Attitude versus analysis in Ryder Cup camps

Fri Apr 29, 2016 3:27pm EDT
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By Larry Fine

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Ryder Cup often produces magical golf, team captains Davis Love III and Darren Clarke concur, but for 20 years it has mainly been European players wielding the magic wand.

"It's just special, isn't it," Europe captain Clarke told Reuters in promoting on behalf of sponsors Standard Life Investments this year's competition to be played at Minnesota's Hazeltine course from Sept 30-Oct 2.

"When you consider how much pressure the guys are under, going out there and playing some of the golf they play, it really is phenomenal, just sensational. We've seen ridiculous shots being hit, putts holed from everywhere and it's amazing."

U.S. captain Love, sitting across from the Northern Irishman with the gleaming gold Cup on a table between them in a hotel suite, said: "It's just amazing how guys step up.

"We saw a different Payne Stewart, a different David Duval when the Ryder Cup matches came around," added Love, summoning heroes of the past. "Their passion, their energy came out a little bit more. It's what makes the Ryder Cup special."

Just as amazing is how the once mighty U.S. team, which dominated the biennial match play competition that began in 1927 with a 21-3-1 record through the 1983 event, has virtually vanished from the winner's list.

Europe have won three in a row, six of the last seven and eight of the previous 10, despite the 12-man sides always appearing to be fairly evenly matched.

Clarke said Europe's players had found the right attitude.   Continued...

Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland tees off on the 18th hole during the first round of the SMBC Singapore Open golf tournament at Sentosa's Serapong golf course in Singapore January 28, 2016. REUTERS/Edgar Su