Ry­der Cup pre­view: Europe, US go head to head

The Myanmar Times - - Sport -

SER­GIO Gar­cia and Rory McIl­roy fired up Euro­pean pas­sions this week at the Ry­der Cup, tak­ing ex­cep­tion to US cap­tain Davis Love’s con­tention that his Amer­i­cans might be the best team ever.

“At the end of the day, you don’t win Ry­der Cups with your mouth,” Gar­cia said. “You win them out there on the golf course and that’s where we’ll see which team is the best.”

Euro­pean teams have won three con­sec­u­tive Ry­der Cups, seek­ing an un­prece­dented fourth in a row this week at Hazel­tine, while the Amer­i­cans have lost six of the past seven and eight of 10.

But Love felt con­fi­dent enough in his ros­ter on Septem­ber 23 to tell a golf ra­dio in­ter­viewer, “We’re a great team. This is maybe the best golf team ever as­sem­bled.”

Love said his words were “mis­con­strued”, that he only said that was what he would say to mo­ti­vate his team, but then wouldn’t say what he would tell his team to­mor­row.

His ear­lier words added in­spi­ra­tion for a Europe side not lack­ing for it al­ready.

“They are pretty much mo­ti­vat­ing fac­tors,” Gar­cia said. “You know what they say opin­ions are like – we all have one. Every­body is al­lowed to have their own opin­ions. That’s what they think. We know what we have.”

World num­ber three McIl­roy, Europe’s top-ranked player, is com­ing off a vic­tory at the US PGA’s sea­son-end­ing Tour Cham­pi­onship. It brought US$1.5 mil­lion plus a $10 mil­lion sea­son points bonus he swiped from the pocket of US Cup ri­val Dustin John­son, the US Open cham­pion ranked sec­ond in the world.

McIl­roy tossed his own barbs at the US no­tion of Ry­der Cup supremacy be­fore to­mor­row’s open­ing tee shots.

“I’ve fol­lowed ev­ery­thing and I’ve had a bit of fun with it, the task force and great­est team ever as­sem­bled and what­ever else they are talk­ing about,” McIl­roy said.

“When­ever we are go­ing up against one of the great­est teams ever as­sem­bled, that’s mo­ti­va­tion enough. How good a vic­tory would this be if we go out and beat these guys on home soil?”

Europe ‘more than ready’

The Amer­i­cans have four of the world’s top 10 in John­son, Jor­dan Spi­eth, Pa­trick Reed and Rickie Fowler, and all 12 play­ers are ranked in the world’s top 31.

While Europe coun­ters with five of the world’s top 12, in­clud­ing Gar­cia in 12th, half the Euro­pean squad is ranked be­low Ryan Moore, the cap­tain’s pick who is the low­est-ranked US player.

McIl­roy noted that in terms of world­wide vic­to­ries this year, Europe play­ers have taken 12 to nine by the Amer­i­cans, the ma­jors split even at two for each ros­ter.

“So our team is good. Our team is more than ready to han­dle the oc­ca­sion, to han­dle what we need to do,” McIl­roy said.

“I don’t think it’s hard for us to find mo­ti­va­tion. Whether it be the sea of red [US sup­port­ers] you see on the golf course or com­ments made by the US team or cap­tain, that gives us so much mo­ti­va­tion al­ready.”

Champs aplenty for Europe Clarke was sub­tle in his dis­miss­ing the no­tion of a US su­perteam, point­ing out the suc­cesses of his own tal­ent this year.

“The guys have seen ev­ery­thing that has been said,” Clarke said. “But we have the Masters cham­pion [Eng­land’s Danny Wil­lett], the Open cham­pion [Swede Hen­rik Sten­son], the Olympic cham­pion [Eng­land’s Justin Rose] and the [US play­off] cham­pion [McIl­roy].

“Com­bine that will all the ex­pe­ri­ence and with the rest of the team and the way those guys have played, I don’t re­ally need to re­spond to that. I’ve got full con­fi­dence in our team.”

Eng­land’s Andy Sul­li­van, the low­est ranked player in the event at 50th and one of six Ry­der Cup new­com­ers for Europe, was will­ing to grant the hosts an edge on pa­per but warned Europe has a tough his­tory when un­fan­cied.

“On pa­per they are an un­be­liev­able side,” Sul­li­van said. “You look at it for most years and Europe go in as the un­der­dogs. As the re­cent years have shown they have done pretty well out of it. Hope­fully that’s a com­mon theme and we get the job done this year.”

Pho­tos: AFP

Ser­gio Gar­cia (bot­tom left), the cap­tain of Europe’s Ry­der Cup team, fired back at US cap­tain Davis Love for com­ments he made last week. The two face off this week­end at Hazel­tine Golf Club in Min­nesota.

Davis Love (cen­tre), the US cap­tain, col­lected a team that in­cludes five of the top 10 golfers in the world.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Myanmar

© PressReader. All rights reserved.