Ryder Cup rivalry with U.S. prompts UKIP's Farage to back Europe

Thu Sep 25, 2014 7:36am EDT
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By William James and Guy Faulconbridge

LONDON (Reuters) - When it comes to golf, Nigel Farage loves Europe.

In a cheeky video appeal ahead of golf's biggest grudge match, the head of Britain's anti-European Union UKIP party implored EU citizens to raise the battle cry for Europe against their cousins in the United States.

"I'm Nigel Farage and I love Europe - No I really do. The wine, the food, the excellent transport systems, the clogs and the greatest golfers in the world," Farage said in a mock party political broadcast posted online.

"You, me, everybody should get behind Team Europe," said Farage, 50, wearing a striped shirt and parti-colored trousers before swinging a driver. "I'm urging all my fellow Europeans to get behind Team Europe and send Uncle Sam packing."

Held every two years, the Ryder cup pits European golfers against Americans over three days of highly-charged match-ups that captivate huge numbers of fans on both sides of the Atlantic.

This year's contest will begin on Friday in Gleneagles, Scotland.

Europe has dominated the recent exchanges, winning seven of the last nine contests, including a memorable comeback victory on U.S. soil in 2012 dubbed "The Miracle at Medinah" after the course where the tournament was held.

Originally held as a contest between U.S. and Britain, the British team was expanded to include top golfers from Europe in 1979.   Continued...

Leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP) Nigel Farage speaks at a party rally in Glasgow September 12, 2014. REUTERS/Paul Hackett