THE UNDERWORLD CUP

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When you consider how many big guns annually give the World Cup a miss, it was really good to hear Colin Montgomerie describe Scotland’s win at Mission Hills on Sunday as ‘fantastic’.
It was even better that a man who has tasted glory in his last three Ryder Cups and has won almost anything and everything beside a major in every country outside of America, should go on to say that Scotland’s playoff victory over the United States meant ‘something very special’.
It was good too that the best players from Scotland, England, Wales, Sweden, France and most of the European countries besides Spain took the trouble to turn up
They should – and do, with great pride, in football, rugby, cricket and almost every other sport that runs World Cup championships.
It is such a pity that the world’s major Tour organisers and their players are so inward looking and self-seeking that they can’t see the worth of a genuine World Cup played for by the world’s very best exponents of golf.
It’s in the hands of the big guns like Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els, Padraig Harrington, Adam Scott, Sergio Garcia and all the others that so often thumb their noses at the event to take it to the sky high level where it should be.
I hate to tread on the toes of our 20th century traditionalists, but why should the Ryder Cup, restricted as it is to just the USA and a few European Nations, be such a big thing in golf when the World Cup is looked upon by many, especially the Americans, as one of those silly-season events to be missed.
Clearly part of the problem is the post-season date. And perhaps the two-man format is not ideal. But these are not cast in stone and could be easily be changed if only our Tour commissioners and their players could start looking at the bigger picture and stop asking themselves, “what’s in it for me?”
If they stopped to think pro-actively for a moment, they would see there could be a hell of a lot in it for them if only they were prepared to forget their petty differences and go out and make it what it should be in the same way that other sports have done.
The US’s PGA Tour can boast a good many of the game’s biggest names, have three of the four majors and have now hijacked all three of the remaining so-called World Golf Championship events, so it’s not too difficult to see why they don’t care a fig about the World Cup – or in making it work.
Indeed, they probably had quite a lot to do with the event being turfed out of the WGC roster this year and handed to China for the next decade.
Maybe the time has come for golf to be governed by one international body in the same way as the other major sports that are played on a world-wide basis.
Right now we have the USGA running golf in the United States and Mexico and the St Andrew-based Royal & Ancient in all other countries were golf is played, each body with separate agendas.
It’s no wonder the golf World Cup, now called the Omega Mission Hills World Cup, remains the orphan child of World Golf.
How do you feel about it? Your contribution to the debate would be most welcome.
Cheers
Neville Leck

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