HEARTBREAK HILL by Tim Rosaforte


The Anatomy of a Ryder Cup
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 An uneven and frequently arcane account of last year's dramatic Ryder Cup golf tournament. The Ryder Cup--a biannual tournament pitting an American team against an elite European squad--has in recent years grown from a virtual afterthought to one of the game's premier events. Last September, at the Oak Hill course in Rochester, N.Y., the American team nursed a sizable lead going into the final day of play, only to see it slip away to a European squad that mounted one of the game's truly great comebacks. Unlike most golf tournaments, which appeal mainly to players and fans, this Ryder Cup had something for everyone: high-pressure play and high stakes; flag-waving patriotism and international intrigue; and ample human drama, including the gut-wrenching story of Curtis Strange, a usually steady golfer experiencing hard times. His three consecutive bad holes on the last afternoon of play allowed the European side to surge ahead. Unfortunately, author Rosaforte (a senior writer for Sports Illustrated) makes poor use of this material, most notably by offering sloppy analogies to explain the obvious, such as why a tie (a result that favors the defending champion) is ``like kissing your sister'' when ``your sister is Cindy Crawford,'' while allowing less obvious golf phenomena to go unexplained, such as why a shot ``189 yards from the front of the green, uphill, into a left-to-right quartering breeze'' would call for a 3-iron. And the text is littered with ham-fisted phrases such as ``neither man dared to blink, the Spanish bullfighter or the bull from Minnesota'' (describing Sunday's match between Seve Ballesteros and Tom Lehman). A dramatic contest that should have been of interest to nongolfers is put out of reach of all but the most devoted hackers. (8 pages photos, not seen) (Author tour)

Pub Date: June 14th, 1996
ISBN: 0-312-14351-6
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 1996


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