Ryder Cup Action
Yes – the Ryder Cup has started. Were you up at 1am to watch the opening tee shot? After the opening round, the USA is leading 2.5 to 1.5 for Europe.
The USA dominated the Ryder Cup since it began in 1927 – when it was the USA vs Great Britain. But when it changed to the USA vs Europe in 1979 … the results also changed. Europe has won 7 of the last 9 Ryder Cups.
The big win for the USA during that stretch was in 1999. Though the USA was on home turf at the Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts … they were getting blown out after the second day. The night before the final day – almost magically – USA Captain Ben Crenshaw predicted a USA victory. Crenshaw’s prediction seemed as ridiculous as Joe Namath’s “guarantee” before the 1969 Super Bowl.
But Crenshaw was right – the USA won 14.5 to 13.5. And Justin Leonard was the hero when he made a monster putt to beat Jose Maria Olazabal.
What’s happened to Justin Leonard? I first saw him in 1993 at the Walker Cup here in Minnesota at Interlachen CC. The USA won that Walker Cup with Minnesota boys Tim Herron and John Harris leading the way. Justin Leonard was only in college, but already a US Amateur champ and headed for the PGA Tour. He came out hot and won the US Open in 1997 at only 25 years of age. And then Leonard had some tough finishes while leading some Majors. It can be a cruel game.
But maybe the young guys have the magic. The USA hopes so – Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed and Ricky Fowler are all under 25.
This might be worth waking up at 1am to see.
GM and Head Golf Professional