Will The Hero Cup Really Help Europe's Ryder Cup Chances?
In his weekly View From The Fairway, sports journalist Derek Clements addresses the new Hero Cup to be staged in January, featuring captains Tommy Fleetwood and Francesco Molinari, in a team event that is hoped will improve Europe's chances at the Ryder Cup. But Derek is skeptical about its likely impact.
TOMMY Fleetwood and Francesco Molinari have been named as captains for the new Hero Cup, which will be staged in Abu Dhabi in January.
They will each lead 10-man teams in a matchplay event that has been introduced to boost Europe’s chances of winning the Ryder Cup in Italy next year.
On the face of it, it seems like a decent idea. It will reunite Fleetwood and Molinari, the stars of Europe’s sensational Ryder Cup victory over the United States at Le Golf National in 2018. The pair scored four points together and became known as Moliwood - they were even pictured in bed together with the trophy on the Monday morning in a classic parody moment.
But I have to ask: how on earth is the Hero Cup going to help Europe win the Ryder Cup?
Do you honestly believe that Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm and Viktor Hovland are going to take part? These three men will be at the very heart of Europe’s team, but the chances of them leaving the PGA Tour to take part in this competition are slim to zero.
There is a possibility that the likes of Sepp Straka and Seamus Power, two men with Ryder Cup ambitions, might be persuaded to join in the fun and games, but there are no guarantees.
And how on earth does a three-day event in Abu Dhabi in January improve the chances of a Ryder Cup victory in Italy in September? The courses could hardly be more different.
Molinari and Fleetwood will each choose nine players - Fleetwood’s team will consist of players from the UK, while Molinari will choose nine from Continental Europe. So we can expect to see the likes of the Hojgaard twins, Guido Migliozzi, Victor Perez, Ewen Ferguson and Robert MacIntyre in action.
No matter how you dress it up, this will be a fun event. Do you think anybody will be knocking at the knees when they tee it up on the opening day? Do you reckon that anybody will feel any proper pressure? Of course they won’t.
Some of you may remember the Seve Trophy. It consistently failed to attract the European stars who ply their trade on the PGA Tour. And does anybody seriously believe that it played any part in Europe’s successes in the Ryder Cup?
When it comes to the Ryder Cup, there is no substitute for the real thing. Just ask Rory McIlroy, who described it as an exhibition event until he played in it for the first time.
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