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Ryder Cup Brings Out the PGA's Best

By Sam Fels
|  Monday, Sep 24, 2012  |  Updated 7:45 PM CDT
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Davis Love III and José María Olazábal kick off the week with a brief Q&A session.

Davis Love III and José María Olazábal kick off the week with a brief Q&A session.

You may have heard a rumbling this morning, eminating from the Northwest suburbs. It's low and barely noticeable now, but will get more and more thunderous as the week approaches. It all culminates Friday when the cream-of-the-crop of PGA golfers take to the tees.

The 2012 Ryder Cup kicks off this week.

What's the Ryder Cup, you may be asking yourself? It is golf's most unique event. No, it is not just another tournament with a 100+ professionals grinding it out for a check. This is a team event. Yes, team. It can happen in golf, and the best golfers from Europe and America are here to compete.

It's an impressive list of pros going head to head.

It's three days of the US battling the best from Europe.

It's emotional, dramatic, euphoric, soul-crushing all in one. Even if you're not a golf fan, you'll get swept up in it if you give it a look.

Because these guys are representing their country, a missed putt won't cost them a few thousand in prize money, it will let down their teammates and the fans of their nation. Sink it, and they may have just won perhaps the most historic trophy in the sport. Thousands of golfers over the years have taken a crack at winning the Masters or US or British Open. But only 12 guys from each side every two years get to band together for this one. You can tell how lucky the players think they are for the chance and how seriously they take it.

This is the first, and probably last, time it'll be held in Chicago. As it alternates between American shores and European ones, it's only on this side of the Atlantic every four years. And as you know, there's a lot of places that want to have this and compete to be named host site. Having this competition here is a real coup for Medinah Country Club and Chicago golf as a whole. There's really no event better to showcase the city and it's passion for the game. Because it's not just a tournament, it's the pageantry and events around it as well that will be held all over the city. And you know how good Chicago can be when it cleans up, shaves, and puts on its best suit.

But mostly, the Ryder Cup is the best event in golf and one of the best is sports because of the passion of the players and fans. We know how much we Yanks love to wave the Stars n' Stripes, and how much Europeans love to make us not do that. The players can't help but get swept up in it. No professional athlete looks more like he's going through a bad day at work than a golfer. They grimace, they yell at themselves, nothing ever seems to be going right as they slog through practice round and four days at a tournament. But here, they're the 1980 US Olympic hockey team, or the Dream Team. There's no bigger stage, and it's not a job any more. And because of that, the crowds are as raucous as any football or hockey crowd (well, close).

It's three days of heartbreak, joy, and patriotism.

Oh, and some pretty killer golf thrown in too. What's  not to love?

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