A call for the Cup

With the Ryder Cup less than a month away, I wondered whether any of Newport-Mesa's four private country clubs conduct a United States vs. European-style tournament.

Mesa Verde Country Club in Costa Mesa will commemorate the final day of the Ryder Cup (Oct. 3) with a 108-golfer, stroke-play tournament. Each foursome (representing the U.S. or Europe) will tally the two best balls for gross and net.

The idea for the inaugural tournament came from Gary and Gina Beale, Mesa Verde head golf professional Tom Sargent said.

The scoring format for the Mesa Verde tournament is different from the Ryder Cup, where each hole is taken separately during competition.

Within the entire Ryder Cup, there are different scoring formats (such as singles play on the final day – a U.S. and European golfer compete against one another, taking each hole as a separate match, so to speak). The player with the lowest score on the hole wins the hole.

"Not many clubs do [tournaments with Ryder Cup scoring]," Sargent said.

Newport Beach Country Club doesn't hold such a tournament, but head professional Paul Hahn gave some ideas as to what the competition might look like.

With the spirit behind the Jones Cup, a Ryder Cup-style tournament would be a welcome addition to the area's golf scene and bring the four private clubs together once again for a day of fellowship and golf.

Here are some thoughts to get you thinking. Club refers to each of the four Newport-Mesa private clubs (Mesa Verde, Newport Beach, Big Canyon and Santa Ana).

Each Ryder Cup team has 12 players. Six players from each club (three European and three American) would comprise a quarter of the 24 total golfers.

I'll leave player selection to the powers that be at each club.

Hahn said choosing players would be difficult if handicaps were a factor. For the sake of simplicity, let's keep handicaps out of it.

The format would be a one-day, match play, singles event. One European and one U.S. golfer per duo would battle.

If the teams tie after all 12 matches, the tiebreaker goes to the side with the greatest margin of victory (3 and 2 would defeat 2 and 1).

This might sound complicated, but this is designed to get people thinking.

Once thinking gets going, golf can follow.

Corey Pavin, who tied for seventh in his first Toshiba Classic last March, heads the 12-player U.S. team.

The Ryder Cup, held every two years (except a three-year span from 1999 to 2002), is Oct. 1-3 at Celtic Manor in Wales. The U.S. won in 2008.

BRYCE ALDERTON'S golf column appears bi-weekly. You can reach him via e-mail at balderto78@yahoo.com.

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