October 10, 2012 - Golf GameBook

Individuals – Bigger Than a Team or just in Opposite Way?

Christiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi – two great individuals of team sports.

Spent last Sunday the way every sport lover would appreciate. Nope, no golf this time for my own surprise as well but ice hockey and football. Of course I checked out main tour leaderboards every second minutes though.

Eisehhower TrophyWorld Amateur Men’s Team Championship was the most interesting tournament even the Dunhill Links Championship is one true beauty tournament in European Tour. But Amateur Team Championships, that’s where the true future of professional golf plays. Followed the tournament two years ago in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Those boys & girls will rule the golf world in coming years for sure.

Sunday was a day of team sport events for me. Thanks to NHL’s lockout the Finnish National Hockey League called SM-liiga is more interesting now. From fan’s point of view commendable number of NHL superstars are playing hockey now here in Finland.

Are individual superstars bigger than a team? I guess they disagree but players with well-known name are maybe the biggest reason why Ice rinks and football stadiums and full crowded in most of the games. Big-name players are making typical Sunday game a lot more interesting to watch on-site.

Sunday evening was the evening of football. Spanish La Liga’s game, El Clásico, indeed is more than a game. Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, Lionel Messi and Christiano Ronaldo offered us once again the show we could only dream of.

Team sport but big-name superstars emerged.

Alexander Ovechkin has made a hole in one too – and he’s not even playing.

I love hockey and I love football as well as I love athletics, Sunday night football, Tour de France… you name it. But closest to my heart is golf. Has always been and always will. Yesterday led me to think is there really that big difference between team sports and individual sports?

I know. A good player always needs a very good team around him but isn’t that exactly the name of the game in individual sports too? We all have heard those ceremony speeches when individual sportsmen want to thank his/her team: coaches, physic, sponsors, caddie, mom, dad, girlfriend, wife, children etc. That kind of community is mostly called as a team.

And in team events, a good team always needs individuals who step down the pike. Those players will lead the whole team to the sweet glory. The difference is, after all, not a very large when you achieve some targeted success. But it’s huge when you fail. Individual athletes have to face critics from the fans and media alone when team athletes have their supporting army around. When team fails, there are 20 guilty guys. But when the individual athlete fails there’s only one guilty person.

I do not try to assert either side. In many cases it’s a fact that the finger of blame is pointing first team’s superstars. They bear a major responsibility for team’s success.  Feels like these big-name athletes like Ronaldo, Messi and others are in the very similar situation like Tiger Woods and Rory McIlory for example. However, one thing is certain. Sport needs big names – no matter is the ball white, orange, black, hard or soft or is the ball at all.

I personally admire those athletes because their mentality. A backpack they have to carry every day is quite heavy these days in sport life.


@OlliLehtonen on Twitter

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