Sport on the Internet: Fast route to Ryder Cup on the Net

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The Independent Online
As Europe gets ready for its biennial outbreak of golf fever, more unifying than any EC directive, with the start of the Ryder Cup at Valderrama in Spain next Friday, internet users have a head start. There are golf sites that cover the American and European tours on a weekly basis and some have included sections on the Ryder Cup.

However, there is an official Ryder Cup site, rydercup.com, and this provides the most comprehensive coverage with some interesting features. With TV coverage restricted to satellite, you could do worse than follow the action via the net and the radio. This site is "cybercasting" in real time once the competition proper starts, with hole-by-hole updating of scores and a promised audio link to Radio 5 Live, star of the 95 Ryder Cup.

Features include a breakdown of the course, with an aerial overview of each hole plus Seve Ballesteros' ideas on how to play it. There is the official programme, with articles by writers such as Ian Wooldridge, Hugh McIlvanney, Peter Dobereiner and Michael McDonnell, the match format, records of every player who has played in the competition and detailed profiles of this year's contestants.

There are also sections devoted to news, features and trivia. CBS Sportsline is more americentric as one would expect, with only details on the American team, although golf.com, which is linked to NBC sports and Golf Digest, presents a more balanced view. GolfWeb is another good site, with all the features one expects plus an odds section. Golf on Line is the web site for Golf Magazine with its articles. The US PGA tour site seems to be completely insular and is ignoring the Cup altogether, while the European tour site gives a link to GolfWeb.

Golf in Spain is mainly for the golf tourist, playing or watching, with player profiles and course details. The Sporting Life site has Ian Woosnam providing his personal assessment of the Ryder Cup, the American team and a hole-by-hole guide to Valderrama and will be doing live scoring. That is the real test and from Friday we will see how each site keeps the scores for each match up-to-date.

Official Ryder Cup site

http://www.rydercup.com/

CBS Sportsline

http://cbs.sportsline.com/u/golf/ryderwatch.htm

GolfWeb

http://www.golfweb.com/ga/ryder

Golf in Spain

http://ww.golfspain.com/ryder97

golf.com

http://tour.golf.com/tour/pgatour/ryder

Golf on Line

http://www.golfonline.com/tours/rydercup/

Sporting Life

http://www.sportinglife.com/golf/news

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