Published: Sun, September 30, 2018
Sport | By Ruben Hill

Hot-headed and level-headed: Meet Europe's Ryder Cup rookies

Hot-headed and level-headed: Meet Europe's Ryder Cup rookies

World number two Rose, who along with McIlroy must deliver if Europe are to reclaim the trophy, believes the set-up will create an "interesting" test of golf - unlike at Hazeltine two years ago which he described as a "putting competition".

The 26 year old is known as one of the most passionate characters in golf but he is certain he can channel that energy to good effect this week. He says McIlroy took a picture of him in nothing but his underwear, posted it on the team WhatsApp network and said the Spaniard couldn't handle McIlroy outdriving him.

"There's only a couple guys that have any kind of scar tissue on playing on away soil, and those guys have won a combined 120-something times", teammate Jordan Spieth said.

The duo lost twice with little chemistry in 2004 and while relations appear cordial, it's not a risk usa captain Jim Furyk likes. Brooks Koepka spent the Saturday night before his first U.S. Open victory on the phone with Dustin Johnson (it wasn't a long conversation).

Europe captain Thomas Bjorn said on Tuesday he had a "good feeling" about his rookies, who all qualified automatically, and for good reason.

When the gallery at East Lake Golf Club spilled onto the 18th fairway Sunday afternoon, it became hard to find Tiger Woods in its midst.

Six British players are in the European team at Le Golf National outside Paris this week. Poulter failed again to make the Tour Championship, though his two weeks at home allowed him to prepare for Le Golf National.

Team Europe's Rory McIlroy has suggested it would be "silly" to focus exclusively on Tiger Woods ahead of the upcoming Ryder Cup.

One element he faced every two years was trying to be on a team of 12 players even as the golfing world saw it as Tiger Woods and 11 other Americans. That was in Dubai in 2001. "He's got that passion that the Spanish are known for", said the four-time major champion.

The television ratings show as much.

NBC Sports Group said the final round was the highest-rated Tour Championship on record dating to 1991. He served as a vice-captain two years ago at Hazeltine, but he says that's not the same as teeing it up himself. "So for everyone in golf, it's brilliant".

For all his unbelievable feats in golf-80 victories on the PGA Tour, the most recent on Sunday at the Tour Championship after returning following a fourth back surgery that threatened to end his career-Woods has been on only one winning team at the Ryder Cup.

"You look at Phil and Tiger, they are on their homeward stretch", said Fowler. "We know it's a marathon, and we're delighted with the way the day turned out because it was a fairly tough morning".

"If you're one up, you lose the last hole, go to even, or you win the last hole and you get a point; these little half-point and point swings are enormous over the course of the Cup".

"The steps he's taken off the golf course are brilliant".

Europe has done it well over the years.

The US team have lost the last five visits to Europe and last won there in 1993. And that means little, as recent history would suggest.

Eventually. Europe lost their first three contests but in 1985 they finally broke the run and the team from this side of the Atlantic lifted the trophy for just the second time since the war, claiming their first win on United States soil two years later.

"I've played a lot of the matches - in seven Ryder Cups, I've sat out one session".

"We have the analytics team in place, and they have opinions on why guys match up well together from a statistics standpoint, but we really need to understand the personality side and how guys mesh together and why that happens".

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