Saturday, September 20

37th Ryder Cup Actually Lives Up to Hype

Captain's pick Ian Poulter
(Steven Newton/Flickr)

IT’S RARE WHEN A MAJOR SPORTING EVENT lives up to the hype, but the 37th Ryder Cup has achieved that seemingly impossible standard − and it’s only Saturday night.

I have a Ryder Cup hangover. I watched nearly all 11 hours of the Saturday coverage. That’s a lot, even for me.

If you saw any of it, especially the afternoon four-ball matches, then you know it was riveting stuff. Instead of players throwing up all over themselves, I saw players on both teams stuffing approach shots and rolling in putts like they were, well, Tiger Woods.

Somehow the U.S. team is hanging on to a 9-7 lead despite the European team throwing and landing a giant haymaker in the afternoon matches. Robert Karlsson, Ian Poulter and Graeme McDowell made about a month’s worth of putts in a single afternoon.

The Americans were staggered but managed to stay on their feet and make a few of their own. The most dramatic was Steve Stricker’s 15-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to secure a half point in a match Stricker and Ben Curtis were expected to lose.

Last night everyone was questioning Nick Faldo’s sanity. Today he’s a genius, thanks largely to the captain’s pick of captain’s picks, Ian Poulter. As it turns out, the flap about sitting down Sergio Garcia was overblown. Garcia reportedly wanted to sit out on Saturday morning.

The Ryder Cup will be decided by Sunday’s singles matches. What more could anyone ask?

−The Armchair Golfer

More Ryder Cup coverage:
2008 Ryder Cup: European Fans Have Passion
2008 Ryder Cup: J.B. Holmes Is a Rock Star
2008 Ryder Cup: Super Bowl of Golf


Tom Blogical said...

I have a feeling Europe has the horses and the luck to pull it out tomorrow (OK, today. Yeah, I have insomnia again.).

The Armchair Golfer said...

Could be, Tom. I think it will be close, which makes for an exciting Sunday afternoon.