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Americans Must Once Again Defend Themselves

Tell me now, are we really this bad? Has the situation gotten so out of hand that we should be banned from playing international golf? Is the rest of the world going to assign us our own little corner and shuffle off to play golf by themselves?
 
It happened most recently at the Presidents Cup. I read it in the English newspaper the Telegraph, but undoubtedly some other British papers carried it also. I didn't read a word of it in any American newspapers, but they are probably involved in some kind of nefarious coverup. The cads.
 
This one involved the gala dinner on the night before play began. Singer Bruce Hornsby had already sung three songs, the clock showed it was after 10 p.m., and 10 of the 12 Americans decided to leave. And so they left. The Internationals, it is reported, remained seated. Tsk-tsk.
 
Okay, what's the score up to now? Let's see, the women got the British press in an uproar because they dared make Annika Sorenstam replay a shot she had just holed - a replay that was totally within the rules. And last year's Ryder Cup was a disgrace - wasn't it? - because the Americans went out on the 17th green celebrating Justin Leonard's putt.
 
Let's see, before that the women played, which means they must have somehow insulted the European women. Oh yes, here it is - Dottie Pepper clapped her hands when Juli Inkster lagged a 40-foot putt up to one foot. Tsk-tsk. Before that it was the men again - the no-good scoundrels. Let's see, there was the incident in England when Tom Watson wouldn't sign Sam Torrance's booklet at an official dinner, preferring that he wait until they were at a more private place. And Pepper was criticized again at a Solheim Cup for being too, well, too American. Oh - and Meg Mallon supposedly stood in someone's line in 1992. Or was it '94?
 
The Europeans? Well, they don't recognize anything they do as classless. England's Laura Davies took an American flag out of the display she was given at the '98 Solheim Cup and stomped on it, but hey, girls will be girls, don't you know old chap? Seve Ballesteros for years broke just every civilized rule there is in the Ryder Cup, but the Americans didn't complain about it. They just went on about their business, which happened to be playing golf.
 
Isn't it about time we just played golf? Failing that, maybe it's time for America to get out of the business of playing other countries. Everything our players do is either wrong or perceived as wrong. Our men and women can do quite nicely just playing each other, and there will be no problem of how it will be perceived by others.