Friday, February 3, 2012

Can A Rivalry In Golf Make It More Exciting?

"Can Golf Be More Exciting To Watch On TV?"
By Sean Mysel
2/3/12

In our American sports culture, we have bore witness to some amazing feats of athletic talent as well as high drama.  Whether it was the 1981 NFC Championship game where Joe Montana threw this high, floating pass to Dwight Clark that was caught with his bare fingertips or the yearly buzzer beaters in the NCAA Basketball Tournament.  Take your pick, just about each sport, including golf has them.  Yet, the one thing that all those sports have that golf seemingly doesn't have anymore is rivalries.  Check out this video from one of hockey's greatest rivalries:

This was from a game between the Colorado Avalanche and Detroit Red Wings, one of the game's most recent and hottest rivalries.  Even sports like tennis have their own with the most recent rivalry being between Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.  Yet, golf doesn't seem to have them.  One element that these sports have that golf rarely has is a head-to-head element.  A situation where two opponents face each other directly.  In golf, you play against a field of over 100 people and it gets cut down after a couple rounds.

There's no perfect, simple solution to golf's dwindling participation, but something like a rivalry that could grab headlines wouldn't hurt.  I personally don't know what the logistics of a match play Masters or U.S. Open would be like, but I know it would be far more interesting to watch Rickie Fowler square off against Rory McIlroy shot for shot.  One aspect of sport that makes it interesting in the collision of different personalities and how they handle pressure.  Every year nearly a million people pack the National Tennis Center in Queens, NY to watch the U.S. Tennis Open and even more watch it on television.  You know there's a distinct possibility a great match up will happen at some point.  Perhaps now the PGA wants to have prime time finishes for their events, maybe this would be the best way of setting up match play again.

What do you think...chime in!

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