The twelve-man US team, led by Captain Steve Stricker, includes eight names from the top ten and six big winners. Certainly, the world number one, the Spaniard Jon Rahm, plays for Europe, but the next European is Viktor Hovland in place fourteen. The average ranking of the American team is 9, against 31 for Europe. On paper it’s clear: American golfers are the big favorites.
Despite this, the European team certainly doesn’t stand a chance in this 43rd edition of the Ryder Cup, which will take place from Friday to Sunday at the Whistling Straits golf course in the state of Wisconsin. It’s certainly not the first time in the past three decades that the European squad has been significantly inferior to the Americans on paper. Still, Europe has managed to win seven of the last nine editions. Their great asset is something that many golfers have little to do with on a daily basis: team spirit.
“I’ve said it so many times and yet it remains true: The Ryder Cup is an opportunity for European golfers to show that America can own the money, the courses and the good weather, but that doesn’t automatically mean that they have a monopoly on ambition, ”said Tony Jacklin, who led Europe to its very first victory on American soil in 1987.
For this team spirit, European captain Pádraig Harrington relies on experienced team players who know what it means to play in the Ryder Cup, such as Spaniard Sergio García, Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy and England’s Paul. Casey, Tommy Fleetwood, Ian Poulter and Lee. westwood. Garcia, who is preparing for his tenth Ryder Cup, is even the record holder for the number of points obtained in the tournament (25.5).
“We don’t care whether we are the favorite or the underdog,” British golfer Fleetwood told the British newspaper. The temperature. “We show up, become a team and most of the time we win over the years. ”
The Ryder Cup has a much more exuberant atmosphere than other golf tournaments, with a much more fanatic and boisterous crowd, often waving American or European flags. The Europeans seem to be doing better in this area than the Americans. “When we get together it almost feels like a party,” said Jamie Donaldson, the Welsh golfer who won the European Championship at Gleneagles in Scotland in 2014. “In the European locker room it’s like playing with his mates. This is because on the European tour we usually sleep in the same hotel and then have dinner together in the evening, ”Donaldson told the BBC. “In America, everyone stays in their room and this is room service heaven.”
Not that Europeans are all friends with each other. Current Captain Harrington is known to have faced García regularly in the past. Harrington: “We have always managed to put that animosity aside. We kissed during the Ryder Cup.
Whether the Americans will succeed remains to be seen. Two of their stars have been at odds for some time. Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau make life miserable, especially on social media. Last June, at a tournament, DeChambeau, the muscular golfer known for his wild shots, asked security to intervene as the crowd kept yelling “Brooksie” at him. Koepka responded with an Instagram post in which he offered free beer to viewers who were kicked out for the offense.
The Americans are now trying to put out this fire quickly. The team spirit is good, according to captain Steve Stricker, who said he spoke at length with the two players this week. “This whole team is proud to play for America and to wear the red-white-blue.” Koepka has already announced that he can get along with anyone as long as “it’s only for a week”. And DeChambeau said on Tuesday that he had already had dinner with Koepka and that there was no problem.
Team Europe has been warned. Captain Harrington knows from experience that resolving conflict within the squad can be a huge advantage as well. “If two players can do it together, the rest of the team will see it too and they’ll come together even more. Then it can give you a huge boost.
The Ryder Cup is a biennial golf competition between Europe and the United States. The 43rd edition was actually supposed to take place last year, but had to be postponed due to the crown. Until 1973 the game was between America and Great Britain, in that year Ireland was added to the British squad. Continental Europe followed in 1979 and since then Europe has won eleven of the twenty editions. America won eight. After the battle ends in a draw. The battle consists of five sessions, spread over three days. On days one and two, golfers play in pairs against another pair. Depending on the session, pairs play with four or two balls. On the third day, there are twelve one-on-one matches; each match won is worth one point. A draw means an extra half point. In total, 28 matches will be played. As the defending champion, Europe must reach fourteen points to retain the Ryder Cup. America must earn half a point more to be victorious.
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