U.S. experience, Europe dominance mark out Ryder Cup

Sun Sep 25, 2016 10:09am EDT
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

CHASKA, Minnesota (Reuters) - Home advantage for an experienced United States line-up versus European dominance -- just one of many compelling matchups to savor in next week's Ryder Cup between two star-studded teams at Hazeltine National.

The Americans have been meticulous in their preparations for the 41st edition of the biennial competition and appear to have several factors in their favor as they strive to end a remarkable run by the Europeans over the past two decades.

Holders Europe have won three consecutive Ryder Cups, and eight of the last 10, through a mixture of shrewd captaincy, consistently good team chemistry, often stellar play and an uncanny knack of sinking key putts at crucial moments.

This week, however, they will field six rookies in their 12-man team while the Americans have just one Cup debutant in Brooks Koepka (or perhaps two pending the final wildcard pick to be announced later on Sunday by U.S. captain Davis Love III).

Either way, this is a ratio of experience that U.S. fans can only hope will help pave the way for a much-needed home victory.

"We didn't really look at rookies versus experience," Love told reporters when asked if his more seasoned team held any advantage over Europe. "We looked at adding to our team to build the best that we could.

"Experience is good. We know what to expect. We know how to handle it, how to deal with it. We're going to learn from our mistakes in the past and build on it.

"We have a plan we've been working on for a year and a half ... we know what happened in the past but we're looking to the future now and building. I think our experience is really going to help us."   Continued...

Captain Paul McGinley poses with the Ryder Cup after the closing ceremony of the 40th Ryder Cup at Gleneagles in Scotland September 28, 2014.     REUTERS/Phil Noble/Files