With the Ryder Cup around the corner, here are some alternative Europe v USA competitions

The 41st edition of golf’s Ryder Cup is on our doorstep, with Europe hoping to make it four victories in a row in Hazeltine on Sunday.

That’s all well and good, but surely there are better ways to settle the rivalry between Europe and the US? We’ve made some selections based on cultural contributions, popularity and Ryder Cup compatibility.

The question remains: who wins?

Battle of the Bands

Guns N’ Roses, Kiss, Metallica v Abba, The Beatles, Sigur Ros

Quite the contrast here, with the heavyweight noise of Team USA taking on the more melodic sounding Team Europe. Hey Jude, Hoppipolla, and Dancing Queen are examples of Team Europe’s pedigree, but we reckon Team USA would smash this through sheer volume.

The Ryder Cup is all about emotion, passion and above all, noise, so Sweet Child O’ Mine, Rock and Roll All Nite and Master of Puppets will basically do the job.

USA 1-0 Europe

Chocolate Bars

Snickers, Twix, Hershey Bar v Toblerone, Yorkie, Kinder Bueno

More of the same here from Team USA, whose all-star cast tick many boxes, but hear us out when we say Team Europe nabs this one.

With our selection we’ve demonstrated the variety of European chocolate, not to mention the superior quality of the chocolate itself. We would like to dedicate this delicious victory to Nestle.

USA 1-1 Europe


Statue of Liberty, Mount Rushmore, Grand Canyon v Eiffel Tower, Sagrada Familia, Colosseum

Phew, what a list. The USA is chock-full of landmarks, including a whole bunch of the most famous in the western world. The Statue of Liberty is iconic, Mount Rushmore a monument to the country’s brief history, and the Grand Canyon a reminder that in terms of nature, the USA is up there with the best.

But it’s Europe’s rich cultural heritage that takes it into a 2-1 lead on this occasion. History, beauty and splendour; another win for Europe.

USA 1-2 Europe

Facial Hair

Abraham Lincoln, Tom Selleck, ZZ Top v Plato, Andrew ‘Beef’ Johnston, Brian Blessed

Wow. Where to begin? What a selection.

From politics to the big screen, philosophy to golf itself, we’ve got some great beards and one of the finest moustaches known to mankind: Tom Selleck, good job.

And maybe it’s that ‘tache that swings it in Team USA’s favour to make it 2-2. The range on offer in the American team is too much for what is a fine collection of cultural beards in Team Europe.

USA 2-2 Europe


Ernest Hemingway, Mark Twain, Toni Morrison vDante, Homer, William Shakespeare

And so with the scores tied at 2-2, it all comes down to the writers. It’s the Old Man and the Sea v Jane Eyre; The Adventures of Tom Sawyer head to head with Homer’s The Odyssey; Romeo and Juliet taking on Toni Morrison’s Sula.

You know where this is going. There’s no separating these teams, whose cultural contributions and famed writing makes them all winners in our eyes. Ryder Cup medals for everyone.

Final score: USA 3-3 Europe

More on this topic

Padraig Harrington believes Ryder Cup could head towards ‘neutral set-up’ coursesPadraig Harrington believes Ryder Cup could head towards ‘neutral set-up’ courses

Harrington to run rule over Ryder Cup prospect Hovland at WentworthHarrington to run rule over Ryder Cup prospect Hovland at Wentworth

Robert Karlsson named as one of Europe’s vice-captains for 2020 Ryder CupRobert Karlsson named as one of Europe’s vice-captains for 2020 Ryder Cup

JP’s dream becomes a realityJP’s dream becomes a reality

More in this Section

Sheffield United striker charged with drink-drivingSheffield United striker charged with drink-driving

Two arrested over ‘racist abuse’ at FA Cup matchTwo arrested over ‘racist abuse’ at FA Cup match

World Rugby investigating photo of referee Peyper ‘mocking Vahaamahina elbow’World Rugby investigating photo of referee Peyper ‘mocking Vahaamahina elbow’

Onus now rests on Croke Park to make Tier 2 a successOnus now rests on Croke Park to make Tier 2 a success


Pollutants can have an impact on your health, but there are things you can do to reduce the potential damage.High pollution days ‘lead to more cardiac arrests and strokes’: 5 easy ways to protect yourself

Even if you only have room for one pot in the smallest space, plant some tulips in it to make your garden spring to life, says Hannah Stephenson.7 design tips to make your tulips in garden pots stand out in a crowd

Does the early bird catch the gym gains, or are you better off running through your reps after the sun sets? We ask two personal trainers.Ask the experts: Is it better to work out in the morning or the evening?

John’s chairs will last a lifetime, but he is also passing on his knowledge to a new generation, writes Ellie O’Byrne.Made in Munster: The ancient art of súgán-making is woven into Irish family history

More From The Irish Examiner