BUNKER-TO-BUNKER… Inside Golf writers have their say!
By Peter Owen
TO my mind the Presidents Cup is in real trouble. Not even those ramped-up American fans can surely take much more of the one-sided results that have plagued this tournament since the Internationals scored their first, and only, win back in 1998.
It’s not that the Internationals can’t play. On the contrary, they invariably perform above themselves – just as they did at Quail Hollow in September. But the odds are stacked too heavily against them.
There are 50 Americans ranked in the world’s top 100 golfers – twice the number of ‘Internationals’. And the Americans are up at the top of the list; the Internationals down the bottom.
You just can’t beat statistics like that. And, when you eliminate the LIV Tour players – think Cameron Smith, Abraham Ancer, Joaquin Niemann and all the South Africans – the task becomes even harder.
So, yes, let’s make it a mixed event. Add Minjee Lee, Brooke Henderson and any of the top 20 Koreans to the Internationals line-up and, suddenly, they’re red hot favourites to beat those cocky Americans.
But do it quickly because, before you know it, the Asians are going to have so many of the world’s best players – male and female – that they’ll be going it alone and taking on the Yanks, and the Europeans, under their own banner.
And there’ll be no place for any of our Aussies on the International team’s schedule.
By Michael Davis
I ALWAYS tell friends I could not give a hoot about the Presidents Cup, but each time it’s on I find myself riveted to it.
That’s despite the fact that the Americans have been victorious in all but one iteration of the biennial contest. That was at Royal Melbourne in 1998 when the International Team captain, the late Peter Thomson, clearly outfoxed his USA counterpart, the Golden Bear, Jack Nicklaus, in every tactical aspect of team golf.
But I think the Presidents Cup has a lot more going for it than who wins or loses. Yes, it would be nice to have won a few more times if you are in the International Team camp. However, the Presidents Cup is also about celebrating and showcasing international team competition and giving the players and fans from countries outside Europe and America a ‘taste of the Ryder Cup’.
The Ryder Cup has been played for nearly 100 years and is untouchable in terms of its appeal because of its tradition and history. In time, the Presidents Cup will stack with its own tradition. Try as they may, promoters and event organisers cannot manufacture history.
Of course if we included women in the Presidents Cup, the Internationals would be bolstered by the number of brilliant Koreans who dominate the world rankings. Individual matches and overall results would even out. But 30-odd years of tradition already surrounding the Presidents Cup would diminish it.
So in my view, to change the format would be a grave mistake.
By Michael Court
NOBODY likes to lose – almost all the time. That’s not fun to play and even less fun to watch!
And that lone Presidents Cup win at Royal Melbourne in 1998 does seem an awful long time ago. Aside from the way the Yanks carry on when they score their eagerly anticipated (for them) and completely expected (by us) win, something really needs to be done to make the Cup more competitive.
And adding women to the event and making it a mixed team event is the perfect way to do that.
While Minjee Lee and Hannah Green might be the only possible Australian contenders to join a mixed presidents Cup team (at the moment), South Korea have a plethora of magnificent players who would make the cup much more competitive.
Don’t get me wrong, I sat up most of the night watching the recent Presidents Cup, knowing full well we couldn’t win. And to be fair, we did a lot better than most expected us to. But it still had that air of hopelessness about it for captain Trevor Immelman’s Internationals.
We did find a couple of future stars in our young Aussie Cameron Davis and the even younger South Korean Tom Kim – and despite their heroics, we were unable to make up a huge leeway on the final day.
Surely the addition of some of the world’s best women alongside the men would double our chances, possibly double the viewer audience …. and maybe help give the US a dose of their own medicine.
By Larry Canning
IS the fact that Internationals are being consistently beaten, the only motivation for this conversation?
If so, then no! I don’t believe including women would do anything positive for this event. If someone comes up with a brand-new teams event which has men and women playing together, then yes. I love the idea!
It’s an absolute winning formula for success and a natural progression for the game to take. Australia has led the way thanks to the pioneers – David Greenhill for creating the Vic Open and Aussie PGA’s Kim Felton and Nick Dastey who took it a step further with the TPS Series and the world has been watching.
The Presidents Cup needs to remain the same to validate the time when the Internationals begin consistently winning and, trust me, that is going to happen.
There’s obvious and ever-increasing pool of talent from Asia – Australasian players who always throw in some world number ones and South Africa who has yielded some of the greats of the game, but what’s happening in South America will be the clincher.
The PGA Tour run the “PGA Tour Latinoamerica” as a pathway to the big dance to spread the game as well as boost their brand and as the Presidents Cup is part of that brand I guess it’s kind of, ahem, beneficial for the Internationals cause, in an indirect way, to maintain fostering young golfers from this region.
I wonder if LIV players will ever have a chance to play. Be patient my friends.
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Australia’s Most Read Golf Magazine, Inside Golf Magazine gives you in-depth coverage of Australian golf news, golf events, golf travel and holiday destinations, Australian and international golf course reviews, the hottest new golf gear and tips and drills to improve your golf game. Written by award-winning journalists, Inside Golf Magazine is Australia’s highest-circulating audited golf publication, and features interviews with Australia’s top professional golfers, the game’s rising stars, industry leaders and golf equipment manufacturers. You can even win great golf prizes and equipment. It’s all in Inside Golf Magazine. FREE at Australian golf courses, driving ranges and golf retailers across Australia.