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2013 PRESIDENT'S CUP
By Rod Woods
A First Timer’s Perspective
As an avid golfer, my assignment to
experience The President’s
Cup from a journalistic perspective was extremely exciting. The
tournament was held October 1-6, in Columbus, Ohio.
The first order of business was to secure my press credentials
and parking pass. Upon entering the media center I was given a
badge, parking pass, and dining wristband and then shown my work
The parking pass was definitely a plus. Having attended several
tournaments at the Muirfield Golf Club, and having parked in faraway
lots, the ability to park close to the site was greatly appreciated.
At my work station there was a journalist
from Australia to my right, and another from Japan on my left.
I began conversing with them and explained who I was and proceeded
to ask if they had any insider tips. They advised that many journalists
posted up at their work stations to meet deadlines and watch full
coverage of the tournament on the wall-sized television screen.
They were amused by my comment that since this was my first time;
I was going out to where the action would be taking place.
reported straight to the practice range. Several members of the
American and International teams were diligently practicing their
ball- striking skills. A perk of being part of the media was the
ability to be within approximately 25 feet of each golfer, which
is not something that everyone would experience. The main object
of my attention was Tiger Woods (no relation), however I was also
able to see Matt Kucher, Steve Sticker, Phil Michelson, and several
others. Being that close gave me a greater appreciation for their
incredible skill and precision. I am sure I subconsciously picked
up on some great swing thoughts.
Tiger was very amenable, laughing and
joking with his teammates and signing autographs on his way to
the first tee.
Day One - The Competition Begins
of you may know this, but I want to reiterate the fact that the
President’s Cup is unique in tournament golf in that it
is a team competition- The International team, versus the American
team. Fans are encouraged to show their support by wearing red,
white, and blue. At times the competition sounds more like the
Olympics with chants of “USA, USA, USA,” rather than
the more reserved behavior displayed during other tournament competition.
This also leads to some unique ensembles, images of the American
flag were the most evident, however, I saw two fans dressed as
Superman and Abraham Lincoln, who received a great deal of attention.
The International team showed surprising
strength. The USA won 3 of the 6 matches achieving a halve in
one other and losing two. Score : USA 3.5 - International team
Above: Mark Collins and Ron Cosey, from Columbus, Ohio,
enjoy day one at The President’s Cup.
Day Two - Rain Rain Rain
In what was to become a recurring
theme for the next couple of days, rain became a major factor
in the tournament. The Muirfield course is said to be over a sacred
Wyandot Indian burial ground. It is said that the spirit of Chief
Leatherlips has cursed the Memorial Tournament and heavy rains
descend on golfers and spectators practically every year. I don’t
know. I’m just saying, could it be that the myth of Chief
Leatherlips has transferred from the Memorial Golf Tournament
to The President’s Cup? A number of matches were not completed
due to the rain and scheduled for completion at the beginning
of Day Three.
Before the rain I was walking around
the golf course and happened to see a group of young African-
American children along the rope line bordering the 16th hole.
I was really interested in their reaction to the experience. They
were excited to be there and enthralled with the golf course.
Above: KIPP Journey Academy, Columbus, Ohio
Day Three - Catching Up
The day started needing to finish up
4 matches from the previous day and then hold ten new matches
over a morning and afternoon session. The third straight day with
rain forced several delays moving the matches to be completed
Sunday morning. Having gotten drenched on Friday, I was wise enough
to retreat to the media center with the other journalists. The
American lead was 11.5 to 6.5 over the International team.
Above: Walter and Christine Joyce of Columbus, Ohio, enjoying
a rain-free moment at The President’s Cup.
Day Four – The Final
Day – If the Rain Holds Off
Day four began rather early for the
players as they had to complete matches from day three. With day
three matches completed, it was time for the singles competition
to determine the 2013 President’s Cup recipients.
my way to catch Tiger’s match, I noticed a familiar face
in the crowd,Darnell Ellis. Darnell is an up-and-coming
young golfer who was recently selected as the athlete of the week
in the local newspaper the “Columbus Dispatch”.
Darnell’s interests are mainly in Jason Dufner and Zach
Johnson because they share a similar swing and he wanted to compare
himself to them.
Photo left:Darnell Ellis, Reynoldsburg, Ohio.
In closing, the Americans withstood
a late surge by the International squad to win the 2013 President’s
Cup, 18.5 to 15.5. To the delight of many, Tiger Woods put the
USA over the top, despite having tweaked his back on the 14th
hole. Next The President’s Cup 2015, Korea. Now that would
be some assignment!
* * * * Rod