Chris BaldwinThis Week at Sept. 19, 2006

World rips on U.S. politically? So let's go
out and kick some serious Ryder Cup butt

Living in a foreign land can completely alter your perspective. Like make you think that the Ryder Cup is important.

Ninety nine percent of America knows better. I know diehard Scottsdale golfers - guys who live and breathe the game on arguably the U.S.'s top resort land, fanatics who wouldn't miss a shot of the Masters - who couldn't even tell you for sure which day the Ryder Cup Matches start.

This seems like a sensible approach for those who don't buy their gas by the liter too.

Until you step into a foreign land. Visiting another country is all it takes to convince you that the Ryder Cup is essential. Spend some time across a border - even if that border is closer to your home than many states - and suddenly Tiger Woods has the fate of the apple pie world resting on his putter.

It's so fashionable to rip the U.S. these days, that even a cynic cannot help but start pulling for a little red, white and blue domination. Even the Canadians are teeing off on the U.S. about world affairs. Spend any time in America's former discount play land and you'll hear all manners of America-the-bully jokes.

"We do have this oil in Alberta you might be interested in," a Canadian quipped proudly when an American made the usual refrain about Canada being safe from invasion because it doesn't have anything the U.S. needs. Yes, even our lovable neighbors to the north are getting cocky.

I can't tell you how many Americans I heard basically apologizing for being American - as if they needed to personally answer for political decisions - on a recent trip to British Columbia.

It doesn't matter if you're more Bill Clinton or George W., at a certain age you just get sick of hearing people railing on the U.S. because it's fashionable.

It's enough to make a man root for a Ryder Cup rout followed by a celebration that makes Brookline seem as subdued as fancy French dining.

As always, welcomes your comments.

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Ryder Cup LogoRyder Cup 2006: Can the
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It's not exactly going out on a limb to call the Europeans the favorites heading into the Ryder Cup Matches. The Euros have won four of the last five competitions (a term we use loosely after the drubbing they handed the Americans at Oakland Hills Country Club in Michigan in 2004). They've got the confidence. They've got the Americans feeling spooked. And, to borrow a basketball term, they've got the home-court advantage. Or do they?

Blogger: 2006 Ryder Cup looks like a rout for the Euros

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