Spanish flair (Seve Ballesteros and José María Olaàbal) and continental determination brought the Ryder Cup to a fever pitch on Friday afternoon of the 1987 event at Muirfield Villange, when the Euros swept all four of the four-ball matches. The men from overseas went on to win the Cup for the first time on U.S. soil and set off a tidal wave of international success that would last until Nick Faldo took over as captain in 2008. Faldo started by overlooking Euro stalwarts Colin Montgomerie and Darren Clarke as captain's picks and then benched Sergio García and Lee Westwood for the Saturday-morning session. Those four players represented the most important ingredients in the European surge: passion and levity. On the other side the U.S. was driven by a fired-up Kentucky crowd and kept loose by Boo Weekley(above). That was luck, or maybe it was Paul Azinger. Either way, the team was entertaining.
And the truth is, without a Boo or a Sergio or a Seve (our prayers are with you), the Ryder Cup is like a family reunion without a crazy uncle. It's simply not as much fun.
What would've made the 2010 edition a little more fun? The world wanted Rory McIlroy versus Tiger Woods. The captains should have given it to us. I know, the Ryder Cup allows fate to determine the matchups, but that randomness is outdated. Give us the goods!
Oh, and one more thing: If they're going to pick a course in a rain-soaked country, at least find one that drains. Just saying.
October 10, 2010
Brandel Chamblee is a 15-year PGA Tour veteran and a Golf Channel analyst.