Are you sick of the NFL and its circus of replacement refs? Then consider taking this weekend to enjoy a sport where there is no grey area. The putt either goes in the hole or it doesn’t. This is not just about division rilvaries, thumb this is about patriotism. Will the USA optimize its homefield advantage? There will be clearly defined winners, and and one country or continent will rejoice Sunday night and have bragging rights until 2014!
What You Need to Know
Welcome to the 2012 Ryder Cup. The Super Bowl of golf. The Ryder Cup is a bi-annual inter-continental contest between the 12 best American golfers versus the 12 best European golfers. Established in 1927 the 39th Ryder Cup is taking place in Chicago’s backayard: Medinah Country Club! It will be held this weekend, ed September 28-30.
USA v. Europe
Europe owns more Ryder Cup titles since 1995 (5) than in the first 67 years of the competition! Europe’s dominance in the past eight Ryder Cups is relevant because 11 of its 12 players on the 2012 team have played in this event before. Nine players on the European squad have been on winning teams, while only four Americans have. The lowest European in this week’s golf ranking is No. 35, and they have Nos. 1, 3, 4, and 5. All 12 US players are among the top 23, they have combined for 23 major championships, and, most importantly, they’re playing in front of their home fans.
Format of the Competition
The format of this golf tournament is different than other Championships because it will be Match Play. Match Play means that each hole is its own match, whoever has the lowest score at the conclusion of the hole wins one point. This is unlike Stroke Play where all 18 holes are played for a cumulative score. Intensifying each hole and each shot, the Match is played until one player has won enough holes that it makes it impossible for the other player to come back. Meaning some matches will not play all 18 holes. If a person is “4 Up” that means there is no way a player can come back from that deficit on the 16th tee with three holes left, so the match is concluded on the 15th.
At the end of three days of competition the Team with the most points wins the Ryder Cup. GO USA!
USA Team: Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Brandt Snedeker, Dustin Johnson, Steve Stricker, Jim Furyk, Zach Johnson, Webb Simpson, Keegan Bradely, Bubba Watson, Matt Kuchar, Jason Dufner
European Team: Nicolas Colsaerts, Luke Donald, Sergio Garcia, Peter Hanson, Martin Kaymer, Paul Lawrie, Graeme McDowell, Rory McIlroy, Francesco Molinari, Ian Poulter, Justin Rose, Lee Westwood
Players to Watch
Tiger v. Rory: Rory has had an incredible 6 weeks of golf. He won his second Major Championship, the PGA, by a whopping 8 shots. He won two premier golf tournaments in a row this month playing the best players in the world. He is arguably the most exciting player to watch at the moment. Tiger has been the dominant figure in golf since 1997. No matter where his game or personal life is he can never be counted out. He is a true master of the game and hungry to prove that he is undoubtedly the number 1 golfer all time. If this is the match we see on Sunday, golf may experience its highest TV Ratings in Ryder Cup History!
Brandt Snedeker, Keegan Bradely: Rookies to the Ryder Cup, but have proven themselves as two of the best in the world. Brandt is coming off the biggest win of his career at the FedEx Cup Championship, where he cashed in $11.4 million! In his two years on tour, Keegan has become a household name for golfers everywhere. I hope to see great things out of these two.
When to Watch (Times CDT):
Friday: ESPN 7 AM – 6:30 PM
Saturday: NBC 8 AM – 6 PM
Sunday: NBC 11 AM – 5 PM