Aug
7
2011
Captain Norman Enjoying the Wide World of Golf
By Stephanie Wei under Presidents Cup

Adorable! I mean, the picture, not Phil's pants.

In a statement International Presidents Cup Team Captain Greg Norman discusses golf as a global game and Adam Scott (1), Ryo Ishikawa (T2) and Jason Day (T2) at the top of the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational leaderboard heading into the final round. Scott, Ishikawa and Day will likely make the team for the exhibition match in November.

What I am seeing on the leaderboard of the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational this week illustrates once again how the pendulum of golf continues to swing in a global direction.  Take for instance the development that has taken place with Ryo since he “blasted” on the scene leading up to the 2009 Presidents Cup, and  the emergence of a “new star” in Jason Day, with his very impressive climb up the ladder of the World Golf Rankings.

Jason finished second in back-to-back majors this year, to a veteran and “old boy” of this trio Adam Scott, who seems to have found his competitor level and skills that propelled him into the top five in the world at one stage. This trio, two of whom needed a Captain’s Pick for the 2009 Presidents Cup, now look certain to have played their respective ways onto the International Team, led by Jason Day.

I have been very open about my thoughts and opinions on the fact that the game of golf has truly gone global again, reminiscent of  the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s.

With the domination of Northern Ireland, England, South Africa, Argentina and Europe over the past few years, and now, this week the “other” side of the world is stepping up to the plate and rightfully so. I love seeing where the game is right now with the quality and character of players.

In the long run, the rest of the world elevating their game will serve as a stimulant for the Americans to elevate their games in an attempt to regain the domination they once had. Professional golf is the healthiest it has been in a long time and with that, it is in a great place!

Norman’s mention of golf in the mid-80s to the mid-90s likely refers to his vision for a World Golf Tour in ’94, which was shut down, but turned into what is now the World Golf Championships. Which is somewhat amusing at the moment because of the leaderboard at this WGC event.

In related news, Tiger was asked to discuss the differences between the Ryder Cup and the Presidents Cup during his presser on Tuesday:

As far as the differences, I think it’s just history, and also primarily when we play the Europeans over the years, they don’t play our TOUR full-time. Most of the players who are playing on The Presidents Cup team from the International side, I think either 11 out of the 12 or 12 of the 12 are members of our TOUR, so we see them on a weekly basis. The European side is a little different.

Translation: The Presidents Cup is a manufactured exhibition where American PGA Tour players compete against other International PGA Tour players. But there’s nothing wrong with that. I love matchplay events, so the more, the better.

I bet Captain Norman is liking how his team is shaping up. Meanwhile, on the American side…well, take the helm, Captain Couples!

(AP Photo/Mark Duncan)