Sep 23, 2008

No Tiger? No problem- U.S. captures Ryder Cup

by Mitchell Malcheff

For one weekend golf moved out of the ranks of the elite and waded into the Kentucky heat amid a raucous crowd that would have been more at home at a tractor pull instead of a normally staid Ryder Cup. Golf claps were replaced by thunderous ovations that echoed all the way from Louisville to Campbellsville, Ky., home of one of the weekend’s unlikely heroes, J.B. Holmes.

Were you watching on Sunday or did you settle for another ho-hum NFL schedule? Did you happen to catch Boo Weekley as he galloped down the fairway astride his driver? Were you tuned in when the normally stoic Jim Furyk awkwardly fist-pumped his way to a Sunday victory over Miguel Angel Jimenez? This was the team that the country was waiting to rally behind. A team of future super-stars, old has-beens, and aw shucks I’d rather be in my deer-stand country boys.

You could sense something was happening early on Sunday when Anthony Kim lofted a wedge shot inside of five feet on the first hole against Europe’s darling, Sergio Garcia. Undaunted by Garcia’s past record, Kim conceded few putts to Garcia and even fewer holes on his way to a 5 & 4 victory. And what must sting Garcia the most is that it looks like Kim will be everything that Sergio failed to be. A young super-star with the talent and the steely resolve to capture many majors in the years to come.

For one weekend the eyes of the golf world turned to Louisville; not to witness pros compete for a trophy or millions in prize money and certainly not to watch Tiger relentlessly march on towards history.

The eyes of the golf world turned to Valhalla Golf Club to witness the world’s finest players compete for respect and honor and love of country, something the sports world has far too little of these days.

Two years from now the U.S. and Europe will renew their rivalry in Wales. The teams will look different and the outcome may be as well. Regardless, this most unlikely of Ryder Cup teams gave us a weekend that will not be soon forgotten.

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