U.S. Ryder Cup team will be like wounded animal: McGinley

Thu Mar 6, 2014 1:44pm EST
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DUBLIN (Reuters) - Tom Watson's United States team will go into the 2014 Ryder Cup in Scotland "like a wounded animal" after snatching defeat from the jaws of victory in Illinois two years ago, said Europe captain Paul McGinley.

The Americans, under skipper Watson's predecessor Davis Love III, had one hand on the trophy when they took a 10-6 lead into the final day at Medinah, only for Jose Maria Olazabal's side to stage a remarkable comeback to win by 14 1/2 points to 13 1/2.

"All three of us are under no illusions how strong the American team is going to be," McGinley told reporters on Thursday after naming fellow Irishman Des Smyth and 2002 skipper Sam Torrance as his deputies.

"They're going to be very well led by Tom Watson and we know we're up against it. They're like a wounded animal after what happened at Medinah and they will be a highly-motivated team.

"But that's good. It's a real challenge to look forward to and it's what makes the Ryder Cup so special," added McGinley.

Torrance, 60, holds the record for the most tournament appearances on the European Tour with 706 and has a proud Ryder Cup history.

The Scot holed the winning putt at The Belfry in 1985 when Europe ended a 28-year victory drought and appeared in the biennial team event eight times in a row between 1981-95.

"The main guys that Paul would want in his team have all had a good start to the year and it's all bubbling along nicely," said Torrance.

"We've got one rookie virtually guaranteed a place in Victor Dubuisson and he looks fantastic. He is a breath of fresh air and to have a rookie as strong as that is great news."   Continued...

Paul McGinley of Ireland poses with the Ryder Cup during a news conference after being named the European Ryder Cup captain at the St. Regis in Saadiyat Islands in Abu Dhabi January 15, 2013. REUTERS/Ben Job