Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Commentary: Presidents Cup Has Room to Improve

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Commentary: Presidents Cup Has Room to Improve

Article excerpt

JERSEY CITY, N.J. * The banner posted on the side of the grandstand at the first tee loudly proclaimed the Presidents Cup as "The U.S. versus The World." That sounded like a compelling competition except for one small problem.

When did Europe move to another planet?

The PGA Tour has pleaded for patience in letting the Presidents Cup mature into a must-see event, referring to a Ryder Cup that once was even more one-sided. During a 50-year stretch, the Americans captured the Ryder Cup 20 out of 21 times.

Then again, they were beating up on a Britain and Ireland team trying to recover from World War II, the worst kind of home game. The turning point was in 1979 when all of Europe became eligible, which included Seve Ballesteros, perhaps the most important figure in Ryder Cup history.

The International team comes from every country outside Europe. What else can it add?

What can it do?

It's difficult enough playing under a flag with no significance except for one week every two years at the Presidents Cup. And it doesn't help that the International team takes its direction from the PGA Tour, which also oversees the American team. Imagine a World Series between two baseball teams with the same owner.

Worse yet was looking across at a U.S. team that is loaded with so much young talent that some of those stars at Liberty National might not be on the charter flight to France for the Ryder Cup next September.

The record will show a 19-11 victory for the Americans.

The memory from this Presidents Cup will be the Americans being one match away from ending it Saturday.

A blowout typically leads to knee-jerk reactions. Those were hard to find two years ago in South Korea when the International team came within two putts in one match from winning Chris Kirk making his putt from 15 feet, Anirban Lahiri missing his putt from 4 feet.

The big picture suggests a deeper problem.

The Americans are now 10-1-1. Their only loss was in 1998 in Australia, when the matches were held two weeks before Christmas, and most of the Americans spent more time shopping online than studying potential pairings.

The matches return to Australia for a third time in 2019, this time ending on Dec. …

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