Europe and America gear up for Ryder Cup

September 27, 2016

Europe and the United States are gearing up for their latest clash in the Ryder Cup at Hazeltine, Minnesota - with the home side desperate to wipe out the memory of their last two losses.

The early years of the 21st century have belonged to Europe and their easy win two years ago at Gleneagles - known as the 'Gimme in the Glen' - was the latest assertion of their dominance.

However, it was the occasion four years ago when Europe came from 10-4 down in the Miracle at Medinah that the Americans will be keenest to erase from the memory banks. It may have been Europe's greatest comeback, but from the home side's point of view, it was a meltdown.

Indeed, the determination of the home team to improve on a record of just two wins in the last ten Ryder Cups is clear, with US captain Davis Love III issuing an "enough is enough" message.

The home side contains plenty of experience among its vice-captains, including Tiger Woods and Bubba Watson, the latter missing out on selection despite being number seven in the world. Instead, home hopes will rest with the brilliant Jordan Spieth, veteran Phil Mickelson and captain's picks Ryan Moore and Matt Kuchar.

Europe's team is captained by Darren Clarke and his five vice-captains - Padraig Harrington, Sam Torrance, Ian Poulter, Paul Lawrie and Thomas Bjorn - bring a wealth of cup-winning experience.

The team itself will look to Rory McIlroy, Masters champion Danny Willett and Olympic champion Justin Rose, while the captain's picks are Thomas Pieters and Medinah hero Martin Kaymer.

Golf fans inspired by the event may want to walk in the footsteps of the stars themselves by enjoying the Old Course Experience at St Andrew's, the home of the sport.  

Among the great names who have played at the course down the years is Arnold Palmer, who died aged 87 this week.

He will be remembered in a minute's silence at Hazeltine and it could be his memory will prompt a great performance by the Americans, just as that of Seve Ballesteros, who died four years ago, was cited by the Europeans as inspiration behind the Miracle of Medinah.

By Keith Prowse

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