Europe's team matches vintage '87 crop : Torrance

Tue Sep 9, 2014 1:47pm EDT
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By Tony Jimenez

LONDON (Reuters) - Ryder Cup hero Sam Torrance believes this year's European team is as strong as the side featuring greats like Seve Ballesteros, Nick Faldo and Bernhard Langer that won on U.S. soil for the first time in 1987.

Torrance, who holed the putt at The Belfry in 1985 that ended a 28-year American stranglehold on the trophy and also captained Europe to victory at the same venue in 2002, cannot wait to see the current crop of players in action at Gleneagles from Sept. 26-28.

"I honestly believe this is one of the strongest European teams I've seen," the 61-year-old vice-captain told Reuters in an interview.

"Muirfield Village in 1987 was a fantastic team but this one is as good a team as we've ever had.

"We've got four of the top five players in the world rankings in Rory McIlroy, Sergio Garcia, Henrik Stenson and Justin Rose and the overall depth of the squad is fantastic," added Torrance.

"The team also contains major winners like Martin Kaymer and Graeme McDowell and among the rookies I think it's amazing, for instance, the amount of talent Frenchman Victor Dubuisson has."

Torrance's fellow Scot Stephen Gallacher was one of captain Paul McGinley's three wildcard picks, along with Ryder Cup stalwarts Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood.

Some pundits have questioned rookie Gallacher's selection because he has never won a singles match in the Seve Trophy, Royal Trophy or EurAsia Cup team events.   Continued...