The greatest sporting show on earth

You can keep the football World Cup, the FA Cup Final, the SuperBowl, the Olympics and the interminably dull Formula One season.

Thursday, 4th October 2018, 8:00 am
Rory McIlroy celebrates victory in the RYder Cup.

You can also keep the Masters and the Open as nothing compares to the Ryder Cup for excitement, tension and pure sporting theatre. It’s the greatest sporting show on earth and I’d say that even if us proud Europeans didn’t keep smashing the Americans.

This year’s version was stunning. I only moved from the sofa to fulfil my duties covering Peterborough United and a few things caught my attention.

1) How sad was it watching Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson struggle so badly? Okay it was actually fun to watch from a very bias viewpoint, but they are two giants of the game playing one intense event too far. Woods looked like an old man with a bad back on the final day which is exactly what he is. He needs to time his retirement well and not go on too long.

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Brilliant Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn.

2) Wild card picks are crucial to success and Mickelson must be one of the worst in history. Mickelson is almost bottom of the US tour rankings for driving accuracy and yet here he was on a tight course asked to play foursomes, a format that demands accuracy rather than flashy chips. United States captain Jim Furyk is a nice bloke, but selecting Mickelson was one of the worst decisions in the history of the competition.

3) Golfers seem such lovely people. The Americans were very generous in defeat. I just wish they didn’t spit so much. Dustin Johnson releases phlegm as often as he speaks.

4) Rory McIlroy can’t be relied upon under pressure any more. He has a putting stroke that will stop him winning any more majors.

5) Ian Poulter can be relied upon under pressure. What a character. He could be the most heroic golfer never to win anything important for himself.

Ryder Cup heroes Francesco Molinari (left) and Ian Poulter.

6) Many golf fans appear to be morons. Why on earth do supporters cry ‘mashed potato’ after a drive? It makes no sense and it isn’t remotely funny.

7) How fitting it was that Francesco Molinari won the point that clinched the victory. Five wins out of five in three days in a gruelling mental and physical sport was a phenomenal effort.

8) How great to see young Thorbjorn Oleson hammer Jordan Spieth in the singles. Oleson had been left on the sidelines after being let down badly by a moping McIlroy on the first morning.

9) The atmosphere must be among the best in sport, even in France without a Frenchman in the event.

Tiger Woods looked knackered at the Ryder Cup.

10) Don’t come into an event calling yourself ‘Captain America’ and keep shushing the crowd if you’re going to play badly in every match until a singles match that wasn’t going to matter.

11) Americans struggled on a course where poor shots are punished. They spend too much time bombing the balls miles on courses with no rough. Europe will win every time at home until the courses are set up better stateside.