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Presidents Cup leaves some unfinished business

This week's newsletter was nearly sent incomplete. With the impending darkness, I didn't know if I should continue. Friends told me the newsletter was already good enough, so I just figured I'd send what I had. I even checked with Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player; both said I shouldn't feel compelled to finish.

After some deliberation, I decided to push through and add the finishing touches, just as Nicklaus and Player should've done at last week's Presidents Cup. Instead, the two captains decided to call it a draw with darkness near during the sudden-death playoff. Golf's spin masters were in full force afterward, telling us how this was a perfect end to a week of brilliant golf. Nonsense. Only if this were a local pro-am would I agree. Instead, we're left with unfinished business and a rather large asterisk in the record books.

A matter of self-importance

Mr. Player has surely worked hard and earned his position as a world class leading golfer. He and Jack Nicklaus, however, have lost their perspective as to what is best for golf. They ruined the Presidents Cup for the remainder of the golfing public. They have taken their importance to a level of dominance over good judgment. A tie is what you have before the tournament begins...NOT AFTER.

The wimps that wanted to run for home or did not see how they could make more money out of the exercise should never have been included to represent their team. The team leaders who were satisfied with a NO Contest Decision are not qualified to overrule the rules of the sport. They may be self important but the game of golf is more important. They need to be reminded of that.
- J. B. Haas, Sr., Yorktown, Va..

Spoiled rotten

The President's Cup was the best golf joke I've heard allyear! A bunch of spoiled golfers that can't play unless the conditions areabsolutely perfect. They should try getting out of their Ivory Towers once inawhile and play under the same conditions as their fans. No self-respectingweekend golfer would end a $5 Nassau Competition and walk off the coursewithout playing 18 just because it was getting a little dark. They cheatedtheir fans with Political Correctness disguised as Good Sportsmanship. Withouta winner and a loser, there was no Competition.
- Rick MacDonald, San Diego Golf Reservations.

An ill-conceived idea

The whole matter of the play-off was ill conceived- but if you leave such things to Nicklaus, Player and Love what else wouldcould you expect! Thousands of your every day golf clubs around the world haveno trouble in dealing with ties. This was a TEAM event - there was no need forWoods and Els to have their names in an envelope - ONLY Player could think thisup! The answer lay in the results of all the matches that had taken place- determine which side won most holes or by the aggregate of the scores andbingo we have a winner! If that produces a tie then work on an agreedretocession of the scores. Sure beats that rinky dink parade in the latterstages of Sunday.
- John Kemp, via email.

Where's the punch line?

Big Jack and Gary's decision to share the cup was admirable. Admirable notionsthat none of the players deserved to lose the match are great sentiments butwhat of the fans, the point of the match is for fans to see an exciting golfmatch with an eventual winner. The first few days were fun to watch amazing golfbut most of this was just an aperitif before the main nail biting finish whichcame down to the last few holes of the last few matches.

The excitement ofbeing a fan watching the match squared on the last hole of the last match andthen being thrilled by a play-off was heaven for us fans. Unfortunately thewhole affair was like a big build up in a joke but with no punch line. I thinkBig Jack and Gary, who I admire greatly, should start thinking about the payingpublic and not the overpaid golfers in making a decision that says no onedeserves to lose.
- Ceri Rees, Hewlett Packard.

Not out of character

I think the President's cup should have gone through to completion. What's the point otherwise? It is ludicrous that the President's Cup provides a "tie breaker" mechanism and then to not use it. Otherwise, it would have been a tie and the US would retain the cup, as in the Ryder Cup. The decision was probably driven by the economic interests of a few of the golfers rather than any sense of sportsmanship.

If no one wants to hang around to play they should eliminate the mechanism. This result is not out of character for Nicklaus, though - he did this once before by conceding a tie in the Ryder Cup. At least that time they didn't"split" the trophy. How do you do that anyway? A bandsaw?
- Brad King, via email.

Advancing the game

I feel that the ending to the President's Cup although not ideal was acceptable. The golf played during the event was great, the ebb and flow of the lead during the competition was exciting and the American's play on Sunday was tremendous. I think that the sudden death approach to determining the winner in case of a tie is too pressure packed and would recommend that atthe next event in case of a tie, that there should be a total team playoff of singles matches on Monday. In a way the finish was almost fitting in light of what the Cup was designed to do: To advance the game of golf on a globalbasis.
- Ellis Reynolds, via email.

Plenty of options

An event of that International significance should be won with the competitors clubs! NO TIES! Should have been played with a makeshift lighted par 3 (cars & maintenance equipment with lights would have worked) or on a putting green with their clubs.

Florida Publinx makes its winners win with the performance of their clubs.You can bet if there would have been $500,000 difference to winner vs. loser,they would have been playing. Sure looked like there was more than enough light to play at least one more hole from viewing on TV. Real reason was something besides golf...that plane or something..
- Sandy Sanders, Pres., Florida Publinx Golf Assn..

A game of honor

The Presidents Cup was not founded to create records forthe records book. It was founded to promote the game of golf throughout theworld and, allow the public to witness great golf, in the spirit of competition.When the rules state that it takes seventeen and half points to win the cup,then there should never be a sudden death playoff, if neither team reaches thatnumber. because one player lost in a playoff, would forever cite individualplayers as having lost the Cup for their country.

It's obvious that Jack andGary understand that golf is a game of honor and sportsmanship and they were notabout to let their players, or the playoff individual, be forever castigated forlosing. Evidentaly, you are willing to create bitterness between countries andplayers for the sake of publicity and not for the honor of golf.
- Richard J. Little, Telserv.

Class personified

I don't know what the RULES call for in this competition, but the compelling piece of the draw for me was that at the end of regulation in a tournament setting all those who are tied for the lead play in the sudden death playoff, so it stands to my reason that ALL competitors should have played again which, bottom line, was never going to happen. I think the Americans showed class and magnanimity in the gesture and it made me proud. To me, that is a bigger win for the team - our country, that is!
- Dave Paller, via email.

A refreshing gesture

As a PGA Member, I thought that the Presidents Cup finish and results were fantastic. To see some of the top golfers in the world as well as the top two golfers in the world play so fiercely and make such nerve racking putts under pressure was magnificent. Tiger cemented his place in history with that 12-foot putt for par and see his exhilaration and relief after it fell was poignant and showed incredible character. After which seeing Ernie Els make a putt half the length with twice the pressure was brilliant.

I applaud the captain's decision and all of the Player's Noble gestures in sharing the Cup equally. In this time of great world imbalance it is refreshing to have international factions sharing and honoring the great spirit of golf in a dignified manner. To have it played out in South Africa where the human spirit has had such sacrifice is a further tribute the kindness and generosity of the "Sharing Decision." I applaud it and see that is was plain old great golf.
- Phillip Jaffe, progolfguides.com.

More opinions

I cannot believe that an event of this magnitude did nothave all the scenerios previously worked out, including darkness. It led me tobelieve that if a tie was in the mix then the eventual finish waspredetermined, and the rest was for dramatics.
- David Walters, via email.

It was difficult if not impossible for TV viewers toascertain the level of darkness. My question..How come there was no plan for this type of circumstance? It wouldseem that in setting up this event that a contingency would be in place. Badplanning?
- Tony Novia, via email.

I think calling it a the tie was the right decision forthat event. But for future Presidents Cups, in the event of a tie, the Cup should be retained by the last winner. No more playoffs, you win as a team, you lose as a team.
- Ross Scanlon, WSIAT.

Woods and Els shouldhave come back the next day and finished the sudden death playoff. There was noneed for all the players to be there.
- Tracy Williams, via email.

As a golf fan I was extremely disappointed in the outcomeof the Presidents Cup. This is a event that I looked forwardt to watching formany months and to have it end in a draw was a major letdown. If they want tocall it an exhibition rather than a competition then let them do so, but as Isee it there should be a winner and a looser in an event as well covered asthis. I feel as though the hours I invested in watching were a waste of time.
- Michael Carter, via email.

The ending of the Presidents Cup was completelyludicrous. It's sudden death meaning everyone is playing on equal ground. Ican see in a tournament where others played in better light earlier in the daythat play should be suspended. Didn't these guys see Bagger Vance? Pull up thecars and let's finish this thing.
- Pat Roche, via email.

I feel the President's Cup should have been finished. Whichever team decided not play the next day should have been forced to forfeit.This is professional sports not my kid's 7 year old soccer game. Keeppolitical correctness out of athletics. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Ties are for sissies.
- Allan Manning, via email.

The decision of the President's Cup was not exclusivelymade by Player and Nicklaus. It was clearly evident that the teams decided intheir respective huddles and the International side wanted to play on the nextday to decide it. The American team wanted to go home. What a waste of timeand effort. If this was the Ryder Cup they would have played it out.
- Norm Tiffin, via email.

In order to WIN the cup back, one should have to WIN. Ties don't count.
- Ryan Daiger, via email.

You're just another liberal media person. A tie under thosecircumstances is fitting and proper. Get over it; it was not for the worldtitle or anything.
- Earl Gurtner, via email.

I just wish they had never thought up the stupid idea ofhaving a playoff. The Presidents Cup is definately "Ryder Cup Light". If a tieis possible in the Ryder, Walker and Solheim Cups it should have been enough forthe Presidents Cup as well. Get rid of the suden death format!
- Brian Magee, via email.

They definitely needed to finish what they started. Maybe should adopt a different type of playoff format. Start the playoff likethey did this year but after they finished 3 holes have another pair go out for2 holes, and if it is still tied after 2 holes, have another pair go for 1 hole.If it is still tied after that then start over with another pair playing a 3hole playoff. If darkness prevails then pick it up the next day.
-Gary Trussell, via email.

Mr Carey, Once again I think you are out of sync with the majority of your readers. Jack and Gary, along with the concurrence of their team members, did the rightthing in deciding on calling the President's Cup a tie. They should ensure thatsomething is written in the rules to help avoid the same situation in futureyears, but this year with darkness upon them, they did right. Come on Doug,probably 70% of the readers will agree with the decision so get in step, okay?
- Ray Mason, Cruise & Tour Connection.

Nicklaus folded one of the biggest events of his career. The Americans werebleeding badly, Jack could not afford a loss to his track record; he would neverhear the end of it. What happened to his fierce competion? He says it's good forthe game of golf, I think he is getting to old to make quality decisions whatsgood for the game. Americans want a win not a stalemate! I hope this is not whatgolf is coming to! Americans want bragging rights, so do all the golf sponsers and equipmentsuppliers!
- Bill Green III, PGA Golf Pro.

I couldn't agree more! The media hypes the event whenreally it is meaningless to begin with, but you watch it anyway. Then it endswith a wimper. GOLF IS NOT A TEAM SPORT! I would like to see aninternational competition like the Olympics, with the best individualperformance getting a gold medal etc. I'm telling myself not to watch in twoyears. ( I hope I'll remember that resolution.)
- Bart, via email.

Definitely approve of Jack and Gary's decision. Classy.And, of course they all made their return flights on time.
- Bob Lowden, Golf On Tour.

This is not life or death! If a winner was decided,great. This is an exhibition between some of the greatest golfers on the planetand they did not disappoint. Ryder Cup should take some pointers.
- Brian Thompson, via email.

Maybe you should be commenting for the WWF. ThePresident's Cup finish was a perfect finish for perfect gentlemen. You must bereally anal retentive to let an asterisk bother you.
- Howard Barnett, via email.

If Jack and Gary wanted a tie they should have gone toMacy's. That was embarrassing.
- Dennis Tolson, via email.

When have you ever seen a Super Bowl, Stanley Cup, orWorld Series or any other major championship end in a tie?
- Frank Chamberlain, Carolina Golf & Family Vacations.

Not only was thetie a Bad Thing, I was tired of hearing Johnny Miller say that it was too muchpressure for one person all throughout the last few holes. If it's too muchpressure, then these players shouldn't be participating. They talk about what anhonor it is to be on the team and then turn around and say it shouldn't be anypressure? Come on! Give us some announcers that don't just pander to the players.
- Jeff Hubatka, via email.

In my years of being a golf fan, I cannot recall or wouldever expect that a tournament such as the Master's, the British Open or for thatmatter any significant tournament played on either side of the pond being leftto a draw. If the darkness is closing in, the rule books clearly set a path forplay the following day. At what point, in as much as I admire both men andtheir accomplishments, did the two captains decide that their own time tableswould be worth more than finishing the tournament. Hopefully there will beenough unrest about this unfortunate incident that we will not see this again.
- Dan Burruss, via email.

I was disappointed in the decision to "call it a tie" inthe President's Cup. I could not believe that they would travel half way aroundthe world to "kiss their sister". They should have stayed over to the next dayand played a blind draw match play event where every golfer played to decide thecup. This is worse than the decision in 2002 to let the World Series end in atie.
- Domenick Orlando, via email.

Why bother to play the Presidents Cup if there is not awinner? The Ryder Cup contemplates ties, but the Presidents cup requir(es)/(ed)a winner. So why not decide the issue, even if the decision is determined by acoin toss. I think that in the event of a tie the two Captains should play asudden death match to determine the winning team.
- L. Laird Levison, via email.

I thought the decision Gary, Jack (& the teams) made wasfantastic! After watching the teams battle till the final hole and the playoffuntil darkness, their gesture of goodwill was awesome! What a wonderful lifeexperience golf continues to be.
- Carey W., via email.

Everyone wants a winner and a loser--that is theAmerican way. I don't have a problem with the decision both captains made. Itwas great golf and, I thought, the playoff was a tough way to decide a winner.This way, after four days of great golf, both teams were winners.
- Frank Kostos, Maritime Assoc./Port of Charleston, S.C..

My comment is, why should we share the cup, does the Rydercup share a tie does a tie in a heavy boxing championship share tie, the answeris no.I feel we should have kept the trophy outright in this case, I understanda friendly match a great team effort on both sides, but when the question ofkeepping the cup came up the Internationals weren't as cooperative, they knowthat a tie is like losing for the opponents. WE SHOULD HAVE KEPT THE CUP UNTILTHE NEXT MATCH.
- Carlos Sanchez, via email.

There should have been a winner. All possible situationsshould have been considered, before the start of the tournament. While I'am atit, the one-on-one playoff was foolish for this type of tournament.
- Murray Boutilier, via email.

I think the President's Cup "draw" was the right thing. It was a well fought contest that ended in a tie; what's wrong with that. Itprovided me with a great way to spend my Sunday afternoon!
- Don Ecken, KSMCA.

I don't understand your concern about the declared tie forthe Presidents Cup. Who cares about record books? It was a great display ofgolf all around ending with a genuine display of sportsmanship. As far as I'mconcerned everyone won!
- Patrick N. Copley, via email.

These were supposed to be pros; they looked like a bunch of crybabies to methey should have finished. That day or the next. A real pro dosen't quit. Theyhave been babied too much. If you cain't take the heat, stay out of the kitchen.
- H. C. Anderson, via email.

I have to disagree with your take on the decision to call the President's Cupmatch a "draw." Unfortunately, the demands on a successful pro golfer by the media, sponsers andothers make it nearly impossible to extend the schedule in order to accommodateadditional time given to any single event. Quite different from your localpro-am comparison. It's just the way their life is today! Additionally, giventhe highs and lows for each team, I feel the draw was especially appropriatehere.
- Chris Calligan, via email.

I wouldn't second guess either Jack or Gary unless I couldcompete with them heads up.
- Jerry Friedland, via email.

I believe that Nicklaus and Player should have approachedEls and Woods and provided them with the following incentive: 1 more hole (#18), birdie or better to win, otherwise match is a draw. Thiswould have provided them the incentive to take risks knowing that if bothplayers made par or worse, a draw would ensue. How's that for an excitingfinish?
- Frank Rizzo, CoStar Group, Inc..

What are you suggesting shouldhave happened? In the first place, it's a team event and in team events thegame often finishes in a draw - so what's the problem? Check the hockey,football soccer and baseball scores if in doubt.
- Bill Porteous, via email.

I would like to see a team concept solution to breakingties. Prior to the competion, number each player on both teams 1-12.At the end of a tie match, pair up the 12 players on 12 different holes and playone hole each. Chances are that one hole would determine a winner. If not, letthe 12 matches continue foe a second hole. This would be more difficult to cover but it would determine a winner as a teamand would create a great deal of excitement.
- George Bradley, via email.

The bogus decision to finish with a tie reminds me of theunsatisfactory conclusion to the 2002 baseball all star game. This is yetanother example of professional athletes more worried about their conveniencesrather than the heat of competition.
- Humberto A. Sanchez II, via email.

Perhaps not exactly the outcome one would have liked. Butgiven the attitude that "a draw means that the USA keeps the cup" I believe thatit was the most honourable end to a very unique tournament. It may be difficultfor you guys in America to understand because you have many large tournaments.We don't get the opportunity of ever seeing the best players in the worldplaying our guys on our courses. IT WAS GREAT AND WE SALUTE THE PLAYERS FOR THEGREAT SPIRIT IN WHICH THEY PLAYED AND ENDED THE TOURNAMENT.
- Willie Uys, St Francis Bay Golf Club.

They should have stopped after 72 holes with the Americanskeeping the cup. It was a draw with all the excitement at that point....extraholes was an anti-climax.
- John Burt, via email.

No way should there have been a tie!Surely those in charge knew that a tie at the end of the matches was possible.The most telling moment was when informed that the US would retain the Cup, theother side wanted to play on!
- Gilbert Schumpert, via email.

I have no problem if the series ended up tied. However,once rules have been set and play has commenced, one can not change the rulesmidway (or after) through the competition. Since it has been set that a play-offis in order, it should have been carried on until completion. Tiger Woods wonthe NEC invitational a few years back in near darkness. I believe it was theplay-off with Bob May, another classic display of competitive golf at itshighest level.
- Vincent, via email.

Agree with remark made by Jack N. Itis a team event and all members should have played sudden death and best 6 1/2points would have won cup. Bowing to TV coverage matches started too late toallow this tie-breaker.
- Don Clarke, via email.

I agree with the decision. How can two players decide thefate of 12. Your line of thought they should have all stayed and replayed thewhole tournement. Golf is a gentlemen's game and what Jack said was words ofwisdom. We have to have some sport where there are gentlemen.
- Jim Novacek, via email.

The decision in South Africa was a good one; extendinganother day would have been a great cost to players and the local club.
- James Wilson, Impact Associates.

The tie in the president's cup was the right decision. The wrong decision was to have two players in a playoff for a team event.
- John Phillips, via email.

With all the drama created by this tournament I think thedecision was a selfish one. My perception is that the golfers wanted to get outof Dodge to make it to the next engagement on their schedule vs playing anotherday. The "do whatever it takes to get it done" philosophy obviously was not apart of this decision process. The tournament officials create a sudden deathprocess to determine a winner and then let poor scheduling of tee times bringthe light of day into play during the playoff. Why wouldn't they start earlierto give them more time if the sudden death playoff was needed?
- Jim Smith, Medi-Dyn, Inc..

I agree with what was done for the President's Cup sincenone of the players were willing to come back & play 12 matches the next day. AsJack said, this is not an individual match to be decided by 2 players.
- Jimmy Ward, via email.

It is like having hot apple pie without ice cream. Orreading a book and the last chapter has been omitted. The event should havebeen finished. They should have thought about "What if" and started earlier incase such a thing as being tied occurred. Very poor planning.
- Jerry Vaughn, via email.

"Call it a draw" works for me. It was hard fought andwent to the play-off format, and still a draw. The two best players in thegame, while good spokespeople, shouldn't speak for the whole team anymore thanthey did. After all it is only a game. And like the game of life, you do kissyour sister!
- Mike Hackett, via email.

I think the both entire teams should have played a suddendeath playoff. That way it is not decided by only two players.
- Mike Guyer, Linde Lift Truck Corp..

I am totally in agreement with the decision. There are too much aggressivecompetition in the sport already, where winning becomes the overriding goal,instead of the competition. This is not a war, but a sport, or business to bemore accurate. Team competitions like the President's Cup are supposed to beputting the sport and real golf values back into golf, not further erode it.
- Paul Prinsloo, via email.

I thought that they should have had a full playoff round on the next day. I was quite surprised with their final decision!
- Robert Riendeau, via email.

While I don't like ties in sporting events, some teamsports, like soccer and golf (an individual sport not ideally suited for teamcompetition) do not have satisfactory means of breaking a tie. This is true inthe President's Cup. I'm glad that neither Els or Woods has the stigma oflosing the Cup. That is not the essence of a team competition.
- Stephen J. Smith, via email.

If they weren't going to determine an outright winner ofthe President's Cup, they should never have put in a rule that would result in atie forcing a playoff. The format should have been the same one that's used inthe Ryder Cup where a tie results in the defending champion retaining the Cup.The golfing community got cheated this time.
- Steve Sartori, Sartori Foods Corp.

I believe the President's cup should have been played tothe finish.. If this meant coming back for Monday, then so be it. If the ruleswere the same as Ryder cup, then the tie would leave the Americans with the Cup,but this is not the case and as such ties are not an option.
- Steve Kozlowski, via email.

What Nicklaus and Player did was totally correct. Even theGolf Channel had a 69% approval of the outcome of the Presidents Cup. And itreally does not matter what the two captians decided; they both took aconcensise of their own players and the players really decided the outcome.
- Steven Nebel, via email.

If the opposing team does not win the cup, then it should stay where it is. NO TIES Does the Super Bowl or the World Series ever end in a tie?
- John Palmer, via email.

If I wanted a soccer score I would have watched a soccer game.
- Pat Michalscheck, via email.

I agree with you, Doug! Jack stuck his foot in his mouth, thinking he was going to walk away with the trophy. Then when it started to fall apart, he had to go overboard in his generosity, just to prove he's still the "Best Sportsman" (read: egomaniac) in golf. What a load of cr--!
- John J. Vinciguerra, via email

Reader Comments / Reviews Leave a comment
  • What an ending.

    Stan Shunpike wrote on: Sep 4, 2013

    Wow I remember this one. Quite an intense ending, especially considering it was a non-ending.
    They did the right thing. Don't let two individuals decide the tournament. Change the rules or get everyone on board for an extra day for those tournaments half way around the world.
    Why people have posted that the Americans should have kept the cup is strange. Why would the internationals give up the cup, their claim is the same as the US team, it's not the Ryder Cup people. Of course the International team wouldn't concede the cup, if that's the case they'd rather lose it in darkness than give it away.
    Gary wanted to call the tie and Jack immediately claimed the cup. It was weird and awkward and caused a bunch of confusion. Finally Jack realized that he'd made a selfish move after Player was being such a gentleman.


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