Media mismatch captures Ryder Cup's glorious uncertainty

Thu Sep 25, 2014 10:43am EDT
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By Mitch Phillips

GLENEAGLES Scotland (Reuters) - A curious piece of scheduling seemingly threw the two Ryder cup teams into sharp relief on Thursday as the last three players from each camp took their turn to face the media.

Just as captains like to backload their singles lineups for a surging Sunday finish, Europe's final soundbite salvos were launched by Ian Poulter, Justin Rose and Martin Kaymer.

Poulter's record -- 12 wins from 15 matches over four Ryder Cups -- makes him Europe's most successful player in percentage terms and with 11 victories from his last 12 all achieved at maximum volume, he has become his side's rallying point.

Kaymer, a former world number one, is fresh from adding the U.S. Open to his U.S. PGA title and was the man whose putt secured the trophy two years ago, in his second appearance.

Rose is another major champion, with 10 other U.S. and European tour victories to his name, and a player whose remarkable putting on the final day in Medinah produced a classic comeback win over Phil Mickelson.

Following them into the media hotseat were Patrick Reed, Jimmy Walker and Webb Simpson, two rookies and a wildcard pick -- Simpson -- whose abiding Ryder Cup experience from his only appearance was to twice be a victim of Poulter in full flow.

The enduring appeal of the Ryder Cup, however, is that neither reputation, world ranking, experience or past and present form can be relied upon as an indicator of likely performance.

Certainly Simpson did not give the impression of a man overawed by the home side, who are strong favorites to make it eight wins from 10 contests this weekend.   Continued...

European Ryder Cup players Ian Poulter (L) and  Justin Rose laugh as they wait on the third tee during practice ahead of the 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles in Scotland September 25, 2014.  REUTERS/Toby Melville