What’s one of the big reasons why we love sports? To witness greatness, to witness competitive play from some of the most talented human beings (horses if you’re talking horse racing) in the world.
But what fuels the passion? In most cases it’s the teams and the rooting interest in those teams.
That’s what the UL International Crown brought last week as it brought fans from all over the world to watch theor countries duke it out. The event took place at the Merit Club in the Chicago area and the ladies not only had to battle the course and each other, but they also had to battle the heat, as Chicagoland had one of its hottest weeks in history.
The heat was so bad, that team England star Charley Hull had to miss the Friday round due to illness. She came back firing off all cylinders and ended up finishing strong.
I had the chance to cover the Saturday round and taking in the atmosphere, it certainly had a Ryder Cup feel to it. Only difference is that there are eight teams compare to two teams in Ryder Cup and Solheim Cup.
This is what makes the UL International Crown such a great tournament. It’s not limited to two squads to root for, there are eight teams so there is rooting interest for everyone no matter who you are or where you’re from.
Certainly, a fan from China can root for team Europe or team USA in the Solheim Cup as it doesn’t matter who you root for. However, the fact that team China is a squad in the UL International Crown adds to that home team feeling and is closer to your heart as a fan.
The Merit Club, located in the Chicago area was a great host. Chicago is known as one of the best sports towns on the planet with teams like the Bears, Bulls, Cubs, White Sox, Blackhawks and Fire representing the city’s deep sports culture.
In the interview room, team USA addressed the media center and I had the chance to ask them what it meant to play in such a big team event in a town that is crazy about their sports. Here’s what Stacy Lewis had to say.
“I think that it’s great that we’re in this city. We’re going to be here in the next couple here the next couple of years with the KPMG tournament, as well.” Lewis said. “So it’s a market that we did well in with the Solheim Cup. I think it’s a great place for us to be playing, and hopefully we can get playing here more consistently, not just big events and majors.”
“Maybe get something a little more consistent.” Lewis said. “We were talking about it in the car ride on the way home, just the number of cities that have multiple sports teams in the same sports, and Chicago is one of not very many in that aspect. It’s a cool city, and we got to take part in it last night”.
Chicago is one of those towns that does make you discuss sports. It’s a city that can compare to other cities with multiple teams as Lewis mentioned.
This is why it would be great for the UL International Crown to continue having tournaments in major sports towns around the world. Teams help fuel a sports fan’s interest and it’s very marketable as well.
Although the individual sport is great and brings out the mental toughness of the best golfers, the team game brings a fire. As we’ve seen, college golf has increasingly gotten popular due to the drama of alternate shot among other formats as well as being live on Golf Channel.
The UL International Crown was also a great test before the Olympics in Rio next month. All eight teams were able to get a taste before the big games as the tournament was dramatic and ended with a team USA victory.
So although the UL International Crown is still a relatively new event, with so many teams reeling in fans from all over, it can blossom into something bigger.
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Posted in Opinions and tagged Chicago Sports, LPGA Tour, Stacy Lewis, Team USA, UL International Crown by Colin GP Mieczkowski with no comments yet.