Fever rages in several guises for golf’s Ryder Cup event

September 28, 2012

This week marks the return of the Ryder Cup competition to American shores, this time at the historic Medinah Club near Chicago, Ill.

Davis Love III is this year’s captain for the U.S. squad, while Jose Maria Olazabal heads the European contingent. I enjoyed watching both of these players in their prime, and both well deserved their selection as captains.

BBC radio commentators, on channel 5 online, busied themselves Monday evening, Sept. 24 with a surprisingly broad level of coverage of a golf tournament that does not begin until Sept. 28. On the other hand, the fact that the Europeans have won six of the last seven Ryder Cups may be the best explanation for the intensive coverage by the folks from the other side of the Atlantic.

There’s quite a bit of interest on this side of the pond, as well, and not just on the Golf Channel, although the 24/7 golf station is certainly doing its part.

On Sept. 25, for example, it is showing a new documentary “War by the Shore,” based on longtime golf writer Curt Sampson’s new book about the 1991 Ryder Cup tournament held at Kiawah, S.C.

The intensity of that particular contest marked a significant change in how golf fans viewed this competition, and is generally recognized as a watershed moment in the Ryder Cup’s long history.

Sampson is one of my favorite golf writers, and his new book should be at least the equal of his other golf histories, such as his biography of Ben Hogan or his study of the British Open.

I expect the Golf Channel to run several repeats of this documentary, and especially if the Americans win this weekend.

Others are taking advantage of the Ryder Cup for their own interests. For example, golf writers received a special email this week from the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, the official hospital of the Ryder Cup and the PGA of America.

I didn’t know there was an official hospital for such events, but there you are.

The email/press release briefly discussed what the Ryder Cup participants should feel, compared to what they contend with during the rest of the season. Rory McIlroy explained the difference in this quote:

“I think the thing about the Ryder Cup is that it brings a completely different pressure than you face week in, week out, because if you play badly, it’s all you. You’re not letting down your teammates or your captains or your country.”

The folks at Kings Cross Knickers are also caught up in the event. They are offering a special 20 percent coupon off their normal prices for plus fours, argyle socks, and so forth. All the customer has to do is insert the word “RYDER” in the coupon code at the online checkout, found at

Somehow I think I will see even more Ryder Cup stuff in my mailbox between the column deadline and the last putt at Medinah this Sunday - and I’m perfectly fine with that.

Local club competition results

The Kings Creek Ladies Golf Association conducted the game of the day for both 9-holers and 18-holers on Sept. 20. Both groups played a one best ball net format, with three players per team.

Among the 9-hole players, the team of Chris Sullivan, Carolyn Shriver and Evelyn Vanderloo took first place.

Linda Mazza won the closest to the pin contest on the 13th hole with a tee shot that ended 32-feet-5-inches from the hole.

Must have been a tough pin placement.

For the 18-hole competitors, the team of Luann Zabytko, Brenda Butterfield and Terry Derville won first place. Tricia Ritthaler, Rosanne Smith and Pattie Magee combined for a second-place team finish.

Carol Simon hit her tee shot to 11-feet-11-inches from the fifth hole to win closest to the pin honors for the day.

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