Friday, September 19

Does Team USA Have a Prayer?

IT'S HARD TO BELIEVE THE U.S. Ryder Cup team hasn't won on European soil since 1993. Those matches were played at The Belfry in England, and the man who sank the clinching putt, Davis Love III, is making his Champions Tour debut this week in Hawaii. The U.S. captain was Tom Watson. The final score was United States 16 1/2, Europe 11 1/2.

Winning five of six and seven of nine, it has been all Europe since then. America has won the Ryder Cup just once in the 21st century. That lone victory was at Valhalla in 2008, with Paul Azinger at the helm.

I now have some golf friends across the pond who are unabashed European team supporters. They don't hold back, telling me in no uncertain terms to expect another European victory.

One friend asked me if I was coming to the Ryder Cup. When I told him no, he said, "Personally, I believe it would have been a wasted visit. The USA will definitely come in second...and in a two-horse race that's no consolation!"

I exchanged tweets with another friend.

Me: Asked a friend how he thought the 2014 Ryder Cup stacked up. "The US is going to get killed!" he said. Is he right? #RyderCup

Him: Yes, sorry Neil, he's right

Me: On other hand, no one has ever won the #RyderCup on paper. Being underdogs should help the U.S., maybe free them up a bit.

Him: Maybe indeed but we will soon know the outcome

Asked for my pick in a recent interview, I said, "I know they're underdogs, but I'm going to pick the United States. I think they need to win one, and that would be good for the Ryder Cup after a period of European dominance."

Perhaps it's only wishful thinking.

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