(Editor’s Note: We officially welcome Engr. Chito Malabanan, part-time engineer and full-time golfer as he would have it, as one of our resident sports columnists. He begins his column aptly called Jabong! and all golfers can relate to that, with this piece.)
And so Team USA “again” won the 2022 President’s Cup in their home turf with that massacre in Charlotte, North Carolina of Team International.
No matter how they sugarcoated the event and pump up the golfing public, it still is the Greatest Mismatch of Team Golf Competition in recent memory. Sans the energy and entertainment provided by the young Korean Tom Kim, the event is bland and boring devoid of drama and funfare.
Poor Team Captain Trevor Immelman of South Africa, He became the shock absorber and carried the brunt for the embattled Team International. He tried to come up with battle strategies, squeezed hard and motivated his wards to at least survive until the last day of the Singles match to give the event a semblance of a competition , of which he successfully did.
But that’s just about it. Keeping the fight.
For how can you convince the viewing public to cheer for the Team International when the result is already a foregone conclusion before it even started. What remains to be determined was the Final Score.
For how can you convince the public that the Internationals stand a fighting chance with a team without Australia’s Cameroon Smith, the veteran Louie and the South Africans, India’s Lahiri and rising Latino stars Joaquin Nieman of Chile and Abraham Ancer of Mexico against the much superior Team USA with practically all of its players belonging to the Top 20 in the Golf world ranking.
LIV and you die.
That’s the condition set by the PGA of America to players who opted to play in the maverick LIV Golf series funded by the Saudis. The international players requested for reconsideration to let them play in the International side but as the PGA would say, the die is cast.
Come to think of it, the battle at least would have been much interesting if World number 2 Cam Smith and the other LIV golfers in the Team International were allowed to play. No matter how underdog the Team International is.
As of the moment while the raging battle of egos and pride exist between LIV’s Greg Norman and PGA’s Jay Monahan, the public’s attention will be divided in its appreciation of best golf. The 2022 President’s Cup was the first major casualty for this ongoing saga. Am beginning to think what will happen or will there be an unfolding drama for the incoming Majors?
Just ask Paul McCartney and maybe he would just say…(but ) if this ever changin’ world In which we’re livin’ makes you give in and cry … (just) say LIV and let die.