Robbo Robson
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Ryder white flag

Robbo Robson | 11:04 UK time, Monday, 22 September 2008

There's a lot of you out there who don't actually believe you should call golf a sport. I don't care whether it's a bleeding parlour game, you cannot knock the Ryder Cup.

I don't know if the Beeb have it in their armoury to buy this tournament back - but along with England football internationals and home cricket series', there's a desperate need for people to get this entertainment without installing a dish.

Having said that, I listened to the 5Live coverage and then watched the highlights and you have to say golf on the radio is brilliant. It's all hushed whispers and winces as the commentators rub shoulders with the fans.

Sometimes, to put it bluntly, you can hear buttocks clenching as John Murray or Andrew Cotter do their best Ted Lowes over the latest European eight-footer.

There are some things that don't come easy about the Ryder Cup. I mean, it's still hard for me to get me head around the idea of singing 'Europe, Europe, Europe!' I can't say I've ever met a Swede or a Spaniard and shook him warmly by the hand and said: "You and me, united by a continent, eh?"

I mean I can't imagine a team made up of Indians, Chinese, Iraqis and Malaysians all getting together and chanting 'Asia, Asia, Asia!' but maybe it'll come to that one day. I'd love to see a team of Southern Hemisphere golfers join the party - Aussies, South Africans, South Americans... but what would their fans be singing? 'Come on you South of the Equatorers'?!

I also can't quite understand why they'd call a golf course Valhalla. Isn't it a resting place for Norse Gods or summat? Perhaps that's what Odin and Thor have been doing in their retirement. One minute they're tossing thunderbolts and hurricanes at unsuspecting mortals, the next they're buying cosy Pringle sweaters and slipping a hip-flask into their Rupert Bear trousers.

Europe lost fair and square of course, notwithstanding the occasional marshall that managed to get himself between a Mickelson hoick and a watery grave. The Yanks were the underdogs and it suited them.


Their team looked like it'd been bussed in on the back of a jeep. The duo of Weekley and Holmes made me think the Dukes of Hazzard had gone to seed.

Boo was the man of the week, wasn't he? I can see him back in his thick check shirt this morning, fried steak and fries piled up in front of him and three dead raccoons on a stick at his side while he sips moonshine out of an unmarked bottle. The Ryder Cup must be a piece of p**s if you've been wrestling alligators that morning.

I wonder if he finds golf a bit cissy, to be frank. And Holmes look less like a golfer off the tee and more like a very bloody angry lumberjack. Marvellous stuff.

In fact the Yanks had bags more characters all round than we've seen in a while. The lad Kim was fantastic and made Garcia look like a tired old lag in need an armchair, while Mahan, who previously suggested it was a bit like slavery to play the Ryder Cup, proved himself a willing volunteer.

But why would you call your son Hunter? Were his parents expecting him to be a Gladiator when he grew up?

Kenny Perry was also great value as the (good) old boy - although I'm now convinced his actual name is Kenny-Perry-the-Local-Man-Kentucky-Through-And-Through.

Generally, Europe were a bit feeble in the end. Poulter was the exception. He was brilliant. It doesn't stop me thinking that the man's a bit of a pillock, mind. He's always going to be the bloke who said that when he gets it right "it'll be just me and Tiger".

He's getting better but Woods can still beat him - and everyone else - on one leg so there's work to do. Faldo should be given great credit for picking him, of course. Poulter's a man in his own image in many ways and although I wouldn't entirely blame Faldo for the team's defeat, I wouldn't want him as captain again.

There wasn't one interview he gave or one comment he made that wasn't undermined by some incomprehensible joke or touchy little snipe, like someone was having a go at him. The man's got more chips on his shoulders than Boo has on his plate.

Azinger out-flanked him in all aspects really - not least in having a team that got around the course, while he was getting in the ears of his players.

Faldo, by contrast, seemed to spend a bit too much time chatting to DJ Spoony. Now Spoony's a nice lad by all accounts but I'm not sure what he was doing there... keeping the European MP3's up to date? Helping the guys kick back after a hard day at the club-face with some chillin' grooves and a bit of funky garage or whatever the hell else passes for music these days?

I mean who the heck is going to be in the team next time? Is Tim Westwood going to replace Lee? Will we have Paul Casey and the Sunshine Band or the Darren Clarke Five?

Not that we mind really. It's good to give the Americans the Cup for a bit. They might well've gone off the idea if they kept getting beat... you know what Americans are like. That's why they play so many national sports in the USA that don't get played in many other places.

So let 'em have it for a couple of years and we'll see how they get on in Wales in 2010.
Oh, and bring back Woosie!


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