Bill Elliott: long way to go

Golf Monthly editor-at-large Bill Elliott reports on the 39th Ryder Cup from Medinah Country Club

First Day of the 2012 Ryder Cup
(Image credit: Getty Images)

IT never lets you down, never slips into neutral. Is there anything in sport so compellingly guaranteed to excite as these Ryder Cup matches?   Day One was filled with some great golf, some wonderful touches as well as some nervy stuff. It was great and good and here and there it was a bit awful. But it was never dull, never uninteresting. And Nicolas Colsaerts turned out to be a better long putter than Brandt Snedeker. Who'd have thought.   Great atmosphere too. The volume was up and, for the most part anyway, the irritating Americans were reasonably few in number. Get in the hole? I wish some of them would and then we could put a lid on it.   Lots of daft costumes too. I don't know where you are on this 'spectator as part of the action' schtick but I don't like it. It's the same at cricket. Blokes dressing up as nuns or policemen or Batman or something. It's like those T-shirts with so-called witty sayings on them. Usually this wit is lucky if it raises even a small grin but with all of them, the amusement only lasts a cursory glance. After that they are just an embarrassment and seem to declare that the wearer needs to buy in his humour. Just buy a ticket and watch, leave the fancy dress to the kids.   Whatever, the fact is that the atmosphere is terrific. Well, it is if you like to see those little Stars and Stripes fluttering merrily and hear the eternally grating USA- USA- USA chants. To be fair the way the Americans were holing all those afternoon putts, they deserved all the praise they got. Momentum? You bet - and then some.   Still, there's a long way to go and anything is possible in these things. Keep clinging on to this thought. Me? I'm struggling. A bit like Europe in fact.

Editor At Large

Bill has been part of the Golf Monthly woodwork for many years. A very respected Golf Journalist he has attended over 40 Open Championships. Bill  was the Observer's golf correspondent. He spent 26 years as a sports writer for Express Newspapers and is a former Magazine Sportswriter of the Year. After 40 years on 'Fleet Street' starting with the Daily Express and finishing on The Observer and Guardian in 2010. Now semi-retired but still Editor at Large of Golf Monthly Magazine and regular broadcaster for BBC and Sky. Author of several golf-related books and a former chairman of the Association of Golf Writers. Experienced after dinner speaker.