Golf commentator David Feherty has never been shy about speaking his mind, making him a perfect participant for Monday evening’s “Countdown To The Ryder Cup: An Evening With The Captains” event at the Orpheum in downtown Minneapolis.
With the Ryder Cup coming to Hazeltine a year from now, the event — with captains Davis Love III and Darren Clarke as the headline attractions — is a sneak preview of what’s to come. And I talked to Feherty on Monday morning for a sneak preview of that sneak preview.
Here’s Feherty on what to expect from the evening:
“We’re going to talk about the history and what’s coming up. I think it’ll be me that will be stirring the pot, with the history of the Ryder Cup. It’s always been kind of a media gold mine. It’s always been important even when it was an extremely one-sided affair. I wrote a history of the Ryder Cup several years ago when I was still drinking. I was going through it recently and it was so boring the first 50 years. I ended up making things up. It’s kind of like most history books. One thing that’s a common thread is that the media has always jumped on the patriotic part of it.”
On the impact of the Ryder Cup on golf in general:
“When the Americans were winning almost every time, the event was in danger of becoming extinct. … We have the Ryder Cup to thank for the fact that we have so many Europeans on the American tour. It gave them the stage and opportunity and feel they were equal with the Americans. They started to win events like the Masters in the 1980s.”
On Hazeltine as the host course:
I think it will hold up well. “It’s a great venue and Minnesota, anywhere in this Midwest, they’re tremendous golf fans. Your season is so short. There’s only like 6 months a year where the ground is soft enough to put a hole in it. Fans here really appreciate golf when it comes here and the atmosphere will be fantastic at Hazeltine.”
On stirring up interest one year out:
“It’s a little early yet, but it’s one of those things you can really look forward to. The Ryder Cup might be swinging back toward the Americans with the young golfers they have.”