Last week the United States defeated Europe in the Solheim Cup. If you are wondering, "What is the Solheim Cup?" don't feel bad. You are in the majority of people who know nothing about women's golf.
The Solheim Cup is like the Ryder Cup (a men's golf competition) in that it pits top female golfer's from the United States and Europe against one another in a four day competition. Each team has a captain who determines playing partners and match-ups, and the teams are awarded points for winning different events. Like the Ryder Cup, the Solheim Cup had the potential to be an exciting change of pace for female golf. By bringing many of the world's best player together to play in a competitive event the LPGA had the potential to generate new fans to the sport of women's golf. Unfortunately I don't think that will happen.
For one thing the pace of play was extremely low. So slow that some commentators and bloggers are referring to it as the Slow-heim Cup. Beyond the pace of play, the bigger concern I have is over the reactions and behaviors of the women competing. Golf fans will remember the flack that the U.S. men's team took when Justin Leonard sunk a clinching putt in the 1999 Ryder Cup. Well, compared to the cheer leading, fist pumping, dancing around the course craziness of the U.S. women's team at Solheim (lead by the over-dramatic, out of control Christina Kim - photo above) Leonard's celebration looked like that of the local senior center Scrabble tournament winner.
I"m all for showing emotion and having fun, but the antics of the women's team were beyond the bounds of sportsmanship and in the end, I think they were bad for women's golf. How can I take serious a bunch of female golfer's with flags painted on their checks and red, blue and white ribbons intertwined in their pigtails. I'll bet the Europe team flew home wondering if they had just lost a golf match or mini putt contest at a girl scout convention.