By now, even the most casual reader of the sports pages has heard that the United States won the President’s Cup over the weekend. It was an exciting exhibition of golf that was everything that last year’s Ryder Cup was not. What I appreciated most was that in every match, the players looked as though they truly cared about the outcome.
The best example of this, of course, was Chris Dimarco, a fierce competitior who won 4 and a half points for the American side. It was only fitting that his 12 foot putt on the 18th was the shot that earned the victory for the American team.
And although they lost, the
European International team still can hold their heads high. They gave the American team a terrific fight and had a chance to win down to the very end.
The weekend also was notable for the team spirit that the Americans showed. Tiger, I think, worked particularly hard to dispel the notion that he is not a team player. In shot after shot, the tv coverage showed Tiger and Jim Furyk discussing shots and helping each other line up putts—just as a team should do. And Tiger was the second one after Jack Nicklaus to rush out and embrace DiMarco after his game winning ball dropped.
And it bodes well for next year’s Ryder Cup that many of these players seem to have found good partners. The Mickelson-DiMarco pairing was deadly.
Fred Couples redeemed himself in winning his singles match against world number two Vijay Singh. Couples had said in an interview afterwards that he wanted to prove that Nicklaus had not made a mistake in choosing him with a Captain’s pick. Given that kind of internal pressure, I think it’s remarkable that he was able to battle to his victory.
But then, if he needed any extra incentive, opponent Vijay Sinh provided it. Before teeing off, Vijay remarked that they should have a cart ready to bring Fred back after 12 holes.
Now, Couples says that going to play a lot this next year in an attempt to make the Ryder Cup on his own merits. Perhaps this tournament will signal a renaissance for Couples before he looks forward to the Champions Tour in just five years.
Finally, no analysis of the last day would be complete without mentioning the look on Lefty’s face when he discovered that his match with Angel Cabrerra had been extended. Had just begun shaking hands after tying it all up when an official informed him that he had to go back to the first tee. That look was priceless.