Extra Cup motivation not necessary for Johnson

Wed Sep 17, 2014 10:35pm EDT
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

(Reuters) - American Zach Johnson says he does not need any extra motivation at this month's Ryder Cup in Scotland where the United States will bid to improve on a dismal record of seven losses to Europe in the last nine editions.

The last time the teams met, in what became known as the 'Meltdown at Medinah' in 2012, the Americans threw away a commanding four-point lead going into the last-day singles to lose by 14-1/2 points to 13-1/2.

This year's U.S. captain, Tom Watson, believes memories of that stinging defeat will serve as his team's greatest motivation at Gleneagles, but Johnson says he does not require any extra inspiration for the biennial team competition.

"I don't need any motivation for the Ryder Cup," Johnson told Reuters during last week's Tour Championship in Atlanta, the final event of the PGA Tour's 2013-14 season. "Granted Medinah was sour, or bitter-sweet.

"I mean it was a great week but bitter in the end for us. But regardless of what happened two years prior, motivation for this golf tournament is just not needed.

"It's the best sporting event I have been associated with inside the ropes for sure and, as a result, motivation is not an issue."

Johnson, who is known for his gritty temperament, accuracy off the tee and brilliant short game, expects the atmosphere to be as intense as ever at Gleneagles from Sept. 26-28 when he will represent his country for a fourth time at a Ryder Cup.

"The bottom line is that this is an individual game," said the 38-year-old American, who has won 11 times on the PGA Tour.   Continued...

U.S. golfer and former Masters champion Zach Johnson throws the ball to his caddy on the ninth hole while practicing before the Masters golf tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia April 6, 2014.  REUTERS/Mike Blake