The Ryder Cup – Europe Vs USA Biennial Golf Competition

The Ryder Cup is a hotly contested biennial competition between The United States of America and Europe. This is golf played at the highest level and although few prisoners are take, the competition evokes real feelings of passion from players and gallery alike. However, it was good to see the friendliness and sporting ethos returning into the competition after the 2010 event when The Ryder Cup was held in Wales for the first time.

The fuse was lit in 1921 when the inaugural event took place in Scotland as Great Britain and Ireland took on The United States of America. Gleneagles played host on this occasion and so the onset of the great rivalry between our nations began. Although the «home» team were triumphant, it was not long before the USA were champions at every Ryder Cup match. The rest of Europe were then included, helping even up the odds somewhat!

Samuel Ryder set about donating a cup, together with the promise of £5 to each golfer on the winning side. He also paid for some chicken sandwiches and champagne.

The image engraved upon the Ryder Cup is that of the man responsible for teaching Sam Ryder how to become a great golfer himself. His name was Abe Mitchell, and although selected as the 1927 Captain for Great Britain and Ireland he became ill before embarking aboard the Aquitania and could not make the arduous journey across to New York.

The Ryder Cup has not been held in Scotland for forty years, but is «coming home» in 2014 when it will once again be contested at Gleneagles. The course chosen to host this prestigious event is The PGA Centenary Course. This is a course re-designed by one of the «greats» Jack Nicklaus, who declared it was «the finest parcel of land in the world I have ever been given to work with» and it’s fast becoming recognised as a new classic.

September 2012 will see The Ryder Cup being fought over in Illinois at the Medinah Country Club with team Captains chosen as Davis Love III for The United States and Jose Olazabal for the defending holders of the cup. Jose is sure to have a tear in his eye as he captains the Europeans as he will be thinking about his dear friend and Ryder Cup team-mate Seve Ballesteros who passed away on 7th May 2011 aged 54. Seve was a fine ambassador for golf in general and The Ryder Cup in particular, and will be sadly missed.

We have put together an information site about golf in Scotland, with a little bit of history about the great game, which we hope you enjoy reading about.

An Uneasy Relationship – England Vs The Rest of The World

As a nation that once laid claim to the world's largest Empire, the United Kingdom has often traded blows with countries across the globe.

Politically, many British people often look upon Europe and its increasing influence in their lives as a source of annoyance. With specific reference to England, the English are known for their own patriotic beliefs and mannerisms. Whether it be staunchly in favor of keeping the pound or sometimes even something as trivial as our predisposition for tea drinking as a tool of social cohesion, our European cousins ​​and those further afield often deride us as 'Little Englanders'.

When it comes to football then, it is no surprise that such squabbles manifest themselves. In late February, there was the furore surrounding claims in the tabloid press that England's training complex for the impending World Cup in South Africa was so far half-built and ramshackle, some even going so far as to describe it as 'a dump'.

The £ 20 million Royal Bafokeng Sports Campus near Rustenburg, the venue for England's first game against USA, has ignited English passions and prompted hasty rebuttals from those abroad. Although the accommodation is of a high standard, the training and medical facilities are still far from complete.

After this, following his recent visit, England manager Fabio Capello stated that he was happy with the progress being made.

South Africans, including World Cup ambassador and ballerina Andile Ndlovu have rallied round their country as it bids to host the final tournament yet. The spokesman for the Bafokeng sports complex, Martin Bekker, said that "the foreign media, especially the English, have lacked the courtesy to find out from us how preparations are going."

This is not the first incident involving England, its football fans and its national press engaging in verbal warfare and it certainly will not be the last.

One only has to look at certain authority figures in the world football and the chagrin they draw from the English to examine the roots of animosity between 'us and them'. The President of FIFA, the world's governing body, Sepp Blatter and his UEFA counterpart Michel Platini have all voiced their views on the state of English football.

Likewise Jack Warner, the FIFA Vice-President and head of its CONCACAF region is another who petitions condemnation. In his case, it seems he's a complicated individual who has a 'Jekyll and Hyde' approach to England. Once he was quoted as saying 'nobody in Europe likes England' yet he is supposedly one of the supporters for our 2018 World Cup bid.

Meanwhile Blatter is considered by some as anti-English, a man who never has a good word to say about the country or its football. During the Cristiano Ronaldo transfer saga, Blatter was open in saying that the player should move to Real Madrid and that keeping him at Manchester United adjusted to "modern slavery."

Clearly he is hopelessly ignorant of the treatment suffered by the real slaves of the past and how it bears little relevance to highly-paid footballers. His 6 + 5 rule, designed to cur the number of foreign players in teams and enhance their domestic number is somewhat noble in its intent although it has been interpreted as a direct attack on the English clubs, which is boosted by a large overseas contingent, have recently dominated the competition.

Michel Platini has also displayed sour grapes over England's success in Europe. One of his quotes, relating football finances, states that he wants to "create a situation where every team has a chance of winning and there is a more level playing field. and financial fair play, but sometimes you do not have that in England. "

Although England and its press often feel aggrieved at attacks from abroad, Platini in particular does have a point when he claims to be concerned about foreign ownership and increasing debt mountains.

One only has to look at the forlorn situation at Portsmouth to understand where he is coming from. If England's biggest clubs such as Manchester United and Liverpool did not rely on huge income streams to keep them tapping over, the problem would become cataclysmic, not just for English football but for the entire game.

No matter, England's uneasy relationship with the rest of the world is likely to continue for some time yet as we typically resist interference from beyond our shores.

Unforgettable European Games

In 1981-1982 Universitatea Craiova played in European Champions Cup, the old name of Champions League of today. After two double games against Olimpyakos Pireu and BK Copenhagen, Craiova had as a guest the great German football team which was Bayern Munich a team in which were players like Breitner, Rummenigge an so on.It was a dramatical game with a stadium of 45.000 places full of Universitatea Craiova’s fans. Our team lost this game with 1-2 but this was just a preview for the next year. The year of the most important European performances for this great Romanian fooball team.

In 1982-1983 Universitatea Craiova played in UEFA Cup. The first game was against AC Fiorentina. A team of the well known World Champion Antobelli. Universitatea was the winner (3-1 and 0-1) and in the second tour we encountered Shamrock Rovers. 2-0 and 3-0 were the results and for the 3rd tour the well known France team was meant to came in Craiova.

Girondins de Bordeaux lost this double game against this legendary Romanian team (0-1 and 2-0). In the 4th tour 1FC Kaiserslautern came in Craiova. After 2-3 in Germany we did a 1-0 in the minute 82 and Universitatea Craiova was preparing for UEFA Cup semifinals. Stefanescu and Breitner

Benfica Lisboa was the team who put an end to this beautiful dream. We managed a full of hope 0-0 in Portugal. But in Romania we missed only 45 minutes for the great final. Ilie Balaci scored in the 15th minute of the game by a great execution from a free kick. In the second time of the game Benfica succeeded a draw and this team went in the final. This performance was never done by a future team from Craiova.

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