Ryder Presidents - Its Overload Says Kite

By George WhiteSeptember 24, 2004, 4:00 pm
Tom Kite shudders a little when he thinks about it. But the former U.S. Ryder Cup captain sees the possibility of last weeks lopsided European victory happening time and time again in the foreseeable future.
 
No, its not because he thinks the European players are that much superior to the Americans. That problem would eventually fix itself and the talent from the two continents would level out. But this problem will not go away, regardless of how much the Americans want it to.
 
I think the Presidents Cup is killing the Ryder Cup, Kite said firmly. I really do I think its really difficult for the U.S. team right now.
 
The Presidents Cup, of course, is the PGA Tours biennial competition matching a U.S. team against an international team, meaning the rest of the world minus Europe. Played in the years in which there isnt a Ryder Cup, its a relative newcomer, only in existence since 1994.
 
Kite played in seven Ryder Cups, stretching from 79 to 93. He would have played in twice that many international competitions if the Presidents Cup had been in existence. He believes that expecting the Americans to participate in a match every year is persistently draining their enthusiasm.
 
Thats a lot to ask ' especially when the other team (Europe) gets rejuvenated, he said. They have the opportunity to get refreshed, not have it for a year.
 
This years lopsided affair was a perfect example. I see the enthusiasm among the guys who have not played in many past Ryder Cups or Presidents Cups, he says. You see it in Chris DiMarco, Chris Riley, even Jay Haas. But you just dont see the same enthusiasm in the guys who did it just 12 months before. Twelve months before that they did it, and 12 months before that and 12 months before that.
 
Kite, now 55 and a standout on the Champions Tour, realizes that the competitions occupy only one week of the players time a year. But there is one key difference ' for Europe its only once every two years. That, he believes, is a major difference. The opportunity to represent your country is a huge honor, he says, but coming every year as it does, its diluted a little.
 
I remember reading a quote from Nick Faldo and somebody asked him if he wasnt disappointed that he wasnt going to play in the Presidents Cup, remembered Kite. He said, Youve got to be kidding! I need two years to recover from this!
 
Kite confesses that he doesnt know an answer. He isnt even certain that the Presidents Cup theory is the real reason for the losses that had piled up in a depressing succession. He cant be certain that one week a year is too much ' unless your opponent isnt expected to do the same thing.
 
BUT ' I keep going back to the fact of, When did we start getting beat? Prior to that time it was a pretty even competition. You had the Fab Five over there in Europe from 83 and to about 91 or 93.
 
When did we start getting it handed to us on a platter? In 95. When did the Presidents Cup start? In 94.
 
In 95, the steady drumbeat of losses began. Last weeks setback ran Europes winning ratio to four in five, with the only American success coming in 1999 at Brookline after the U.S. rallied on Sunday to take the singles competition, 8 - 3 . It came that close to being five European victories over the last five Ryder Cups.

Of course, that is around the time that the Ryder Cup became profitable. For decades it had been a losing proposition for America. But when Europe began to win from time to time in the 80s that began to change. And the PGA of America found it had a huge cash cow on its hands.
 
Rather by coincidence or not, the PGA Tour ' certainly no dummy when it comes to great money-making ideas ' decided that the rest of the world was entitled to play the U.S., also. Ergo - the Presidents Cup. And that idea has proven to be extremely profitable, as well.
 
The suggestion has been made that there be three teams ' the U.S., Europe, and the Internationals ' and that the winners of the competition be matched the following year. But its difficult to see that happening.
 
Why? Because if the U.S. is not involved, the event wont be nearly as profitable. A Europe vs. the Internationals match might sound like an excellent idea, but it wouldnt bring nearly the television revenue that a matchup involving the United States would. Its just that simple. And ' money is a powerful persuader.
 
There is one thing that may trump the dollar, though. Kite sees it happening someday, and it may be the one thing that will cause the interested parties to all sit up and take notice.
 
There may come a time when one of the top players stands up and says, No, Im not going to do that. I need a break, said Kite. That, he believes, will finally get the attention of all the participants.
 
And I hope that if and when that happens, you guys (in the media) are sensitive enough to whats going on and aware enough that you wont barbecue him.
 
Its going to be difficult for someone to do it for that reason alone.
 
Until then, he feels, get accustomed to a steady succession of Euro victories. This steady diet of end-of-year international competitions is just too much.
 
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PGA Tour, LPGA react to video review rules changes

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 1:32 pm

The USGA and R&A announced on Monday updates to the Rules of Golf, including no longer accepting call-ins relating to violations. The PGA Tour and LPGA, which were both part of a working group of entities who voted on the changes, issued the following statements:

PGA Tour:

The PGA Tour has worked closely with the USGA and R&A on this issue in recent years, and today's announcement is another positive step to ensure the Rules of Golf align with how the game is presented and viewed globally. The PGA Tour will adopt the new Local Rule beginning January 1, 2018 and evolve our protocols for reviewing video evidence as outlined.

LPGA:

We are encouraged by the willingness of the governing bodies to fully vet the issues and implement real change at a pace much quicker than the sport has seen previously. These new adaptations, coupled with changes announced earlier this year, are true and meaningful advances for the game. The LPGA plans to adopt fully the protocols and new Local Rule as outlined.

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Sharma closes on Monday, wins Joburg Open

By Associated PressDecember 11, 2017, 12:43 pm

JOHANNESBURG – Shubhankar Sharma won his first European Tour title by a shooting 3-under 69 Monday in the final round of the weather-delayed Joburg Open.

The 21-year-old Indian resumed his round on the eighth green after play was halted early Sunday afternoon because of storms. He parred that hole, birdied No. 9 and made par on every hole on the back nine.


Full-field scores from the Joburg Open


Sharma finished at 23-under 264, three strokes ahead of the pack, and qualified for next year's British Open, too.

''I actually wasn't going to come here about a week ago ... so I'm really happy that I came,'' said Sharma, who shot 61 in the second round. ''I don't think I'm ever going forget my first time in South Africa.''

Erik van Rooyen (66) was second, three strokes ahead of Shaun Norris (65) and Tapio Pulkkanen (68).

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 pm

Sharma among three Open qualifiers at Joburg Open

By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:16 pm

Shubhankar Sharma earned his first career European Tour win at the rain-delayed Joburg Open and punched his ticket to The Open in the process.

Sharma returned to Randpark Golf Club Monday morning after storms washed out much of the scheduled final day of play. Beginning the re-start with a four-shot lead, he hung on to win by three over South Africa's Erik Van Rooyen.

Both men can make travel plans for Carnoustie next summer, as this was the second event in the Open Qualifying Series with three spots available for players not otherwise exempt who finished inside the top 10. The final spot went to Shaun Norris, who tied for third with Finland's Tapio Pulkkanen but had a higher world ranking (No. 192) than Pulkkanen (No. 197) entering the week.

The Joburg Open was the final official European Tour event of the year. The next tournament in the Open Qualifying Series will be the SMBC Singapore Open in January, where four spots at Carnoustie will be up for grabs.