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Day One at the Presidents Cup: Time to Integrate

Spent the later part of the day watching the Presidents Cup on my PVR — with all the commercials it is the only way to watch sports.

Here are some random thoughts:

  • The Weir/Clark pairing wasn’t well thought out, especially against Kim and Mickelson, who can both bomb the ball. Why not put Weir with Cabrera, or someone who gets it out there so the Canadian’s exacting wedges would come into play? Instead Clark and Weir are regularly outdriven by 50 yards.
  • Am I the only one who finds it remarkable that Tim Clark is competitive on the PGA Tour? A modern day Corey Pavin.
  • Ryo Ishikawa looked outmatched all day. Adam Scott, on the other hand, didn’t make any putts, but the way he hit his driver and irons, it is hard to imagine he’s been playing as badly as he has. Give Norman a halve on his picks so far.
  • I get that Zach Johnson and Kenny Perry are both devout Christians, but did Johnson really need to notify us after his win that they were playing for “God’s glory?” Does that suggest God wasn’t as fond of Cabrera and Villegas, at least not today? Is it because Villegas’ pants are too tight?
  • With all the fuss about Harding Park, I was actually impressed with the look of the course.
  • Should we do away with the Presidents Cup altogether? What about a three-team concept, where the winner of the Ryder Cup plays in the Presidents Cup, and the other teams rotate? Wouldn’t that make more sense? Or it is time to bring the rest of the world onto the Ryder Cup team.

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

16 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Robert, I too had the same thought about Clarke. Just checked his 09 Driving Distance stats and was surprised at the company he keeps.
    Mike Weir 278.9
    Chris DiMarco 278.8
    Marc Turnesa 278.6
    Jim Furyk 278.5
    Tim Clark 278.4
    John Mallinger 278.2
    Parker McLachlin 278.1
    Spencer Levin 277.8
    Chris Riley 277.0
    Ryuji Imada 276.4
    Nick O’Hern 276.3
    Brandt Snedeker 276.1
    Luke Donald 275.7
    Paul Goydos 275.6

    PS: Greg Norman must have had a brain cramp when he put Weir and Clarke together.
    Phil Mickelson 300.1
    Anthony Kim 298.6

  • Similar to the Europeans joining the UK team for Ryder Cup competitions many years ago, now is the time for the rest of the world to join the Europeans in Ryder Cup competition and eliminate the Presidents Cup.

    However, the US poor Ryder Cup record of recent suggests that adding more firepower to the European squad is not a good idea. Perhaps expand the US side at the same time to include all of North America or have an Americas vs. Rest of World team.

  • I watched the President’s Cup yesterday and was blown away by the whole cell phone incident.

    Steve Stricker said that Tiger did “the classy thing” by apologizing. Tiger did not do the classy thing; he missed his opportunity to be compared with Jack Nicholas in another favourable light. Tiger should have conceded the putt after a cell phone rang five times to rattle Ogilvy.

    The cell phone belonged to a security man of the host country. Think of how the American image would have improved around the world by that classy act. It might not have changed the outcome. To have some lout shout out after the missed put further sank “the classy thing” that did not happen.

    Can you imagine the coverage if it had happened to the American Team. The golf channel never dealt with it again when I was watching.

    Shame.

  • Fairplay,

    That is asking much of Tiger, but it would have been a wonderful moment.

    It could also set a dangerous precedent.

  • Well, would it set a dangerous precedent?

    I took this from http://sports.jrank.org/pages/3441/Nicklaus-Jack-Golfing-Mind.html

    You might remember this incident –

    During the 1969 Ryder Cup play at Royal Birkdale, Nicklaus performed one of the true gestures of good faith in the game, conceding a short putt to Britain’s Tony Jacklin, giving him the match, which in turn gave America the victory but allowed England to keep the Ryder Cup trophy one more year. Many consider it one of the best gestures in the history of sport, and though it was controversial at the time (teammate Sam Snead was upset that Nicklaus had conceded), the heart with which Nicklaus made the gesture showed his true colors.

    Still say that Tiger missed his chance to be a true sportsman. Can you imagine the whining and nashing of teeth if it had been Tiger that the cell phone incident happened to during a crutial putt – one website describes the incident as comical. They really don’t get it.

  • Fairplay, the precedent has zero to do with Nicklaus. That putt was of zero consequence that Nicklaus conceded.

    The precedent is that partisan fans would look to create disturbances so that the opposition would be expected to concede putts.

    By the way, the account that you put forward of the concession is pretty much wrong in every aspect, so you may want to sort yourself out before you go making such assertions.

  • There is a golf course in Florida that Jack and Tony Jacklin worked on together called “The Concession”. People still talk about what Jack did in ’69. Might be off topic somewhat but still a true gesture of the game of golf.

  • I’m a bully because I have a good point and you use a factually useless tale to support yours?

    I was never a bully, but I’ll wager you were a whiney sissy.

    I never knew England was entered in the Ryder Cup then. Did they beat GB&I?

    Again, I politely suggest you sort yourself out.

    England’s successful defence in 1969 was indeed historic.

  • Tighthead, I believe the Americans retained the Ryder Cup in 1969 with a 16-16 tie. I politely suggest you get your facts straight.

  • WE why don’t you read what I was responding to. Look at the information provided by fairplay.

    I politely suggest you reconsider your suggestion.

    Do you think England competed in the Ryder Cup that year as well?

  • Tighthead:

    I think you are splitting hairs. Fairplay made the point that Nicklaus made a sportsman gesture by conceding a putt that had an impact on the match (it was definitively halved versus a possible win by Nicklaus) but no impact on the Americans keeping the Cup. In other words, Nicklaus sacrificed himself (eliminating the chance to win the match) but did not sacrifice his teammates or the American side (they kept the Cup).

    I do not know the length of the Ogilvy putt but if it was of comparable length and difficulty as the Jacklin putt, then the sportsman gesture would have been to concede the putt to Ogilvy in light of the boorish behaviour of the person with the cell phone on the course on Tiger’s home turf.

    Yes, the circumstances are different but the concept is the same…sportsmanlike behaviour amongst intense competitors in a gentlemen’s sport. This is why golf is such an honourable game. Tiger potentially missed an opportunity. That is his loss, in my opinion.

  • WE – According to the official Tony Jacklin website, the putt was about two feet. The putt that Ogilvy had seemed to be over two feet.

    Also, concerning the prize money – this from the Presidents Cup website

    From the first matches in 1994, no player, Captain or Captain’s Assistant on either team has ever been compensated. There is no purse to be divided. No winners’ shares to be banked.

    Instead, the net revenues are divided into equal shares that participants equally designate for charities or golf-related projects of their choice – – $17.75 million for charities worldwide, beginning with a $750,000 contribution in 1994 and culminating with a record $4.2 million from the 2007 matches at Royal Montreal Golf Club.

    It was with this in mind that I thought that the gesture was possible – though when you are now dealing with the louts that has had too much grape and no understanding of the original game, it is probably beyond possible.

  • Fairplay – do you still think “England” retained the cup in 1969?

    Whether I am a bully or not is a matter of opinion; your account of the concession couldn’t be more wrong. Why don’t you actually learn what happened and then come back. The length of the putt is not what we are debating.

    WE – did you read the account of the concession that fairplay put forward? If that is what he thinks happened, and that England not only entered a team but won, he has no clue.

    He put forth:

    During the 1969 Ryder Cup play at Royal Birkdale, Nicklaus performed one of the true gestures of good faith in the game, conceding a short putt to Britain’s Tony Jacklin, giving him the match, which in turn gave America the victory but allowed England to keep the Ryder Cup trophy one more year.

    He asked if I remember that. I don’t think anyone does.

  • “I get that Zach Johnson and Kenny Perry are both devout Christians, but did Johnson really need to notify us after his win that they were playing for “God’s glory?” Does that suggest God wasn’t as fond of Cabrera and Villegas, at least not today? Is it because Villegas’ pants are too tight?”

    No – playing for God’s glory doesn’t imply that God cares who wins Robert…He just meant that he was doing his best. When you are doing something you are good at (blessed at Zach might say) you are glorifying God – but God wouldn’t care if Villegas or Cabrera won either.

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