Last weekend’s collision of trans-Atlantic golfing power at the K Club in Kildare will be remembered for many years, and for many reasons.
The biggest team event in golf was the most globally watched sporting event ever to take place on the island of Ireland.
The world could not have but been impressed, not just by the golf itself but by the facilities, the crowds, the atmosphere and organization.
Okay, the weather was less than perfect. There was even the tail end of a hurricane to contend with on the eve of the first day’s play.
But the course held up magnificently and the final hours of the event were bathed in warm September sunshine.
The actual result, a win by Europe over the USA team, was arguably less important to Irish psyches than the smooth running of the three days of play before the eyes of a worldwide audience.
Those who took an interest, and to one degree or another that was just about everybody on the island, need not have worried.
No less an authority than Arnold Palmer pronounced the entire affair as being “very, very impressive.”
American fans were doubtless downhearted by the drubbing sustained by Tiger Woods and his fellow team members.
But we have little doubt that in the years ahead many American golfers will be packing their clubs and flying east, eager to play the fairways and greens where the drubbing actually took place.
For in the end the Ryder Cup 2006 was a win for golf, for sport played in the best of spirits and for an Ireland that need no longer have any doubt that it can pull off a big show, big time.