Every two years teams from the US and Europe compete in the biggest team event in golf, the Ryder Cup. Both teams will be made up of 12 of the very best golfers from their respective regions, and at a time of political, economic and social upheaval across Europe, the Ryder Cup represents one of the few events to unify an otherwise disjointed continent.
For those that are unfamiliar with the tournament, it’s worth knowing that the Ryder Cup is the third most watched sporting event in the world after the Fifa World Cup and the Olympics, and it generates a following from those sports fans that generally have no regular interest in golf. For a sport that’s intrinsically a solo endeavor, the event has a refreshingly different dynamic.
This time around Gleneagles, Scotland, will host the event over the coming weekend, the 40th edition of the competition. Such is the level of interest, about 45,000 fans a day are expected to attend and Edinburgh airport has also reported a total of 150 private jets flying in to watch the event.
So who will come out on top? Europe has won seven out of the last nine tournaments and start as strong favorites, with the home advantage of a partisan crowd also in the team’s favor. Four of the world’s current top six players are also in the team, including world number one Rory McIroy. But the US roster actually has a better average world ranking than Europe, while the last two tournaments were close enough to suggest a similar outcome this time.
The Ryder Cup is one of the most pressure-packed events in sport, and much depends on how the players perform on the day. It also heavily depends on how well the team gels and it’s more than just the abilities of the individual golfers. Tiger Woods, unable to compete this time around because of injury, has consistently underachieved at the Ryder Cup in the past, despite his superstar status. It will be close and Europe might just edge it again. But expect the intensity of the event to make for a great sporting occasion.
I'm a finance man by background, but by nature and interest I'm also a trained life coach, traveler and observer of life. I've lived in a few countries, gone through a few ups and downs, but I'm still standing. I've blogged on and off for the last five years.