Lehman: It’s too close to call

Tom Lehman believes neither Europe nor the USA have a clear advantage heading into the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor.

US vice-captain Tom Lehman believes neither Europe nor America have a clear advantage heading into the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor.

Lehman captained the US team when they slumped to a record 18½ – 9½ loss at the K Club back in 2006.

However, the 51-year-old does not believe there will be such a one-sided scoreline this week, insisting that the match is too close to call.

“I think it will be very tight, I don’t see any team with a clear advantage,” he told Sky Sports News on Tuesday.

“There’s some things that the US team may do better, some things the Europeans do better, so in the end it’s going to come down to who makes more putts and who plays more aggressively from start to finish.

“We’re very confident. Our guys to a person feel like we have a very strong team.

“I think it’s a strong team, but the European team is also a strong team and it should be a great match, I really don’t see too many weaknesses in either squad.”

Having got out and seen the Celtic Manor course first hand on the opening practice day on Tuesday, Lehman was full of praise for the lay-out.

However, he was quick to warn that accuracy would prove vital, saying: “There’s a lot of rough, you need to put the ball on the fairway for certain.

“There’s holes where it pays to be longer, there’s holes where it pays to be straighter.

“It’s a good golf course, more than anything I’m impressed with the course and the person that can put the ball in play is going to have the advantage.”

Lehman was also full of praise for US captain Corey Pavin, insisting his competitive attitude had rubbed off on his team.

“Captains are like their personalities, he’s a tough, tough competitor,” he added.

“He loves to play golf and he loves to compete and that’s exactly the kind of message he conveys to the rest of the team, about competing. He’s been doing a great job.”