The Seve Trophy - what is it telling us?
BY Bruce Young | European PGA Tour | 2013 Seve Trophy by Golf+ | Preview | 02 Oct 2013
Twelve months ago Great Britain & Ireland joined forces with Continental Europe to tackle a common foe on foreign soil and succeeded when defeating the Americans at the Ryder Cup.
This week golfers from those same two geographical regions will tackle each other in a battle for the Vivendi Seve Trophy to determine supremacy although the lack of the elite players from those regions in this week’s event at Golf de Saint-Nom-la-Breteche just west of Paris will provide little proof as to just who reigns supreme.
Of the current leading twenty world ranked Europeans only seven are playing this week’s contest ensuring that whoever wins it will hardly provide a clue as to where the strength lies in European golf.
It is unfortunate as there is little doubt that until the arrival of Seve Ballesteros on the European Tour in 1975, golf on the eastern side of the Atlantic was very much the poorer cousin of that in the US.
Ballesteros’ arrival and his subsequent victory at the Open Championship in 1979, followed just a few months later by the first Ryder Cup side consisting of players from Great Britain and Ireland and Continental Europe led to the Europeans building momentum to a point where in 1985 they won the Ryder Cup for just the second occasion since WW11.
In the 13 encounters since the Europeans have won eight times and a lot of the stars of European golf have become world stars and made a lot of money in the process.
It would seem therefore that a debt of gratitude is owed by most to the great Seve Ballesteros and their support of an event named in his honour could be described as being the least they could do.
Perhaps it is because many of the leading players see the growing emergence of teams events as a blight on their desire to control their schedules. After all not only is there now the this event but there is also the Ryder Cup, the Royal Trophy between Europe and Asia and the recently introduced and seemingly overkill Eurasia Cup, again between Europe and Asia.
Surely it is a case of enough being enough and any criticism of the players for not supporting the event would perhaps be better directed towards the administrators of the game who see a contest between two teams who are not reflective of the best of the respective sides still important.
This week ten players on each side play ten Fourball matches, eight Foursomes, and ten Singles encounters with the Europeans for a total of 28 points, looking to balance the ledger after The GB&I side won the inaugural staging of the event in 2011.
The Continentals would seem to have the advantage on paper for whatever that is worth. So too did the 2012 US Ryder Cup side and the 2013 US Solheim Cup side but both were brought undone by a seemingly more passionate side carrying the underdog status.
There will be undoubtedly some interest in the contest and the result does not always have to determine the success or otherwise of an event but until such time that the best players of each side are available for selection then what on earth is being proved?