Europe will embrace favorites tag, says captain McGinley

Wed Sep 17, 2014 11:07am EDT
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LONDON (Reuters) - Europe Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley says his proud team will embrace being the favorites when the 40th edition gets underway at Gleneagles next week after overturning years of United States dominance.

"As much as we are favorites, we're proud of it and embrace it," the Irishman told Sky Sports. "We're under no illusions the task ahead of us is strong and we're going to have to play very well if we are going to win the Ryder Cup.

"But it (being favorites) is not something we are going to worry about - we're embracing it and enjoying that we have come so far to be favorites going in against the might of the Americans."

It is only the second time that Scotland, the home of golf, has hosted the world's greatest matchplay battle and the last time, 41 years ago at Muirfield, the U.S. made it 17 wins in 20 matches to cement their domination of the biennial competition.

Fast forward to the iconic Gleneagles resort and it is now Europe, formerly Britain and Ireland, who go into the event from Sept. 26-28 as odds-on favorites after winning seven of the last nine contests and having not lost on home soil since 1993.

Confident McGinley says his 12-strong team will wear the favorites tag well.

"I had lunch with John Jacobs, forefather of the European Tour, last month and there were tears in his eyes when he talked about how far we, and the European Tour, have come in Ryder Cups in terms of going into matches now as favorites.

NUMBER ONE   Continued...

Paul McGinley of Ireland looks on near 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