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Presidents Cup That Isnt One-Sided

The Presidents Cup is over. But maybe this is a beginning. The United States came together, played together, won together. If we have to have these team competitions, this was about as good as it can get.

Of course, I still am waiting for one - just one - of these events to go by without someone getting their nose bent out of shape. That is impossible, even in this competition where friends really do play friends. It is a celebration of golf, whereas all the rest have seemed to be a celebration of individuals. If that cornball saying about golf being the real winner is true, this is where you go to find it.

Tiger Woods apparently didn't take too well to the hat worn by Vijay Singh's caddy. Paul Tesori had 'Tiger Who?' stitched across the back of the hat and it provoked an understandable reaction from Tiger. We aren't sure if Singh himself made Tiger angry. For whatever reason, Woods called for Singh to make several short putts which are quite often conceded in these matches. That leads one to assume there was something below the surface here is as yet unexplained. At any rate, Woods won the match, which enabled him to finish with a 3-2 record.

But this one went well, all involved agreed. Oh, someone was irritated because the Americans left the pre-match party around 10 instead of remaining for the final song.
At least 10 of them did. But over-all, it was a textbook case of how these events should be handled.

There isn't going to be a cause for many incidents, however, when a drubbing is as thorough as this one was. The Internationals made a bid for respectability when they won the second session to trim the deficit to 6-4, but that was it. Ernie Els gave some sort of speech standing in front of the team bus following the opening session (which the Internationals lost), and everyone felt that was going to make a difference, but that was about all the commotion heard from the Internationals. Rousing speeches don't often win golf matches.

Ernie, by the way, went 0-5.

Els, incidentally, is a much better player than that. But all the Internationals are better than the 21-10 shellacking they absorbed. Of course, the Americans were better than their drubbing in Melbourne, too. You don't take essentially the same group of guys, give them a couple of years and get such a miraculous turn-around. The same whacky set of events occurred last time to the Internationals. In fact, only one set of matches have turned out to be close.

That is little puzzling, isn't it? The Internationals are every bit as good as the Europeans, and yet the Ryder Cup is as tight as the hatbands of the competitors. So much for deep reasoning. If it can be done in sports, the American golfers can do it.

'Every time we threw something at them, they threw something right back at us,' said Nick Price. 'But that's what it is all about. I don't think, however, that the score is indicative of the final outcome. I thought it was much closer than that.'

He's right, of course. The Americans are a team which many wrote off as not really wanting this competition, of not placing the Internationals on the same pedestal as the Europeans. But just because someone prefers to be home for the holidays doesn't necessarily mean he doesn't want to win.

And so it's over until next year, when the Europeans are once again the enemy in the Ryder Cup. They, of course, will be home. Doesn't that always make a difference to the Americans? Wait until these matches go to South Africa.