To maximise interest and excitement on both sides of the pond, does the great biennial team event need the USA to triumph at Hazeltine? Fergus Bisset discusses
Europe have won the last three Ryder Cups and eight of the last ten. A suggestion heard in golfing circles on this side of the pond in recent years has been that the Ryder Cup needs an American victory, to keep the excitement levels at fever pitch plus interest and expectation high on both sides. Is this the case? Is such a view a little superficial and patronising, or would The Ryder Cup be in a better place if the USA wins at Hazeltine?
If Davis Love III’s men triumph in Minnesota it will be only the second US victory of the 21st century. The USA prevailed comfortably at Valhalla in 2008 when the European captain, Nick Faldo, was thoroughly out-thought by his opposite number Paul Azinger. But, in the other six contests this millennium, Europe have come out on top.
European golf fans have become used to winning the great biennial event, and US players and supporters are hungry to silence their increasingly vocal supporters – think Patrick Reed’s shushing at Gleneagles!
When the USA dominated the contest in the mid-to-late 20th century, European fans held more hope than expectation, and most of the cheering was left to those waving the stars and stripes. How good it was for Europe to stun those expectant American fans at The Belfry in 1985 and to prove that the event was no longer a mere procession. Perhaps it is indeed time for the European devotees to receive a gentle reminder of the same sort?