For the Ryder Cup, I’m an unabashed homer. I cheer for the US Team from start to finish and boo at the television when the Euros pull off a hole winning shot.
I don’t feel that way with this year’s President’s Cup. In fact, I’m pulling for a win by the International Team.
A win by the Internationals—a couple of wins by the Internationals—would add some spark to what has generally been a rather tame competition. I watch sports for the competition, and it is no fun unless the outcome is in doubt.
Unfortunately, there has been no doubt in the President’s Cup. The International team has just one win—in 1998. There was a tie in 2003, but that was a magnanimous gesture by Jack Nicklaus toward Gary Player.
A couple of wins in a row by the International Team would go a long way toward making the President’s Cup a competition to anticipate. It would put the President’s Cup on a level with the Ryder Cup. And that would only be good for international golf.
As an aside, I find US dominance hard to explain because of the top quality talent that is available to the International Team. Since 2003, five Masters winners were from the International player pool: Adam Scott, Charl Schwartzel, Angel Cabrera, Trevor Immelman and Mike Weir. Then there’s Hall of Famer Ernie Els, and perennial Major challenger Jason Day. Plenty of talent available. It just hasn’t shown up on the big stage.
I also find it difficult to dislike the International team. Perhaps it is because I feel a sort of kinship between the United States and the Canadians, Australians and South Africans who dominate the International team. Like the United States, these places have been “frontier” and “colonial” countries in the relatively recent past. I don’t know if they feel an affinity for the US, but I certainly feel one for them. Australia and South Africa are on the short list of countries I’d most like to visit.
So for this year, I’ll put aside my usual Red, White and Blue for the Blue and Gold of the Internationals.