PARIS (Reuters) – Ryder Cup captains Jim Furyk and Thomas Bjorn heaped praise on each other’s teams on Monday ahead of this week’s showdown between the United States and Europe.
“Thomas mentioned this is probably the strongest American team we’ve ever had and maybe it’s the strongest team Europe has ever fielded top to bottom,” U.S. skipper Furyk told a news conference at Le Golf National.
Furyk’s players are well aware that the Americans have not won a Ryder Cup in Europe since 1993.
“We’re reminded of it quite often. Is it extra motivation? I’m not sure you need extra motivation in a Ryder Cup,” he said.
“There are some veteran players who have never won on foreign soil. That’s something that’s missing in their careers, so they’re anxious to get started. They are well aware of how difficult it is to win in Europe.”
The American team arrived in Paris early afternoon after an overnight flight from Atlanta, where all but Jordan Spieth played in the Tour Championship won by Tiger Woods on Sunday.
“We were on the ground by 12.45 and a nice police escort to the hotel, so guys are there, settled, trying to get ready for the week,” Furyk said.
Six of the European team also played in Atlanta, but captain Bjorn is not worried about fatigue.
“One thing I learnt about Ryder Cup is no matter how tired you are, you’re going to carry yourself, the last bit of adrenaline you have in your body,” the Dane said.
“Achieving big things obviously takes a bit out of you but they will carry themselves through this week because they’re top athletes and this is what they’ve been looking forward to probably the most all season.”
(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina, editing by Ed Osmond)