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Why would Azinger want Woods?

Iain Carter | 11:49 UK time, Friday, 5 September 2008

There are strong rumours in the US that American Ryder Cup captain Paul Azinger is planning to invite Tiger Woods to deliver some words of inspiration to his players at Valhalla.

If this is true, then Azinger's European counterpart Nick Faldo should rub his hands in glee.

Inviting a limping Woods to be part of the American Ryder Cup team room would appear to make little sense.

Yes he is the best golfer in the world (when fit) and yes he is a patriotic American. But, as we all know, the Ryder Cup has never figured prominently on his golfing radar.

The US have lost four of the five matches in which he has played.

Woods has never enthused about the biennial match. He openly admitted he regarded a WGC strokeplay event as more important than the Ryder Cup.

Tiger Woods in Ryder Cup action

He challenged reporters to recall Jack Nicklaus' record in the matches, knowing that most couldn't. The fact that we all knew he had won 18 majors was proof to Woods of what was more significant to a career.

This, of course, may be correct, but how many Europeans would express similar sentiments?

Two years ago Woods openly admitted to me that he couldn't understand why we get so excited by the Ryder Cup.

Is that the sort of attitude Azinger wants in his team room as he tries to end a run of three successive defeats?

Furthermore by inviting Woods he reminds his team that they're not the best players in America.

How would Phil Mickelson feel about it? Notoriously flaky at Ryder Cups, Lefty has the chance to become the US talisman at Valhalla, he surely wouldn't want Woods muscling in on that territory.

All Azinger will say is that such a move has not been confirmed, but that Woods does figure in his plans. "I'm going to have an open phone line to Woods during the event," the captain said.

"I am kind of curious how he feels as the event unfolds. He's really intelligent and he's got a great golf mind, so I'm looking forward to talking to Tiger."

Azinger's priority is surely to unite his side around its underdog status and inspire his men by telling them to prove they can beat Europe without Woods in the picture.

That is exactly the sort of psychology that has worked so well for Europe over the years.

Both captains are proving bemusing figures at the moment. Prior to this talk of Woods, Azinger chose expectant father Chad Campbell ahead of the fiery Woody Austin.

That was another strange one.

And I'm starting to wonder whether Faldo will buy into the all important 'one for all' attitude with this European side.

He has already turned his back on the ultimate team man in Darren Clarke and is convinced he can perform every aspect of the captaincy role with only the help of Jose Maria Olazabal.

"That's impossible, he'll need more help than that," 2002 skipper Sam Torrance told us this week.

Equally worrying is the fact that the captain had not found time to congratulate Oliver Wilson on making the team.

Wilson battled back from six over par to seven under at Gleneagles to ensure qualification.

On Five Live on Tuesday night I asked him if he had heard anything from the skipper. Wilson replied: "Not yet, but I'm sure he'll be in touch soon."

At least one former European skipper was aghast when he heard this.

The build up is already proving fascinating and in fairness it is worth pointing out that Europe's captains have been under fire heading into the last two matches which were then won by record margins.

Bernhard Langer was accused of being too remote, appointing the wrong vice captain and being barely visible in the closing stages of qualification in 2004 while Thomas Bjorn led a barrage of criticism over Ian Woosnam's picks two years later.

Woosie went to the team and offered to resign ahead of the match, only for his boys to rally round at the K Club.

That spirit is the European way and has invariably provided them with a thirteenth man.

Faldo would do well to remember this even though it goes against his natural instincts.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    I think the impact of the Captain is probably overstated ... after all, we won by miles last time with the clueless Woosy in charge!

    On the Tiger thing, though, I reckon that could be quite key. The US are going to be a better team without him ... not because he's not brilliant, he is, but because he has a suffocating effect on the others.

    Azinger has had a massive stroke of fortune with the Woods injury but he could nullify that if he starts faffing around on the phone to Tiger rather than (say) talking to Mickelson, Furyk and the like.

    Besides which, I bet Tiger will have his phone on voicemail.

  • Comment number 2.

    I think involving Tiger is a bad move.

    His fellow Americans don't have the mental toughness to challenge him in stroke play events. So it seems odd that Azinger feels he needs him around for the Ryder Cup to remind them of their inadequacy.

    Interestingly Micklesons form has improved since Tiger has been on the sidelines.

    Undoubtabley Tiger is their best player. But I think it's time the rest stood up to be counted.

  • Comment number 3.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 4.

    If Azinger decides to bring Woods to 'pep' talk his team, not only will it be a sign of great weakness in his own abilities as a captain, but will most likely have the opposite effect to that which he is trying to achieve.
    If I were in that situation as a professional player, having to listen to a fellow tour competitor telling me how i should motivate myself - no matter that it just so happens to be the world's number one- I would be seriously insulted, especially since Woods' own record in the competition has been so decidedly average.
    We have heard repeatedly how the Americans fail to mould themselves into a cohesive unit for the Ryder Cup, and I can't really see the likes of Mickelson being too thrilled at the prospect of a lecture from Woods on how to approach the match.
    Perhaps Nick might follow suit and ask the ever modest and self-effacing Montgomery to rally his good friend Ian Poulter pre-match.

  • Comment number 5.

    I think Azinger probably feels he has to attempt to include Tiger, such is the media's obsession with him. I doubt very much that he would be planning to have him come in and give a huge motivational talk but I can see how he might feel that to have him come in and show his support might mean something to the guys. His comments as well about how he would like to use his golf brain to pick up advice from him, I can see working - maybe he'll spot a better way to play a hole or a mistake that others are making, it's not unreasonable to think that may be the case. That could be useful. Maybe being on the outside helping could spark an interest in the competition in Woods, if it did that would make Azinger one of the most important Captains ever. If he's allowed to sit outside completely, there's the danger he'll decide to sit it out in the future...

    I was more puzzled by the way in which Jack Nicklaus came out and said the Americans should win easily, why would you go against the message that Azinger has been trying to get across like that, that they are the Underdogs. More importantly why would you give Nick Faldo such an easy motivational tool, all he has to do is stick that paper cutting on the team door and his job will be done. Good one Jack.

    http://pgatourist.blogspot.com/

  • Comment number 6.

    I'm with Tiger, this is the most over-rated golf event in the world.

    It's the equivalent of a one-day international where bits-and-pieces players have their moment in the sun.

    The Ryder Cup "heroes" of yore - Christy O'Connor Jnr, Sam Torrance, Paul McGinley, Phillip Price, even the brilliant Monty - how many majors have they won?

    Obviously there is an apepal to the event but the coverage it gets - and the pathetic blubbering from the likes of Torrance - are way over the top.

  • Comment number 7.

    I agree with the last comment - The Ryder Cup is hugely overhyped especially in Europe.

    The American players are happy to play and compete but it doesn't mean a great deal whereas it means everyhting to the Europeans.

    There is no money at stake or world ranking points and it is seen by many of the American players as a glorified "exhibition" event.

    As long as it stays that way Europe will continue to win most of the matches until the Americans get serious about it.

  • Comment number 8.

    If the majority of 24 players involved in a Ryder Cup match are mostly "bits and pieces players", as suggested in comment 6, what does that make the majority of the 100 plus field in the week-in, week-out stoke play events? Does that mean that apart from the worlds top 10 the rest might as well not show up - afterall, most of the tour event fields are not even good enough to qualidy as "bits and pices players".

    America has been the predominate force in golf for the best part of 100 years - of couse the Europen golfers relish the chance to get one over on the US.

    I also find it rather refreshing that a group of professional sportsmen should put a match like this above the relentless pursuit of more and more cash.

    Funny how we didn't hear too much of the "don't really want to play anyway" atitude of US players when they were winning all the time. I seem to remember that before the Jacklin era when the US won nearly every match, we were told that if we didn't start putting up a better show, the US will lose interest and the Ryder Cup will die. Seems you just can't win.

  • Comment number 9.

    "If this is true, then Azinger's European counterpart Nick Faldo should rub his hands in glee.

    Inviting a limping Woods to be part of the American Ryder Cup team room would appear to make little sense."
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    What does a limp have to do with anything Azinger is planning from Woods ?

    stop looking for a way to tell yourself that Europe will win the RC.

    he wants him to speak to the players, why even mention his injury ?

    reading some of the comments on here really does make you ashamed to be british, why oh why are we the most arrogant and hated nation on earth ?

  • Comment number 10.

    I am also in the camp, that the Ryder Cup is over rated. And it is nothing more then an exhibition. I would like to think that anyone that has won the Ryder Cup, and not won a major, would swap them around! Also with golf becoming a more global worldwide sport, it is getting harder for the Americans to compete, I may be wrong, but arent there more Europeans in the top 100 then Americans now?

    I say just make it Europe Vs Rest of The World in a bi annual contest.

  • Comment number 11.

    Woods' proirity is not the Ryder Cup, neither is it any of the other top professionals. Anyone who knows anything about golf is you can play okay and do well in a matchplay tournament, but you have to be top of your game to win a strokeplay tournament and that's at any level. You could have 7's on four consecutive holes and then birdie or par the next four and still be all square. No way could this happen in strokeplay.
    The Ryder Cup is a great competition and should not be underestimated. But a lot of the Majorless pro's seem to jump on the Ryder Cup bandwagon to distract their major failures. Particularly Colin Montgomerie.
    If I was a top professional, the Pga or European tour would come first on my agenda every single year, then the Ryder Cup.

  • Comment number 12.

    The point of the Ryder Cup is that the players are experiencing the highs and lows of a team sport, while golf is about as solitary and personal as you can get.

    If the players and Captains don't 'get' the difference, then they cannot 'feel' the same motivation.

    The highs come with close matches and tight finishes. Winners and losers feel part of something special.

    The lows come when one of the teams does not turn up, and there is no competition. That was why the competition was widened to include Europe.

    Perhaps the time has come to make it Europe v all the Americas.



  • Comment number 13.

    Funny how the Ryder cup has become 'boring' and un-mportant for the Americans. Could that, perhaps, have something to do with the fact that they havent won it for so long. And why do they shout "Get in the Hole" when one of their team hits a drive on a 500 yds + hole!

  • Comment number 14.

    The Ryder Cup is useless. At this moment in time, it's second only to tennis's Davis Cup in terms of general irrelevance.

    Yes, there are notable exceptions - Mark Calcavecchia choking a four-stroke lead and crying his eyes out (before the US eventually won) in 1991, and Andy Roddick last year saying winning the Davis Cup meant more to him than his US Open victory in 2003. But that's because both of these men were incapable of winning more than one major individual title each - through no lack of talent, obviously, but it's no wonder they hold these team successes in such high regard as a result.

    Golf is a solo sport, and therefore a team contest means very little and rightly so. It's all about carving your own legacy. It's about the opposite of football.

  • Comment number 15.

    All this cobblers about the Americans not caring about the event.

    As Leedfanseverywhere says, I suspect recent results have something to do with this.

    Last time the Yanks won, they certainly seemed interested enough. Detestably and boorishly so, in fact. Perhaps a bit of boredom that day might have been called for.

  • Comment number 16.

    The Ryder Cup is the most overrated, overhyped sporting event in the world for one very simple reason; Sky Sports. At the start of the last match they were billing it as the 'second biggest team competition in the world' and they hype it to sell subscriptions. It's not so many years ago that you couldn't give a ticket for the Ryder Cup away and in some respects Sky have to be congratulated for boosting its image and standing in Europe.

    The reality for the USA, however, is quite different. Sure they want to win it but it's nickel and dime stuff to them.
    If I did bet on golf my house would be going on the States this time as Faldo has allowed his ego to get in the way of his better judgement (there's a surprise) by leaving out Clarke and bringing in Poulter. Go to the dictionary and look up the word 'bottler' and there is a picture of Poulter beneath it.

  • Comment number 17.

    For all the people who don't like or care about the Ryder Cup, don't watch it and those who think the Americans don't care, having watched the last 2 abroad, one in Thailand with a bunch of Americans, they were completely gutted as they're team was thrashed by Europe.....I of course loved it, as for theatre there is nothing better than The Ryder Cup!

    COME ON EUROPE!

    Oh and 'Rathopark' get a life, did you not see Poulter's 20 footer at Birkdale on the 72nd green for par, its people like you who make stupid comments know nothing about sport!

  • Comment number 18.

    And if you were wondering I'm gutted that Darren Clarke was overlooked as he's such a great Ryder Cup player but I will support whoever the captain picks!!

  • Comment number 19.

    Post number 9
    comments
    "reading some of the comments on here really does make you ashamed to be british, why oh why are we the most arrogant and hated nation on earth ?"

    What an arrogant and fulfilling comment - you are living in the past sunshine, the world does not give a monkeys about Brits!

    We are discussing golf, not invading countries, destroying millions of peoples lives.
    To the subject: How anyone can think the Ryder Cup is a non event is beyond me - look at the attendance figures, look at the viewing figures, look at the print coverage. look at the blogs. Now explain to me how this is a non event.

    American golf fans still feel strongly about their teams performance and their lack of success. Just watch the crowd reaction if the US gets into a winning position (unlikely based on the relative team strengths - but who knows).

    It has been great drama over the last 20 years and completely deserves its high standing in the golf calendar.


  • Comment number 20.

    it is simply ridiculous to suggest that hardly anyone cares about the Ryder Cup.
    If that were the case, then none of the players would make themselves available.
    Why then did Hunter Mahan who only a couple of weeks ago was badmouthing the event accept Azinger's invitation to play with not so much as a whimper?
    The fact is, these are all professionals with professional pride, and no matter that the team event takes them out of their comfort zones, they are all almost to a man still desperate to play.
    If these matches mean so little, then why did they add the Presidents Cup to the calendar?- because those many fine players who are excluded from Ryder on grounds of nationality have seen the passion, drama and emotion it creates and want to be part of it.
    So perhaps all of those idiots who appear to know so little about the psychology and goals of professional sport would do us all a favour by crawling into their holes and sparing us all from their drivel until after the trophy has been presented.

  • Comment number 21.

    When was the last time a golfer turned down a Ryder Cup place, or made themselves unavailable (other than through injury, as in the case of Luke Donald)? If it mean't so little to so many US players, I'm sure this would have occured quite often, as it does in the Davis Cup.

    I think every player would rather win a major as golf is an individual sport, but I'm convinced that the competitive nature of the US players means that they want to win the Ryder CUp just as much as the European players.

    I don't know why so many people people feel the need to compare medal play and match play - they are very different animals. Some people excel at match play, and its not just because they are inconsistant players and there sevens don't count. I've played team golf at club and county standard, and some people seem to stand up to the pressures of medal play better and some stand up to the different pressures of match play better.

    Of course a lesser player has more chance of beating a better player over 18 holes of match play than he does over 72 hole stoke play, but surely there is room for the match play event amongst all the stroke play? We seem to accept different forms of cricket (test, one day, twenty20) and I feel they can compliment each other and add a little variety.

    I can only speak for myself (others hear seem to be able to speak for whole nations), but outside of the majors, I enjoy the Ryder Cup more than any other golfing spectical.

  • Comment number 22.

    Tiger could add nothing to the US team's morale. Although a great player he is a lone wolf and NOT a team player. When he's around it's all about Tiger. He's bad for the game and is never gracious when interviewed. The Ryder Cup is a wonderful chance for the 2 teams and their fans to interact...no place for petulant "stars" who want to hog the limelight.

  • Comment number 23.

    Secretly many of the American players will be glad Tiger won't hog the limelight. They can now claim to have a 'weakend team' releaving pressure. If they need Tiger for 'motivation' You have to question not only the Captain but also why 'the special one's motivational skills couldn't rescue the devestating losses of 04 and 06.

  • Comment number 24.

    There is no doubt that the Ryder cup is just an exhibition that only Brits care about. If you disagree, produce the following evidence.
    1. Find a US website where fans are showing the interest and passion shown in Britain.
    2. Find a non-English speaking European website where there is the same interest.

    This matchplay sideshow is like the Davis Cup, who cares? US Players will play for the fun, but they care more about the upcoming Fedex Cup. Check how many European Players do well in that when actual individual quality counts.

  • Comment number 25.

    Come on people, take a look at the footage from Kiawah Island in 1991 and Brookline in 1999 ... does that look like the American players and fans don't care about the Ryder Cup?



  • Comment number 26.

    Agree with Sagamix (comment 25) - spot on. There is no dought the fans care.

    Comment 24 from Brit-exPat: No one said they cared AS MUCH, but they care enough to want to get in the team and to win. Asking for evidence from a non-English speaking Europen website is asking a bit much from a predominently Englah speaking nation.

    If it was all down to money, if the US players cared so little, they would simply take a week off and charge the batteries for the next big-money stoke play event. Players chosen by Azinger were delighted, Rocco Mediate was gutted.

    As for the Davis Cup - some don't care, but plenty do. How about checking how many European players play in the "Upcoming Fedex Cup" compared to US players before making comparisons.

    Seems to me that you can see more from the outside looking in.

  • Comment number 27.

    To Brit-exPat-in-USA..

    Americans know nothing about any sport, other than those at which they think they can win, which is why their fervour for the Ryder Cup has waned in recent years.
    If they cared so little about the team matchplay format, why did they invent the Presidents Cup?- Because they were sick of being thrashed in The Ryder Cup, and badly needed the practice.
    It's just as well that they only play themselves in the 'world' series baseball and can proclaim themselves as world champions on the back of it.
    The blanket coverage of Brett Favre's move to the New York Jets - an irrelevant non-story elsewhere in the world of sport is proof that american news coverage of sport is no measure whatsoever of the status of sport in general.
    I have no doubt at all that if they win this year's Ryder, their view will change dramatically.
    In the meantime I hope you continue to enjoy your interest in non-competitive sport and leave real sport to those who understand and appreciate it.

  • Comment number 28.

    I've played a lot of diferent sports over the last 30 odd years and I've never known anything more comperitive than golf.

    Using the arguement given in comment 27, US are losing interest in the Ryder Cup not because golf is not competitive, but rather because they cannot compete. I do not subscribe to this view at all. I cannot believe that a competitive nation like the US would just give up saying, "We can't win this anymore so lets not bother". I also expect this years event to be very close and I expect the last two thumpings to make the US team all the more determined to make amends. If you look at the world rankings of the two teams, the average ranking of the European Team is 21.16, the average ranking of the US team is 25, so not much in it. If you look at the worlds top 50, US and Europe have 16 players each, so the matches should be close.

    The reason the US are not doing as well as they once did in the Ryder Cup has nothing to do with golf being non-competitive, or the American players not caring if they win. It is simply that the US no longer has the advantage of strength in depth, as they once did.

  • Comment number 29.

    to leftgagger,
    I didn't say that the competitors and players were losing interest, quite the contrary.
    I was responding to the comment that interest generally in the USA was declining, contrary to that displayed in Europe, and the fans'appetite for the competition.
    I still maintain that american sports fans are the most insular in the world and when their own perceived superiority is challenged, their media either choose to ignore those sports completely, or question their importance and validity, and so the public are deprived of watching any sporting competition which does not have an american interest.
    To re-iterate, this has nothing to do with sports competitors from the USA who will always be highly competitve.

  • Comment number 30.

    Okay Jimi55, I see where you are coming from now and we are probaably in general agreement. Maybe rather than the European press being guilty of over-hype, the US media is guilty of under-hype ... if there is such a thing!!

  • Comment number 31.

    I stand by my statement that Ryder Cup fever is purely a British phenomenon. Most Europeans could give a hoot about the Ryder Cup.
    Interest in the USA is generally much less than in Europe. Yes, that is partly due to the losing record, but it has more to do with money and individual success. I wish it were different, but that does not change the facts. Ask Monty if he would trade all his Ryder Cup wins for one major.
    US Players want to play for the experience, but are not devastated if they lose. You will see fanatical fans at the tournament, but that does not change the above.
    It is also true that Europe has better golfers available than the USA for many reasons. Most European players play around the world, US Players play at home.
    The Europeans also have many that went to University in the states and played for their college teams all over the US. The young generation has more adaptability and flexibility thatn their US counterparts.



  • Comment number 32.


    Woods has echoed my sentiments about the biennial yawn. For me this non event lost any credibility it had when Sky won the rights to screen it live.

    Murdochs mob can hype it up all they like, I for one don't find fist pumps, high fives, roars for missed putts and players and their blonde sidekicks whinging like babies at all entertaining.

    I won't be watching this load of tosh.

  • Comment number 33.

    For all those saying that the Ryder Cup is the most over hyped event in golf really surprises me. You talk about money not involved, so do we find ourselves living in a world where if money is not included we dont care and pride and prestige! I always remembered people saying they would play sport for free because they loved doing it! And for those americans who say it is over hyped when you were running across the 17th green when that horrible human being Justin Leonard sank that lucky putt!!
    And if you think it is over hyped leave this blog and stop reading it, or are you secretly loving the build up!?

  • Comment number 34.

    I get the feeling that this topic has long since run out of steam.
    Can anyone suggest another which we can get our teeth into?

  • Comment number 35.

    Did you guys hear Sergio's interview on Sunday after the BMW?

    Talking about the Ryder Cup, and in particular how to handle the rookies, Serge agreed that the role of the senior players was key ... senior players like "Westy and Jimenez" he said.

    No mention of Mr H.
    Oh dear.

  • Comment number 36.

    A few thoughts ...

    The Ryder Cup became a great event when they had the sense to include all of Europe. Before that, it was too non-competitive.

    There is still lots of interest here in the states, but nowhere near the intensity that I've observed in the UK (I travel to London frequently on business and do lots of recreational golf here and there. Heathland courses are great!)

    With rare exception, one becomes a sustaining professional golfer with individual medal play results. You can't even make the Ryder Cup on either team unless you're very skilled at this. Thus, professional golf remains a solitary endeavor for the most part.

    Based upon what I see "on paper", the Euros probably shouldn't even bother bringing the cup over. But, then again, the US looked stronger on paper in the past and look who's been dominating of late?

    I say Azinger should invite Woods. What's he got to lose? Nothing else worked for the US in the past, so drastic times call for drastic measures.

  • Comment number 37.

    Guys.......I can't believe no can see this....Azinger is trying to mess with the Faldo and European team's minds. Of course he won't be in touch with Woods during the competition.

    One man cannot win (or lose) the Ryder Cup. Even if Tiger was playing he would still need the rest of the team to do their bit which America have not been able to do on the last few occasions.

  • Comment number 38.

    Tiger might make an appearance at Valhalla, but certainly won't give any inspirational/motivational talk...that's not his style and it would be inappropriate to ask him such.
    The Ryder Cup is a competition between the European Tour and the PGA of American, not the PGA Tour. Though members of the PGA Tour are members of the PGA of America there is signaficant difference between the 2 organizations. Though the Ryder Cup is a "cash cow" for both the European Tour and the PGA of America..the PGA of America didn't need this competition to survive...the European Tour did. In the past, prior to the "silly season" of golf tournaments, there was great interest in this competition by the American public, but the luster disappeared by golf's own success. Golf is overly saturated now on TV...the golf channel covers and TV networks show every tournament , everyday including the European Tour. Golf season use to end with the Tour Championship and every other year The Ryder Cup. Not so now....the "silly season" which includes the farce called the FedEX Cup, the fall PGA schedule, skins games, and Tiger's tournament have made the Ryder Cup irrelevant to many golf enthusiasts......the golfers who are dying to compete are in most cases American's who want that invite to the Master's and endorsement contracts that go with the appointment.
    It's a shame...and it is only my humble opinion...but the success of the PGA Tour and it's constant desire for more golf on TV (the "silly season") has made the Ryder Cup irrelevant.

  • Comment number 39.

    And here endeth the lesson.
    Even though sentiment dictates that I must disagree, your logic is impeccable.

  • Comment number 40.

    anyone that thinks the ryder cup is over rated has clearly never been too one.

  • Comment number 41.

    Fans of team USA needn't worry anyway, I'm sure the American media will find a way of proclaiming you to be winners anyway - maybe they'll suggest that highest number of bogeys is actually the winning score. Isn't this what happened with the American version of the olympic medal table afterall? Need anything else be said about UK/Europe v American media coverage? As for the event itself, anyone who states that it is boring or overhyped musn't have any sense of patriotism or love for great sport running through their veins. How many people (especially kids) in Europe get introduced to the wonderful game of golf by watching this prestigious event? It's a great event and always a great occasion - I personally can't wait to see the arrogant-but-genial Faldo wipe the floor with team-USA and watch them "get in their hole" for another 2 years - bring it on!

  • Comment number 42.

    I think the American apathy to the Ryder Cup only comes from there poor record over the last 10 years. Has everybody forgotten the 17th Green celebrations last time they won. If the Americans win the trophy back later this month we'll see if it means anything to the players and the fans.
    I'm sure there want be any wild celebrations. Ha Ha.

  • Comment number 43.

    To my way of thinking, the real problem the USA team has is that a lot of them are over rated and too high in the rankings for their ability. The reason for me saying this is that they play all (or the vast majority) of their events in their own country (3 Majors, and all the WGC events). The Europeans especially the Swedes and Spanish contingent almost always play away from home. This is a big factor in sport (even Chelsea occasionally lose away from home!

    If you take this all into account the difference in actual ability, talent, etc is even bigger than the slight lead the Europeans have in the current world rankings.

    Europe will win unless there is a big upset.

    Also please lay off Nick Faldo, anybody with half a brain knew this would be his style of leadership. The players know this and are happy because they like many of us looked up to him when learning out golf as one of the best players in the world.

  • Comment number 44.

    PriceySpeaks -- You're dead wrong! The US Media skewers the US team each recent Ryder Cup and doesn't look for a way to declare them winners. If you have an example to the otherwise, share it with us.

    If the Ryder Cup weren't popular in the States, it sure wouldn't be broadcast like it is. It's simply a numbers game. It's VERY popular here.

    The Euros should win this event. They play better Ryder Cup golf and they are stronger overall.

    But, we shall see. THe US could surprise and I'll have my money on them.

  • Comment number 45.

    I have a strong hunch that USA are going to win by 16 points to 12 ...

 

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