William WolfrumThis Week at TravelGolf.com: March 21, 2006

America is desperate for an
international triumph - now it's
up to golf to make it happen

It's getting tougher and tougher for us Americans to proclaim athletic dominance over the rest of the world. Sure, we still think we're the best and act like we're the best, we just tend to lose most major international competitions.

The World Baseball Classic is the latest example of the U.S. falling flat on its face in a sport they should dominate. Needing a victory over Mexico with Roger Clemens on the mound, U.S. bats turned into soggy newspaper while Cuba and Japan advanced to the finals.

Combine this with a U.S. basketball team that can only score a bronze medal in the 2004 Summer Olympics and the problem becomes more and more glaring. If the U.S. can't come out on top in baseball and basketball, what sport can we be the best at?

How about golf?

In 2006, the U.S. will be involved in two massive international sporting events. In the World Cup in June, Americans aren't expected to win it all, and they won't. But when September rolls around and brings the Ryder Cup Matches with it, the U.S. needs to dominate. And they will.

Since the American team's dramatic 1999 Ryder Cup victory, Europe has twice more taken home the trophy, and has won four of the last five competitions, including a thorough drubbing in 2004 on American soil.

But in 2006, the Americans will regain the Cup. Why the confidence? Two reasons. One, sport has long been a catalyst for American rebounds. Remember how lousy things were in 1980 before the U.S. Olympic hockey team shocked the world? That victory seemed to start a national upswing in the U.S. Well, a spiraling national debt, a president with an approval rating of 34 percent and an unpopular war have the national mindset similar to what it was in 1980. And if ice hockey can get Americans together, so can golf. And it will.

The second reason for this confidence in a U.S. Ryder Cup victory is that Americans are just better golfers than their European counterparts. Maybe that didn't matter in basketball and baseball, but Tiger Woods, David Toms and Phil Mickelson aren't uber-spoiled and selfish NBA or MLB stars. They are professionals who see the importance of their quest later this year in Ireland.

And they won't be denied. Mark it down, the U.S. will win the Ryder Cup Matches and American domination in international sports will no longer just be something from the past. It will be part of our present and future, as well.

As always, TravelGolf.com welcomes your comments.



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