By Michael Carman
Peninsula Daily News
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Ryder Cup’s biennial return to the forefront of the sporting realm?
Sadly, no, it’s the NFL’s replacement referee labor debacle overshadowing any other game or contest.
This topic will be (already has been) beaten into the ground so let’s turn to golf, a sport that’s largely self-officiated and preview Friday through Sunday’s 39th Ryder Cup matches at Medinah Country Club outside Chicago.
The modern-day Ryder Cup format in use today began in 1979 when the formerly United Kingdom-only team expanded to include players from continental Europe in a move to boost the competitive nature of the event.
The Ryder Cup had been a rather dull affair up to that point with Team USA regularly winning, often handily.
Since including players like Seve Ballesteros and Bernhard Langer, Team Europe leads Team USA 8-7-1.
Rules and regulations
The basic format for the event is 28 matches contested by two teams of 12 golfers.
There will be eight foursomes matches, eight fourball matches and 12 singles matches. All matches will be played over 18 holes.
Winners of each match score a point for their team, with ½ a point each for any match that is tied after the 18 holes.
Team Europe won in 2010 in Wales, and Ryder Cup rules dictate that Team USA must win the tournament (i.e. total more than 14.5 points) to take back the trophy.
Team makeup, guess
Each teams has some inexperience on this stage with Team USA’s with Keegan Bradley, Jason Dufner and Webb Simpson all making their first Ryder Cup appearances and Bubba Watson and Matt Kuchar playing for only their second time.
Nicolas Colsaerts of Belgium is the lone Ryder Cup rookie for the Euro’s but five other team members are making their second Ryder Cup starts including world No. 1 Rory McIlroy.
Europe has four of the top five players in the World Golf Rankings but I think Team USA has more depth overall, more experience and should have a boisterous home crowd cheering them on to the win.
I think Team USA prevails in a close-one, 15-13.
Ryder Cup television coverage begins at 5 a.m. on ESPN on Friday before switching to 6 a.m. (Saturday) and 9 a.m. (Sunday) starts on NBC.
Driving in the Dark
Openings are still available for the Port Townsend Sunrise Rotary’s annual “Driving in the Dark” glow-ball golf tournament on Saturday.
The five-person scramble competition features nine holes played in the light and nine holes played in the dark with glow-in-the-dark golf balls.
Players have the chance to take home a $100 putting contest before festivities begin and there’s a shot at $10,000 for a hole-in-one on the par-3 seventh hole.
Entry fee is $75 per player or $350 per team.
Registration is available by phone at 360-385-4547.
Players can check in at 3:30 p.m. with tee-off set for 4:30 p.m.
Another event on the horizon for Port Townsend is a four-person scramble benefit for Team Port Townsend (supports sports programs in the Port Townsend School District) on Oct. 7.
Cost is $40 for this event.
Port Townsend will also host the return of the Three Club Open on Saturday, Oct. 20.
This event lets players choose any three clubs in their bag.
Finally, Port Townsend will also host the annual Hilltop Open two-person scramble on Saturday, Nov. 3.
Judy Lundgren will serve up her world-famous lasagna at the Hilltop Tavern after play.
For more information on any of these events, phone 360-385-4547.
Ladies host event
SunLand Golf & Country Club’s ladies golf groups will host their annual fundraising golf tournament and luncheon on Thursday, Oct. 4.
A day of play will raise funds to provide breast-imaging services for local women without health insurance.
Donations will enable the Sequim Olympic Medical Center Foundation to provide this benefit to many women in our community.
An anonymous SunLand member will donate $1 for every $3 donated for the cause.
Ladies from other clubs around the North Olympic Peninsula are invited to participate in a full 18-hole event or a nine-hole tourney.
The 18-hole golfers will tee off at 9 a.m. with the Lady Niners starting at 11 a.m.
Prizes will be awarded to the winning teams of both groups as well as individual prizes for straight drive, long drives and getting on the green on the fifth hole.
Players are encouraged to ask spouses, friends and family members to pledge an amount for every net par or birdie each team scores.
A luncheon will follow play with remarks from Olympic Medical Center radiation oncology medical director Dr. Rena Zimmerman.
Help Sequim students
The fourth annual Citizens for Sequim School Golf Tournament will be held at Cedars at Dungeness Golf Course on Saturday, Oct. 13.
The four-person scramble will tee off with a 1:30 p.m. shotgun start.
Foursomes are $240 or $70 for individual players, with dinner included.
Additional contests include KP’s, longest drive, a putting contest and a chance to win a car donated by Price Ford.
Mulligans can be purchased as well.
Players will also get refreshments in the form of four pony kegs of Port Townsend Brewery’s finest ales.
For more information phone E. Michael McAleer at 360-460-2839 or the Cedars pro shop at 360-683-6344.
Golf columnist Michael Carman can be reached at 360-417-3527 or firstname.lastname@example.org.