Connect with us

Opinion & Analysis

Does the Ryder Cup mean more to Europeans than majors?

Published

on

“For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.”

British author Rudyard Kipling wrote these words, poetically expressing how an individual can make a group stronger or weaker, while the group as a whole has the same power over the individual. It is a concept that the European Ryder Cup side has always been acutely aware of, and amid the messy public fallout that rumbles on in the United States’ camp, it’s evident that it’s a philosophy lost on the U.S. side.

The musings of Kipling do not fall on deaf ears when it comes to the supporters of the U.S. side, whose frustration and anger at the lack of unity amongst its team of superstars has begun to boil over. As the lack of harmony of the U.S. group continues to perplex people, the collectiveness of the European team continues to grow. As every Ryder Cup passes, the symmetry of each group advances in opposite directions, and the reason behind the contrast in unity becomes harder to pin down.

Europe’s Ryder Cup members come from different parts of the continent, Spain, Scandinavia, Italy, the UK and Ireland. Despite the relatively small size of the continent, the cultures of each country are extremely diverse. While Ian Poulter and Tommy Fleetwood dig into their fish and chips and wash it down with a pint of beer, the likes of Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia are more likely to be enjoying their tapas and a glass of Rioja. So just how has this culturally diverse group shown the type of spirit that the U.S. side could only dream of possessing?

Slaying the dragon

Much of the motivation and importance that Europe has always shown in the Ryder Cup comes down to their opponents. The leaders of the free world, the powerhouse that is the United States of America. Long gone are the days that the U.S. would utterly dominate the Ryder Cup. Europe is now the dominant force, winning seven of the last nine editions of the event. Despite that fact, Europe will always feel like an underdog in the match-up, and the tag of favoritism can be a hefty burden to bear.

Europe continuously considering themselves as underdogs has no doubt helped to banish any sense of complacency. From the dominance of both U.S. politics and culture on the rest of the world, there has always been a special pride and sense of achievement for those outside of the U.S. in downing the sporting superstars from the land of milk and honey. This motivation only heightens when it’s at a sport where the U.S. has been so dominant throughout history, such as they have in golf. It’s an embedded mindset that both the European team and supporters possess year on year, while it seems likely that the U.S. Ryder Cup side is more susceptible to complacency, and perhaps, motivated more by defeat.

More on the mindset

The attention for the twelve members of the defeated U.S. side will now turn to the new PGA Tour season, where they will be hoping for major championship triumphs, FedEx Cup success and even qualification for the Presidents Cup. It may be two years away, but much of the motivation for the European players will be to make the next Ryder Cup side and to keep that trophy in Europe until 2022 at the very least.

Francesco Molinari won the Open Championship earlier this year, which was his first ever taste of major championship glory. Years of sweat and perseverance culminating in the most memorable moment of his career, right? Not according to Francesco, who described this year’s Ryder Cup victory with his teammates as a far more significant achievement than his Open Championship success:

“It means so much. So much more than majors, more than anything… It’s been an incredible week. It’s about the group. It’s incredible. It is the best feeling I have ever had in golf.”

Legacy

In the United States, Colin Montgomerie will be synonymous with his failure at major championships, but in Europe he’ll often be regarded as a Ryder Cup legend, taking 23.5 points from just 36 matches played in his career at the event. Sergio Garcia was considered to be the quintessential nearly man who lacked nerve according to the U.S. media before his victory at Augusta, yet across the pond; he was the fearless matador in the Ryder Cup arena. While Seve Ballesteros’ legendary performances in the Ryder Cup both as a player and as a captain, as well as his performances in majors it must be said, have many Europeans claiming he was up there with the best of all time.

There is a mystical power that the Ryder Cup possesses in Europe. In a video played to the European side on the eve of the 2018 event, an emotional Jose Maria Olazabal states:

“Seve showed me, there are times where you need to reach into the depths of your soul to get you through.”

Is the U.S. side willing to dig as deep as their European counterparts for their teammates and their country? Recent history suggests not.

Your Reaction?
  • 14
  • LEGIT2
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK1

Gianni is a freelance writer. He holds a Bachelor of Arts as well as a Diploma in Sports Journalism. He can be contacted at gmagliocco@outlook.com. Follow him on Twitter @giancarlomag

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. rollbahn

    Oct 4, 2018 at 6:44 pm

    “….special pride and sense of achievement for those outside of the U.S. in downing the sporting superstars from the land of milk and honey”

    The issue of course is that most of us outside the US (that don’t live in poor or oppressed countries) don’t think that at all. I think that is what the Americans think of themselves and perhaps where they get themselves into trouble.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Podcasts

The Gear Dive: Golf prodigy Cole Hammer talks equipment, not turning pro, committing to Texas

Published

on

Cole Hammer, who once qualified for the 2015 U.S. Open at 15 years old, joins The Gear Dive Podcast with Johnny Wunder to discuss equipment, being a Freshman at the University of Texas, committing for 4 years, not turning pro and his crazy big summer including a win at the 2018 Western Amateur.

Check out the full podcast on SoundCloud below, or click here to listen on iTunes!

Your Reaction?
  • 19
  • LEGIT8
  • WOW9
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP1
  • OB1
  • SHANK4

Continue Reading

Podcasts

TG2: GolfWRX Forum Member “Warrick” explains his love for Mizuno irons

Published

on

GolfWRX forum celebrity “Warrick” explains what he loves so much about Mizuno irons, where he got his name from, how he became a gear head, what’s in his bag currently, his all-time favorite golf course and more. Also, GolfWRX equipment expert Brian Knudson talks about playing Oakland Hills Country Club in Michigan for the first time.

Checkout the full podcast on SoundCloud below, or click here to listen on iTunes!

Your Reaction?
  • 10
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK4

Continue Reading

Opinion & Analysis

Golfholics Course Review: Spyglass Hill Golf Course

Published

on

In this new course review series, Marko and Mike from Golfholics provide their takes on the golf courses they’ve played around the world. The first episode starts with the famed, yet often overlooked Spyglass Hill. Enjoy the video below, and don’t forget to check out more videos from Golfholics on their YouTube page!

Your Reaction?
  • 85
  • LEGIT16
  • WOW7
  • LOL1
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP1
  • OB0
  • SHANK2

Continue Reading

19th Hole

Facebook

Trending