Dec 12 (Reuters) – 1 / 4 century after the Presidents Cup started with excessive hopes that it might at some point rival the Ryder Cup as golf’s premier staff occasion, it stays a relative minnow on the worldwide calendar after a sequence of one-sided American victories.
Created by the U.S.-based PGA Tour, the Presidents Cup largely copied the Ryder Cup format. But as a substitute of the U.S. enjoying Europe, the People had been pitted towards an Worldwide staff comprised of gamers from the remainder of the world.
The 13th staging of the biennial occasion shall be held at Royal Melbourne beginning precisely a yr on Wednesday and a look on the respective world rankings of the possible gamers means that the People are poised to proceed their dominance.
“I concern for the instant way forward for the Presidents Cup,” New Zealander Frank Nobilo, who performed on the primary three Worldwide groups, advised Reuters.
The People have misplaced simply as soon as, at Royal Melbourne in 1998, whereas the 2003 occasion in South Africa was drawn.
That makes it seven losses in a row for the Internationals, who for essentially the most half have been outclassed by the U.S. juggernaut.
The inaugural Worldwide staff in 1994 was comprised largely of gamers from Australia and southern Africa.
There was, nonetheless, an expectation that over time golf would develop into extra world, which might steadily enhance the depth of the Worldwide staff as extra gamers emerged from numerous corners of the world.
That has not panned out. Furthermore, Australia and South Africa have regressed, not turning out the massive manufacturing line of world-class gamers of earlier many years.
Zimbabwean Nick Value and Australian Greg Norman had been ranked first and second on this planet on the finish of 1994, whereas there have been 5 different Worldwide gamers within the prime 20.
The present world rankings are dominated by People and Europeans. There aren’t any Internationals within the prime 10 and solely two within the prime 20 as of Dec. 2 — Australians Jason Day (13th) and Marc Leishman (19th).
The U.S. has 12 gamers ranked within the prime 18, hardly a comforting thought for Worldwide captain Ernie Els.
The emergence of Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat and China’s Li Haotong as world class gamers is a promising signal, and Japan and South Korea sporadically produce an occasional prime participant, however a gentle manufacturing line of Asian expertise has not but materialised.
SIGNS OF HOPE
The cabinet is even barer in South America, with solely Argentine Emiliano Grillo within the prime 100, although hopes are excessive that 20-year-old Chilean Joaquin Niemann, a former world newbie primary, will show to be the actual deal.
South Africa apart, golf stays inaccessible to most individuals in the remainder of Africa.
It isn’t all doom and gloom although. Some consultants see indicators of hope in Asia in the end.
“China regardless of its aversion to golf has benefited by golf being within the Olympics so their golf applications are persevering with and they’re recruiting coaches from Down Underneath and it’s serving to,” stated Nobilo, who visits the area repeatedly in his function as a Golf Channel analyst.
“India remains to be intriguing however as soon as once more affected by lack of entry and other people not entering into the sport younger sufficient.
“Each Anirban Lahiri and Shubhankar Sharma obtained into the sport by their respective dads’ entry to army golf programs.”
Former Asian Tour CEO Louis Martin shouldn’t be shocked that Asian golf has been sluggish to develop.
“I all the time thought it might be not less than the subsequent era that may begin producing champions. I’m certain you will note this coming to fruition over the subsequent decade,” he advised Reuters.
If there may be hope for the Worldwide staff this yr, it lies within the venue, Royal Melbourne, website of the one American loss 20 years in the past, although the guests obtained their revenge there in 2011.
Dwelling course benefit has historically been large within the Presidents Cup.
The People have gained all seven occasions at residence, by a median margin of 5.6 factors.
Away, nonetheless, the full factors tally is nearly equal, the People forward by just one level, although that shut margin is due partially to the nine-point thrashing they suffered in 1998.
Which may simply give the Internationals some purpose for optimism subsequent yr, but if it turns into one other American cakewalk, no one would be the slightest bit shocked. (Reporting by Andrew Each in Cary, North Carolina Modifying by Toby Davis)