NEW YORK (CBS SPORTS) – On Sunday evening, hours after Martin Kaymer had put the finishing touches on one of the greatest comebacks in sports history, questions were flying all over the place. What happened to the Americans? Who is the biggest goat of this 2012 Ryder Cup? Why are the Europeans so solid in this event, and why can’t the United States get over the hump?
But one thing everyone, no matter the nationality or handicap or interest in golf, can agree on is that golf needs more team events. Bottom line, it needs to happen.
One of the best parts about sports is rooting for a team. As a kid, you find the Dodgers or the Seahawks or the Knicks and you stick with that team all your life, win or lose, good season or putrid season. You buy their gear and teach your kids the history of the organization and buy tickets to go watch them in whatever capacity allows you to be that kid again.
Golf doesn’t have that. People are fans of players, but a serious putt on the 17th hole at Augusta National doesn’t immediately affect you. It is a big deal for the golfer in question, and the caddie, and that person’s agent and coach and wife and family. But if Tiger Woods wins the Masters, or doesn’t win the Masters, it isn’t really pulling at your fandom strings. You can be a fan of certain players but they don’t sell Zach Johnson hats in the Bethpage Black pro shop for you to rock during the U.S. Open.
For the most part, golf fans root for good golf. We want to see Rory McIlroy versus Tiger, or Phil Mickelson fire a nasty final round at Pebble Beach. We hope to see an incredible hole-out to decide a tournament or a gutsy performance by an unknown to grab the spotlight from one of the top players. The Ryder Cup changes that.
Americans root for the American team, the Europeans root for their squad, and everyone in the world jumps on which team they like the most. It gives golf a chance to be something more than just one guy out there beating the brains out of his competitors.
So, why don’t we have more team golf events?
Also Check Out: