When I started at Golf.com this summer, everyone was already talking about the Ryder Cup. I wasn’t surprised -- this is single-handedly the most anticipated, exciting, patriotic event in golf. It really is a shame that it only comes every two years, but maybe that’s what makes it so awesome.
So naturally, I started to get excited too. And now that it’s here, we at Golf.com are flush with Ryder Cup fever and brimming in every sense of the word: with stories, with photos, with videos and of course, team allegiances (there’s a handful of rather vocal Team Europe supporters in the office, despite our mostly American-born team).
But I’m realizing with growing horror, as the first tee-off gets nearer, that I have a problem. I’m stuck.
I’m actually struggling with whom to cheer for over the course of the weekend. (Let’s just get over the fact that, yes, I -- a journalist -- am going to pick a side while I’m not reporting. It’s going to happen.) I thought I would have a good idea who I’d back once this weekend arrived, but I’m really, truly stuck.
Here’s my problem. My dear USA: you're undoubtedly my favo(u)rite neighbo(u)r to the south, even if it's incredibly frustrating to have to change how I spell a lot of words. I’ve been living in New York City for just over a year, and never did I think I would be so grateful to my adoptive Americans for making me feel at home in a city that can really chew you up and spit you out. So, I owe you one, America.
You can't go wrong cheering for a nice guy like Phil.
However, I’m Canadian by birth and fiercely patriotic (ask any of my American friends -- it’s shocking), which makes me loyal to the Commonwealth and all things associated with it. It probably would have been easier had Scotland seceded from the United Kingdom, because then I would have had something to be upset about. Nope. The Queen of England is my Queen through and through, and I can’t get past the idea of knocking dear Lizzie.
“Let’s take a look at the players,” you suggest. Okay, well I absolutely love Phil Mickelson; seriously, unless you’re Tiger Woods, who doesn’t? But of course, there’s the question of the insurmountable Rory McIlroy, who is literally killing it this year. Rickie Fowler has my heart in terms of his gamesmanship haircut and wicked Instagram account, but then there’s Ian Poulter who just can’t keep me from giggling every single time he comes out swinging.
“So go deeper than that,” you say. “Take it to your roots, perhaps?” IMPOSSIBLE! I was born in Canada, but my heritage, once a source of pride, is now tearing me apart. I am Ukrainian -- as is Jim Furyk on his father’s side -- but also Scottish – like Stephen Gallacher, and the host of the tournament!!
I’m taking advice, if anyone’s up for it. I have gone back and forth so many times that I’m not even sure I can distinctly choose one side. I will be exhausted by the end of the weekend, and likely hoarse, for cheering after every single drive, chip shot and putt.
The only solution, as far as I’m concerned? Hey Mr. Watson, Mr. McGinley: someone call up Graham DeLaet. Whoever gives him an honorary fourth captain’s pick has my vote.