Faldo predicts new-look European Ryder Cup team

Sat Nov 28, 2015 9:51am EST
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By Tony Jimenez

LONDON (Reuters) - Six-times major winner Nick Faldo believes there could be as many as six rookies in the side when Europe attempt to retain the Ryder Cup at Hazeltine, Minnesota next year.

The visitors will be trying to win the biennial team event for the fourth straight edition, a run stretching back to the 2008 defeat when Faldo was outgunned by rival captain Paul Azinger at Valhalla.

"I think America could be the favorites this time because the backbone of their team will be similar to the last one," Faldo told Reuters in an interview.

"Europe's backbone could be very different. We could easily have six rookies, easily.

"There are a lot of names America won't know a lot about if we get the likes of Tommy Fleetwood, Andy Sullivan and Danny Willett making the team.

"That could be a bad thing but it could also be a good thing because sometimes it can be quite nice to be a little bit of an unknown. I think that's going to happen and we'll probably have a fresh half of our team."

The 28-year-old Willett finished second behind Rory McIlroy on the European money list after winning twice in the 2014-15 season to climb to 20th in the world rankings.

Compatriot Sullivan, 29, won three times and has climbed to 36th in the world rankings, while fellow Englishman Fleetwood had another consistent season despite failing to add to his solitary tour victory at the 2013 Johnnie Walker Championship in Scotland.   Continued...

Golf - The Senior Open Championship - Sunningdale Golf Club, Berkshire, England - 23/7/15
England's Sir Nick Faldo in action during the first round
Action Images via Reuters / Paul Childs