Every other year we get the chance to see the best golfers in the world compete in the Ryder Cup and this year the tournament blows through the Windy City. The 2012 Ryder Cup will be hosted by Medinah Country Club in Medinah, IL. Medinah is a small suburb of Chicago that is located about 15 minutes west of O'Hare airport.
The regularly scheduled alternating bid for the Ryder Cup brings international competition back to the Midwest in September. The last Ryder Cup on U.S. soil was hosted by Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, KY. The 2008 Ryder Cup at Valhalla also marks the last victory for the U.S. and the only yankee victory in the last 5 Ryder Cup competitions.
Although the Ryder Cup is not a major, the tournament is considered to be a massive battle of pride between the U.S. and Europe. This team competition features no winner's purse or any prize other than bragging rights. At the moment, our friends from across the pond are in sole possession of those bragging rights and have been since the mid 90's by winning 5 of the last 7 Ryder Cups.
About the Course
Medinah Country Club features three different courses and was first opened in 1924. The toughest and most famous of those three is Course #3 and it will also be the course used for the 2012 Ryder Cup. Medinah is getting its first taste of international competition but it is certainly not the first high-profile tournament for the country club.
Medinah has hosted six majors in the club's history:
The captains for the 2012 Ryder Cup will be Davis Love III(US) and Jose Maria Olazabal(Europe). Both of these men are very accomplished golfers and have a combined 3 major championships between the two of them. In 1999 these two men battled at Augusta National in hopes to capture a Green Jacket and Olazabal edged out Love by 2 strokes. That victory gave Olazabal his second Masters championship and assigned Love his second runner-up finish at Augusta. So there is a little history between the two and hopefully Davis Love III can use that runner-up finish in '99 as extra motivation to bring the Ryder Cup back to the wonderful U.S of A.
It almost brought tears to my eyes on Sunday as I watched highlights of Tiger Woods' latest PGA win at the Memorial in Dublin, OH. I think I speak for golf fans everywhere when I say it was a chilling sight on Sunday to see Tiger hit in his birdie chip on the 16th hole. It was one of those lasting images that we have come to know Tiger by.
The reaction from the crowd seemed to fill a void that had been unoccupied for almost 3 years. After the tournament concluded Jack Nicklaus said it could have been the best shot under the circumstances that he had ever seen. And speaking of Nicklaus, Tiger tied the Golden Bear for second most PGA wins at 73. Barring something unforeseen, Tiger will break the tie with Jack in wins and will eventually overtake Sam Snead and the record of 82 PGA Tour victories.
I don't believe there is much question whether or not Tiger will become the all-time leader in wins but that isn't the most important accomplishment left for the 36 year old. It is no mystery that Tiger, along with many others, looks up to Nicklaus as the greatest golfer ever. Tiger is already one of the best golfers ever but I think he has to at least tie Nicklaus for most majors to be considered the outright GOAT. It is still hard to say whether Tiger can muster a major win this year. However, after the theatrics we saw on Sunday, Tiger looks to have the killer instinct back. Sure he won earlier this year and looked good doing it, but Sunday was the first time we have seen that flare for the dramatic that we all have missed so much. Bring it back for good Tiger. We miss you.
Written by: Craig Kibler