Back 9: It’s What They Play For!Written by Fred Altvater | | BackNine@toledofreepress.com
The 2010 Ryder Cup from cold, windy, and rainy Wales lived up to all the hype. Team USA took a 6-4 point lead into Saturday’s Session #3 of the 2010 Ryder Cup. Typical Welsh October weather of torrential winds and rain forced a 19 hour delay and made it necessary for Saturday’s matches to be played on Sunday and prompted Ryder Cup officials to restructure the matches to ensure that the 28 point format was preserved with the 12 singles matches moved to Monday. With 6 matches to be made up on Sunday, all hands were on the deck, all twelve members of both teams had to play, the good, the bad, and the ugly. No hiding poor performers everyone got their shot and they didn’t disappoint the golfing world. Both teams provided all the drama and excitement that a golf fan could wish for; fantastic shot making, chip ins, long putts, errant shots, great saves, and most of all passion about the game. The American team was only able to eke out ½ point in Session #3 and trailed Europe 9 ½-6 ½. As good as the matches were on Sunday, the singles matches held on Monday were even better. The Americans nearly pulled off a miraculous win.
With all the other matches completed the Ryder cup was tied at 13 ½. 2010 U. S. Open Champion, Irishman Graeme McDowell finally closed out the Americans and Hunter Mahan on the 17th green with all the other players, caddies, captains, and fans watching. Let the celebrations begin. Europe won the Cup for the 9th time in the last 13 times the Ryder Cup matches have been held. The 2010 European team was loaded with talent and was the favorite going in.
For professional golfers the act of playing golf is work. It’s their job. It’s how they provide the good life for themselves and their families. A day on the golf course is just another day at the office. At the Ryder Cup, however, they play for free. It is the ultimate golf getaway with your favorite golf buddies except for all the television cameras, fans and media types. It is wonderful to actually see golf professionals get excited and show their emotion and passion for the game. That is what the Ryder Cup and golf is all about. The team needing your point to win the match, the pressure to put one on the green for a birdie look for your scramble team, and the feeling you get when you hole that 5 footer to win a $5 bet in a Sunday match. It’s golf at its purest. It’s why everyone plays such a frustrating game.
The Ryder Cup forces the team members to play for something other than money. They play for the other eleven team members, their Captain and their country. They play to be put into the situation of needing to perform and compete at the highest level.
24 of the world’s best golfers, cold, windy, wet golf conditions, every shot, every hole important, professional golfers under tremendous stress, priceless!