5 things to watch for at the Ryder Cup

The Ryder Cup will be avidly viewed across Europe and the USIt’s Ryder Cup time again, which for UK sport viewers means getting pumped at a bunch of European golfers, while simultaneously worrying over our actual place within the EU.

The 2018 showdown between Europe and the USA is taking place in France from September 28-30. The Ryder Cup is a biennial sporting feast, full of fairways crowded by captains and heaving galleries of excitable spectators.

Indeed, as the UK teeters on the brink of that god awful word Brexit, where do we stand on the Ryder Cup? That’s a story for another day. So we’ll just keep it light with these things to watch out for.

Fist pumping, chest bumping

This seems to go hand in hand with team sports these days. Heck, even quiz shows don’t fall far short. Golf, like most sports, can be a passionate game. And it’s the Ryder Cup which demonstrates this most. It’s camaraderie times a hundred. Great shots result in emotions that are best expressed with a fist pump or a chest bump. Probably also a fist bump. Possibly a chest thump. Whatever, it’s pure entertainment.

How many captains?

The Ryder Cup has a team captain for each side, Europe and the US. But then come the vice-captains – rafts of them. In fact, 2018’s Europe captain Thomas Bjorn has been vice-captain FOUR times! This year Europe has five vice-captains and the US has three to help main man Jim Furyk.

I’ve often wondered just how many old golfers are needed to cajole (often younger) fellow golfers, to play better. They’ve got a caddy for the vital stuff. So why the requirement for dozens of US and European hangers-on to hurtle around the course in a golf buggy? A visible show of support I guess.

Vintage Ryder Cup archive footage

It wouldn’t be the Ryder Cup without a montage. Plenty of these can be found on YouTube and will no doubt form much of the television previews. Cast your mind back to former Cups.

Woods/Mickelson Ryder Cup rumpus

Big rivals Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson were ranked No1 and No2 in the world not so long ago. Typically, it was widely considered they hated each other. But now they seem pretty good mates! While it would be intriguing to see them paired up at the Ryder Cup, it isn’t looking likely. US skipper Furyk has laughed off suggestions after the partnership performed so dismally in 2004. The Woods comeback from the depths of back surgery is some story as he was originally only down to be a vice-captain for 2018. The presence of both golfing legends surely makes the event a must-watch.

Be the ball, You the man!

Regular golf watchers will note the goon in the crowd who shouts: “Go in the hole!” after a tee shot on a Par 5. But when the Ryder Cup comes to town, these people multiply. The event is the perfect excuse to be partisan. Most shots will be greeted with some sort of hooting and hollering. To some it’s atmosphere, for others though it is a massive annoyance and spoils the whole occasion.

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