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Europe and US ready to do battle in 41st Ryder Cup


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Europe and US ready to do battle in 41st Ryder Cup

The 41st edition of the Ryder Cup tees off on Friday at the Hazeltine National Golf Club in Cheska, Minnesota.

Europe are three time defending champions and have won the cup eight times from the past ten editions.

European captain Darren Clarke will be looking to continue the continent’s domination of thrilling biennial team competition.

Clarke is counting on a mix of youth and experience in his team having named six rookies.

On practice day the European team cut a relaxed and confident figure meeting the fans and signing autographs, but former world number one and three time Ryder Cup winner Rory McIlroy will not be taking anything for granted when it comes to the crunch on American fairways.

He said: “Look, it’s going to be a little bit different than last time. It’s going to be a sea of red out there and we’re obviously the away team, the underdog. So it will be a little bit of a different vibe for us, but at the same time, it’s a great rush.”

Clarke’s American counterpart Davis Love has called his side ‘‘the best golf team, maybe, ever assembled,’‘ and with Bubba Watson and Tiger Woods as assistant coaches, the support staff isn’t looking too shabby either.

A relatively inexperienced Team USA will have added motivated to secure a win in order to honour golfing legend Arnold Palmer who passed away on Sunday.

Brooks Koepka and Ryan Moore are the only rookies in the team while Phil Mickelson will be making an American record 11th appearance this week.

Love will be hoping Jordan Spieth can turn his singles record around this year and at Tuesday’s news conference the world number four addressed that aspect of his game.

“Well, personally, I’ve had a much better record in the team matches than I have in singles considering I haven’t won a singles match in any professional team sport event. I’m 0-3, so I’d like to correct that part of it myself,” said the 23-year-old, two-time major winner.

There are two other major players that could be a deciding factor for this edition: the gigantic and often wind-hit Hazeltine golf course and the American supporters, who will no doubt be making their presence keenly felt over the three days.


TEAMS (Player and appearances):

USA
Rickie Fowler – two
JB Holmes – one
Dustin Johnson – two
Zach Johnson – four
Brooks Koepka – debut
Matt Kuchar – three
Phil Mickelson – ten
Patrick Reed – one
Brandt Snedeker – one
Jordan Spieth – one
Jimmy Walker- one
Ryan Moore – debut

EUROPE
Rafa Cabrera Bello- debut
Matthew Fitzpatrick – debut
Sergio Garcia -eight
Martin Kaymer – four
Rory McIlroy – four
Thomas Pieters – debut
Justin Rose – four
Henrik Stenson – four
Andy Sullivan – debut
Lee Westwood – ten
Danny Willett – debut
Chris Wood – debut

In bold – captain’s wildcard picks

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