COMMENTARY | The United States handled the Internationals -- as it tends to do -- in the 10th edition of the Presidents Cup on Oct. 6, winning in not-as-close-as-the-score-would-indicate fashion, 18.5 to 15.5.
The US win, in which the Americans claimed their fifth consecutive victory and eighth in 10 tries, further deflated the intensity PGA Tour's answer to the Ryder Cup, pitting a much stronger and connected American squad up against a "hodgepodge" group of 12 international players (not from Europe) that hail from six different nations.
In case you were wondering, "hodgepodge" was a term International captain Nick Price used to describe his team. That's not exactly Raymond Floyd channeling Ben Hogan and calling his team the "12 best golfers in the world."
Now, the problem with the Presidents Cup isn't the playing format, or the way the teams are selected. It's not even the way the PGA Tour rules over the event in a seemingly pro-US fashion.
The problem is the disconnect and lack of depth on the International side.
The 2013 edition of the International squad had not been in the same room with all 12 members and their captain until Monday of Presidents Cup week. When they finally did get into that room, there were some natural pairings, sure, but there were instances in which teammates couldn't have the most simple of conversations with one another.
Therein lies the problem and the main reason why the Presidents Cup hasn't elevated itself to the type of must-see TV that the Ryder Cup has become over the past few decades.
From a strictly numerical standpoint, the United States had seven of the top 11-ranked players in the world on its roster and no one ranked higher than 28th (Bill Haas). Conversely, the Internationals had only four that were ranked lower than 28th in the world (Adam Scott - 2nd; Jason Day - 16th; Charl Schwartzel - 19th; and Ernie Els - 23rd).
Combine a lack of talent with the disconnect of putting together a group of 12 men from six different countries and the odds of the Internationals pulling out a victory are miniscule.
So, how should the International squad and -- to a further extent -- the PGA Tour solve this problem in order to close the gap and make the event more competitive?
One option would be to make team bonding more accessible. A major contributor to the Internationals' repeatedly slow start is the argument that the team members don't know each other well enough.
How about the PGA Tour makes this easier on them. With the International squad being selected purely on the world ranking points, why not give exemptions to those inside the top 15 in the standings.
We hear about the United States captains inviting guys present at a tournament to a dinner here or a meet-and-greet there, and that's because every guy on the US team plays full time on the PGA Tour.
That's not the case with the International squad. A good number of the guys who ended up on the team this year play some on the PGA Tour, but not all of them and still others have commitments across the globe that keep them from teeing it up together or otherwise getting to know each other.
A further branch of that idea leads itself to the next captain. No offense to Nick Price, who was among the most ardent captains in the competition's history, but he didn't do enough to level the playing field for the Internationals.
The next captain of the International squad has to treat the Presidents Cup like the event he wants it to be, a la the Ryder Cup.
When Ryder Cup captains are selected, their playing careers take a back seat to their duties as captain. That's simply not the case with the Presidents Cup, for better -- as it is with Fred Couples -- or worse.
Price made strides in attempting to make the format more International-friendly, but fell short in getting much changed.
Along that same vein, there's no excuse why he couldn't get the 12 players together before the week of the event. Price went so far as to fly over and put up the Fanatics, a Australian-based fan group, but couldn't find a way to get his players together.
But finally, maybe Price did try to get the guys together and if that is the case, the onus falls to the players. As independent contractors, the players have the choice to pick and choose where and when they will play. It may be on one of them to take a call out of Peyton Manning's playbook and fly the guys to them for some practice rounds and team bonding.
It couldn't hurt.
While the US talent seems to be simply superior at the moment, that's not always been the case. With the rise of golf in Asia, the United States as a walkover winner in Presidents Cups might not be long for this world.
However, if the International team wants to expedite that process before the Asian Invasion, now might be the time that it takes things into its own hands and make this biennial event the must-see event that it could be.
Chris Chaney is a Cincinnati, Ohio-based sportswriter. He has written for multiple outlets including WrongFairway.com, Hoopville.com, The Cincinnati (OH) Enquirer and The Clermont (OH) Sun.
Follow him on Twitter @Wrong_Fairway.
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