There is absolutely no question that the Ryder Cup has the greatest hype to play ratio of any sporting event – including the Super Bowl.
It starts in the season before the Ryder Cup with the announcement of the captain (if not before), is present all during the season in which is held, gains momentum just before the PGA, and reaches dizzying heights in the days leading up to the event. In comparison, the Super Bowl’s hyperbole really only begins in earnest in the post season as the media is, rightly, focused more on the week to week play.
Given golf’s excessive coverage of the Ryder Cup, you would think that compiling a stellar record in it would be vital to any player who hopes to be voted into World Golf Hall of Fame. When the media talks about a player’s chances of getting into the HOF, they will invariably bring up their record in the Ryder Cup. Colin Montgomerie, for example, is thought to be a strong candidate for the HOF based in large part on his 20-9-7 record in the Ryder Cup, even though he never won a major.
Indeed, the Ryder Cup is one of the funnest events to watch, but that doesn’t change the fact that this glorified exhibition should carry absolutely zero weight in determining a player’s worthiness for the HOF. The reason? Players born in the US and Europe have a chance to pad their resumes in the cup, while 90% of the rest of the world’s population (and probably 30% of the world’s golfers) do not.
Sure, the rest of the world’s pro golfers are eligible to participate in the Presidents Cup, but on the prestige-o-meter, the Ryder Cup gives the P-Cup three shots a side. In addition, because of the weakness of the International teams (which will continue until the number of great players catches up to those in the US and Europe), those who play on the International teams will see their records (and chances for the HOF) hurt from playing in it. The proof: the US team’s record is 7-1-1, and they have outscored the Internationals 172 to 126 (57.7%).
The career building bias is huge for players who are born in the US, and are thus eligible for both cups. They get to play in a cup every year, which gives them twice as many chances to be a hero. In addition, the Americans also benefit from experience in team competition, as shown by this year’s team, which includes eight members of last year’s Presidents Cup squad.
In sum, because of the utter unfairness of the Ryder Cups to the players in the rest of the WORLD, those who vote for entry into the WORLD Golf Hall of Fame should not, for one second, consider any player’s record in the Ryder Cup and the President Cup.