Torrance Rejects Postponement Was Giving In


European Ryder Cup captain Sam Torrance rejects the notion that, because the Ryder Cup was postponed, professional golf is 'giving in' to terrorism.
"I don't thing canceling or postponing is giving in to terrorism," Torrance said Tuesday at a news conference at the European Tour headquarters near London. "I think it is showing the enormity of the horrors we have seen. It is not 'giving in,' it is just showing the world that we understand this is the worst thing that probably has ever happened. We have to sort it out and golf is nothing - nothing."
The conference was called expressly to discuss the Ryder Cup and the decision to postpone it a year, to 2002, as a result of the terrorist tragedy in the United States.
Torrance believes the postponement of a year might actually aid his team, noting his side is younger than the U.S. squad.
"If you want to look at that aspect of it, we have a much younger side than the Americans, so maybe it will be in our favor a year down the line," said Torrance.
The Americans may be at a disadvantage when the matches are played next year, he believes, simply because it will have been three years since their qualifying originated. Europe's qualifying takes only one year, therefore it can be argued that its team will be the more current.
He said that a fan sent an e-mail Monday evening with the suggestion that the teams be split up, playing six Europeans and six Americans on a side against six Europeans and six Americans in a strictly friendly match. The problem would still be with the Americans, who would still have to play in a foreign country - England.
"It would have been a wonderful idea, but of course you would still have had the Americans traveling," said Torrance. "I think the right thing has happened."
The nature, the spirit, the meaning of the Ryder Cup might well be forever changed with the tragedy. Torrance believes the events of the past week have changed the games forever.
"It certainly will put a lot of things into perspective," he said. "It is a different world we live in now. I think the matches will be played in a better spirit, and I think we will have more respect for each other now, for everyone now."
Torrance will be impacted by having to serve another year as Ryder Cup captain. That was a major undertaking the past two years, but only a minor one for the added year.
"Not a problem," he insisted. "It is a great honor to be the Ryder Cup captain, and I'm sure another year won't make a lot of difference.
"My job is done now until we get to the Ryder Cup. The team is picked, the clothing is done, the bookings are made, everything is done. It will give me another year for the team to get each other. They know exactly which 12 are playing, and so it might be advantageous to our team."
Of course, the mood is going to be far different when the 2001 Ryder Cup is played in 2002. The atmosphere will be subdued, he said. "I think this atrocity is going to hit us for a long time. I think it is right the matches should go on - just not at this moment."
For the moment, the Ryder Cup is unimportant. The fans who might not be able to go to the matches one year later are just one minor ordeal.
"I think our sorrow is directed somewhere else at the moment," Torrance said. "People have a year to organize a week. I'm sure they can manage that.
"I'd imagine for anyone playing (golf) right now, it would be very difficult to concentrate on anything. There is a lot of us (who) have families. I've got a family, three young kids growing up into a new world. That is all I'm focused on at the moment, what is happening and what has gone on.
"Golf really is a minority at the moment.
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