Set-up may suit Europe better

European vice-captain Thomas Bjorn believes the Celtic Manor set-up will suit the home team at this week’s Ryder Cup.

European vice captain Thomas Bjorn believes the Celtic Manor course set-up will best suit the home team at this week’s Ryder Cup.

Bjorn toured the course with European skipper Colin Montgomerie on Saturday and thinks the penal rough may well be an advantage to the Europeans.

The Dane reckons they may be straighter off the tee than their American counterparts – who boast some enormous hitters in the likes of Dustin Johnson, Ricky Fowler and Bubba Watson, but who may struggle to keep it on the short stuff.

Bjorn told Sky Sports News: “I went round the golf course with Monty yesterday and it is very impressive, it’s set up brilliantly.

“The rough is very severe. I think this golf course is one of those that will penalise you if you miss the fairways. But it is quite generous off the tee – they are not the narrowest of fairways.

“You have got to hit wayward shots to miss the fairways, but if you do, you are going to be in trouble.”

Bjorn feels that may help Europe’s bid to regain the trophy. “We have a strong belief in our guys. They are very strong off the tees and we believe that could benefit them, but we are under no illusions and we won’t underestimate the Americans.

“They are wonderful players and they have a very strong team, so it is all about who hits form this week. Everybody needs to be on their game.”

Bjorn reckons the key moments in many of the 28 games may well come in the tough stretch of holes from 14-16.

He added: “Numbers 14 and 16 are two very tough par fours and 15 is a risk and reward hole that comes at the right time in matchplay.

“Holes 14, 15 and 16 will provide all the drama that you come to expect from a Ryder Cup. It will be a great spectacle coming down the last few holes.”