Presidents Cup needs some spicing up

IAN HUTCHINSON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:21 AM ET

If American captain Fred Couples and his International counterpart Greg Norman feel like giving this week's Presidents Cup in San Francisco a memorable ending, they might consider a couple of Sunday singles matches labeled "Tiger's Revenge."

One showdown could have Tiger Woods against Y.E. Yang for daring to go where few men have gone before by shaking off the intimidating presence of the world's No. 1 player and winning this year's PGA Championship.

The alternative is to throw a Canadian into the mix and let Tiger go one-on-one with Mike Weir as payback for that singles loss that Woods experienced at the hands of Weir at the Presidents Cup at Royal Montreal.

TOO EARLY

Admittedly, it's too early to start talking singles, but something is needed to jazz up the Presidents Cup, which is too often viewed as the weak sister to the Ryder Cup, which they played before the Tour Championship last year.

This year, the Presidents Cup is being played after the Tour Championship and it will be a fried group of players coming into Harding Park after two months of marquee events, a point Ernie Els brought up when he was here in August.

"It's a very busy time," said Els. "We're playing high level golf, almost major level, and then to throw in a team event like that, it's going to take it out of the players."

That's not to say players on both sides won't be motivated. It may be big event overload as opposed to uninspired players that has generated little buzz about the Presidents Cup, which may generate chatter while it's being played, but seems sadly lacking in anticipation right now.

That's probably more obvious in Canada after the last Presidents Cup was played here, so maybe we're in withdrawal, but the Presidents Cup has yet to achieve the passion that the Ryder Cup has over the years.

Some would argue that the reason for this is the lack of tradition compared to the Ryder Cup since this is only the eighth event played in a Presidents Cup history that only began in 1994.

Another reason could be the International team's poor overall showing and it's looking very much like the Americans will stretch their Presidents Cup domination to a record of 6-1-1.

Still, the Internationals don't take near the damnation as the Americans did for their recent poor showing in the Ryder Cup until last year, which illustrates again the lack of passion towards the President Cup.

"Every year, we look pretty strong on paper. We just need to get together and play as a team, which we've only done maybe twice," said Els.

Those two occasions include a surprise International victory in 1998 in Australia and a tie in South Africa in 2003. Els and Woods took part in a playoff that year, but with darkness taking over, it was decided to call a tie in the spirit of sportsmanship.

Two of the more memorable moments in Ryder Cup history came at the so-called "War at the Shore" in 1991 at Kiawah Island, where American patriotism ran wild, and in 1999 in Brookline, Mass., where an American celebration after Justin Leonard sunk the clinching putt is still considered bad form.

As over-the-top as those instances were, they are also moments that fans remember because they demonstrated passion and patriotism, while the past few Presidents Cups have been boring.

You don't need a donnybrook for intensity, but a constant sermon on sportsmanship makes the Presidents Cup seem like exhibition matches.

Giving the Presidents Cup an edge might flick the on switch for some buzz.

HUTCHGOLF@NETZERO.COM


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