Those that play or have played golf usually are familiar with the PGA's Ryder Cup. The United States fields a team of 12 players to play against 12 players from Europe. They play several matches in various formats with each team obtaining points for each match they win. The first team to reach 14 1/2 points wins the Cup! It's a pretty cool event as it promotes a team environment for players who usually compete individually. The camaraderie and pride these players display is awesome to watch as they come together and cheer each other on.
In Texas those associated with The Texas Cornhole League know the words "Ryder Cup" as something kind of the same, but not really the same! On January 24th and 25th TCL's 10th Annual Ryder Cup will be hosted by the Denton Convention Center. There are hundreds of players who have taken part in this event and for the newbies, come Sunday morning they won't know what hit them! This event is easily TCL's biggest event of the year, not so much in payouts but due to the amount of people who will be in attendance. Every year it has increased in the number of teams and this year the trend will continue. Last years Ryder Cup had 430 players making up 43 teams in various divisions and this year they are expecting over 60 teams. Over 600 players will be taking part in this years event making it TCL's largest attended event to date. It. Will. Be. Epic!
The TCL version of this event consists of 3 different events, Team 10, Singles and Doubles with players obtaining points for their team as they win games in these events. After all events have been played, points are tabulated and the team with the most points wins the cup!
Team 10 is easily the most stressful game as it has all 10 players, 5 on each end. Players each get 1 bag as they alternate throwing with the other team. Each bag is super important and when you have 19 players all staring at you, it can be a fairly pressure packed scenario for some players.
Singles is a NCAA March Madness style tournament, win and advance, lose and your done. Players win points as they win and advance. Seems every year the competition in this event gets better and more challenging.
Doubles is a round robin style where each team has 5 doubles teams. The designated number 1 team will play all the number 1 teams in their division. Same for the number 2,3,4 and 5 teams. Strategy comes into play in this event as Captains determine how they will line their players up.
This will be my 6th Ryder Cup to play in with the first one being my first ever TCL event. I left that event blown away by the whole darn spectacle and how good everyone was. The next year I was able to play with the East Texas team led by Brad Jones in what many would say was one of the more exciting Ryder Cup events. I look forward to this event as it is the ultimate team cornhole event and with the "Our area is better than yours" mentality, it can get pretty competitive.
Organizing big tournaments are challenging enough but this event really requires exceptional effort. When you have this many teams and players it can be more work than most realize.This weekend if you get a moment, walk up to Chad, Jason, and Justin and thank them for their time they have invested to help make this event one we all enjoy. It is simply put, "An event like none other"!
Throw 'em straight y'all!!