Just as cricket appears to be looking to shorten the length of its game, there is talk of golf looking to expand its.
It has been suggested that the bi-ennial Ryder Cup golf tournament between the United States and Europe should be contested over four days rather than the current three, but traditionalists are none too impressed with the idea. Cynics are questioning if this is not just another attempt to cash in on the current popularity of the tournament.
Labelled the Miracle at Medinah in 2012 the 39th Ryder Cup, held at the Medinah Country Club in Illinois, witnessed an extraordinary comeback by Europe, captained by José María Olazábal of Spain. The Europeans were down 10-4 after 14 matches, there were two four-ball matches still on the course and 12 singles matches to be played the next day. They won those two matches and despite being down 10-6 going into the final day Europe managed to come back to win by 14½ points to 13½. Out of the 12 points available on the final day Europe won 8½ points with the U.S. winning only 3½. It was a competition that captured everyone’s attention.
Traditionally the Ryder Cup has been contested Friday through to Sunday, although on a number of occasions weather has forced a fourth and deciding day. With next year’s event at the famous Gleneagles course in Scotland and the fear of autumnal mist sweeping the course some have advocated extending the event to last four days.
Whatever the final decision administrators must realise that sporting drama cannot be manufactured, if it is to happen it will happen, whether the tournament lasts four or three days. In 2021 the Ryder Cup will celebrate 100 years of competition, and over the years there have been changes, none bigger than in 1979 making the tournament between European golfers and the USA rather than just golfers from the British Isles. This change breathed new life into the event, who is to say making it last four days would not benefit the event, but often it is best to leave things as they are.