Someone hears a few buzzwords ' hatred or them or dont like - and they dont even wait for the rest of the sentence. The only thing they get is the name of the offending player, and off a rumor goes, making thousands of rounds before it finally lands in the garbage can where it belongs.
A month or so ago I received an e-mail from a disgruntled reader ' he obviously was from Europe, but he could just as easily been from America under a little different circumstances. The e-mail went something like this:
Whats the difference in Chris DiMarco saying he hates Europeans and what Paul Casey said?
Huh? I never heard DiMarco say anything that even remotely suggested he hates Europeans. Matter of fact, I never personally heard Paul Casey says he hates Americans, either, but he apparently did say something like that to a London newspaper. Casey said ' and Im paraphrasing here ' that during Ryder Cup week he hates the American team. It sounded a wee bit harsh, but I figured it just meant he does something to stoke the competitive fires. So be it ' but it caused a tremendous negative reaction here in the U.S. of A.
Casey later went of American television ' The Golf Channel ' to explain what he meant. And I didnt find what he said offensive at all. But plenty of Americans wanted some fodder to feed their hatred, and they have found it. Poor Paul has had a terrible time of it in the U.S. this year, missing five cuts in nine starts before fleeing back to his home in England.
Europeans, though, thought they had a comparable villain in DiMarco. Someone thought DiMarco said, We hate the Europeans after the Presidents Cup victory. Nothing, DiMarco said, could be further from the truth.
You know, its funny ' I got a call about a week after (the Presidents Cup) from somebody at the Golf Channel, DiMarco said Wednesday. They said, Hey, there was some comments made
And DiMarco was forced to start the process of putting out another brushfire, much the same as Casey had done.
I guess what I meant to say - and what was perceived - were two different things, he said. What I said was, The media and the fans want there to be hatred in the Ryder Cup.
Unfortunately, I made it sound like, We hate them. Which is totally wrong.
I went back and found what DiMarco really said at the Presidents Cup. And if you were just searching for one or two hot words, you would probably come up with, I hate the Europeans. Put the whole phrase together, though, and you have something totally different.
I like that there's a genuine respect for both teams, DiMarco actually said, and it's more about the game of golf and not necessarily somebody being ugly and somebody not being ugly.
I think the players pretty much on both teams, whether it's Ryder Cup or Presidents Cup, have a mutual respect for everybody. I think the media makes it, unfortunately, for Ryder Cup, hateful, and that's the difference between the two.
I would naturally take issue with his statement that its the media who has done the skullduggery ' but, I guess that just comes with the territory. Whatever ' the fact is, what DiMarco said, and what he is being accused of saying, are as far apart as London is from Los Angeles.
So, DiMarco has gone into the preempt mode. It started at the WCG-American Express Championship recently in San Francisco, where he happened to bump into a couple of Euros ' Lee Westwood and Colin Montgomerie ' at the course. He immediately stopped the pair and went into an explanation.
I just wanted to let them that know that what I said, and what they heard ' was not what I said, said DiMarco.
And then he went down the list, of all the European Ryder Cup members at the tournament.
I have the utmost respect for everyone on that team, he said, mentioning that the play of Westwood in the Ryder Cup has been phenomenal.
Just the fact that there was a comment on that ' I didnt even know there was something going on. So I sat down with every one of the Ryder Cup members I saw last week, I sat down with them and said, Im sorry that it was misconstrued that way. They all said, Its no big deal.
He knows, however, that he can never, ever change the mind of some European fans who need to have an American villain ' just like some Americans refuse to consider that Paul Casey is just another Englishman who didnt at all mean to bum-rap the U.S.
Like I said, they (the fans) just want to make it to where it seems hateful, said DiMarco. And, there is no hatred. I just think that people like to take the competitive nature of that, and they think that hatred is a part of that. Thats not what it is.
Thats the nature of the Ryder Cup. People work themselves into a fever pitch, and to do so, they need somebody to hate. Doesnt matter who it is, as long as that person is on the opposite side. Is it any wonder that DiMarco is despised in Europe, and Casey is despised in America?
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