Welcome to Teeing Off, where Devil Ball editor Jay Busbee and head writer Shane Bacon take a day's topic and smack it all over the course. Suggest a future topic by writing firstname.lastname@example.org, or hit us on Twitter at @jaybusbee and @shanebacon. Today, we talk about the Solheim Cup, and what we would have done if we had been in the position of the Europeans that had to take a full point when Cristie Kerr had to withdraw because of injury.
Bacon: Mr. Busbee, while you were enjoying the exciting FedEx Cup playoffs, a strange thing happen; women's golf became the story of the weekend. But what's a golf tournament without some controversy. On Sunday, Cristie Kerr had to concede her match before It started due to a wrist injury, giving the Euros a full point, but some think that shouldn't have been the case. Without Kerr playing a single hole of her match, is halving the match appropriate, or is that just the pains of competition?
Busbee: Women's golf? I thought Tiger's new caddy was the story of the weekend! WHAT KIND OF A WORLD ARE WE LIVING IN? Anyway, yeah, the Solheim was outstanding, and it provided far more riveting viewing in the media center than shots of whiteboards calculating FedEx Cup points. Absolutely what women's golf needed, in so many ways.
Now, to your point: this is one of those ugly loophole things where the rules don't give any leeway. There's no provision for anything less than a one-point award. And I'm going to venture a potentially unpopular thought: there shouldn't be. Yes, it's kind of a BS way to handle an unfortunate situation, but isn't that part of the risk of competition in any sport? The Patriots don't get the right to count their touchdowns double if Tom Brady's injury replacement scores them; the Yankees don't get two free runs a game if Derek Jeter is out with injury (though I'm sure both have been proposed by ESPN). There is indeed a layer of honor in golf, and perhaps a half-point tally for injury withdrawal is a solution, but just like you don't want to lose on a cheap play, most people wouldn't want to win on one either. And now you're away, sir.
Bacon: I have to agree with you. It sucks to win when your opponent misses a two-footer, but, well, no it doesn't. Winning is winning, and in sports, you take it anyway you can.
But, I have to ask, does winning like that take anything away from the Euros? With a split in that match, the final match would have had to finish, and things would have been that much closer.
Busbee: It would take something away from the Euros if there'd been anything within their control--if, say, a European fan had interfered with a shot or a European player had complained to officials or something like that. In this case, no--it's the breaks of the game, so to speak. It's a testament to golf that there aren't more cheating allegations, underhanded dealings and so forth that wreck the game, as you have in other sports. I mean, they're there, but not so much that they change the entire complexion of the sport.
Bacon: I think no matter what, we can all agree that the fact that we're seriously debating about women's golf is a very good thing for the sport, and for us. Now, back to that Tiger-caddie business ...