I’m a dinosaur, I admit it but am I alone in enjoying the Solheim Cup immensely (apart from the fourballs on the first day)? Manglings happen in sport – and life – but that doesn’t mean we should give up and bail out. Just take stock and try and do better next time.The teams were well matched – the singles showed that – and the Europeans rose to the occasion and scared the heck out of the Americans on the last day. Of course, going into the singles five points adrift is not ideal and it’s 99.9% certain to be, at best, a BBU (brave but unavailing) but last Sunday Annika Sorenstam’s players raised it up a level to a BBBBU (bloody brilliant brave but unavailing). As far as you could tell via television, the American fans, who seemed to be out in the predicted large numbers, were unusually quiet for much of the day, always a good sign for the visiting team.
The noise increased as the day went on, as the Americans reeled the Euros in and secured the win that now has some people suggesting that the Solheim Cup is a second-rate affair, a bit of a dead duck, of no real interest or benefit to anyone. They say, bring on the South Koreans, the Chinese, the rest of the Rest of the World.Well, frankly, that’s an insult to the people who played their hearts out in Des Moines and produced golf that was anything but second rate. The fans loved it, the television ratings were good – everything was a record apparently – and I can’t see the point of building something up so painstakingly only to knock it down just because one team has won twice in a row. Weren’t the Europeans going for a hat-trick of wins only two years ago, in Germany, only to be scuppered by a US comeback inspired by a burning sense of injustice over the concession that wasn’t? It was scintillating stuff then and it was scintillating stuff last weekend. The Solheim Cup is building up a history, consolidating its place in the annals of the game, inspiring the likes of Anna Nordqvist and Lexi Thompson to ridiculous heights. World rankings are a gross irrelevance at such times. As someone once said, golf is played on grass not on paper and although it matters not a jot in the world-wide scheme of things, to the people involved it matters more than anything while it’s happening. Otherwise, what’s the point?
The Solheim Cup ain’t broke. It may not be perfect but they’ll be doing their best to fix that at Gleneagles in 2019. See you there!As for the LET, it’s in one of its limping-along phases but this time it’s at such a low ebb that both the men’s European Tour and the LPGA are talking about getting together to give first aid and see what they can do to get the patient back on her feet. An outbreak of solidarity for the good of the game can’t be bad. And in the end it’ll do the bottom line no harm at all either. A win win for the pragmatists and the romantics. Ole.