Any rest for Rory and will practice make US perfect? – Ryder Cup talking points
Europe will attempt to retain the Ryder Cup when they take on the United States at Whistling Straits from September 24-26.
Here, the PA news agency looks at five talking points ahead of the biennial contest, which was postponed in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Will home advantage prove crucial once more?
Six of the last seven contests have been won by the home side, the exception being the “Miracle at Medinah” in 2012 where Europe recovered from 10-4 down to pull off a remarkable victory. US captain Steve Stricker may have limited options when it comes to tweaking the course to his side’s advantage, but the crowd will be even more one-sided than usual due to travel restrictions limiting the number of European fans in attendance. As the victorious European Solheim Cup team discovered however, the crowd can turn very quiet when their side are being outplayed.
Can America’s rookies overcome Europe’s old guard?
Stricker has six rookies in his side after picking four – Daniel Berger, Harris English, Olympic champion Xander Schauffele and Scottie Scheffler – among his six wild cards to add to automatic qualifiers Collin Morikawa and Patrick Cantlay, winners of the the Open Championship and FedEx Cup respectively. The last time the US had six rookies worked out well at Valhalla in 2008, when Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood and Padraig Harrington combined for just 2.5 points in a heavy defeat. Harrington will be hoping for much more from his veterans this time, especially after having to pick Garcia and Ian Poulter.
How will Bryson v Brooks impact on US team morale?
The feud between Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka has been “put to bed” according to Stricker, who spoke to them recently to ensure their unseemly spat would not carry over into the team room at Whistling Straits. That may be true to an extent as they were never going to be paired together, while Koepka’s place could even be in jeopardy through injury, but it will be a major topic of conversation throughout the week and Europe will hope to exploit any signs of division in the opposition camp.
Can Harrington risk resting Rory?
McIlroy has played in every session for which he has been eligible since making his debut at Celtic Manor in 2010, where the rejigged schedule caused by bad weather meant he could only play four times. Leaving the four-time major winner and former world number one out of a session would be a big call, but McIlroy admits he ran out of steam during his epic singles clash with Patrick Reed at Hazeltine in 2016 and also lost to Justin Thomas in Paris. Sitting out a foursomes match to be fresher for Sunday could be worth the risk.
Has Stricker learned a crucial lesson?
Former captain and 2018 vice-captain Davis Love is in no doubt about the reason behind Europe’s comfortable win in 2018. “They had us over a barrel in Paris because we did not have enough practice rounds. It’s important we gather local knowledge.” Stricker has taken those words to heart and vowed to “out-prepare” the European team by gathering his players at Whistling Straits a fortnight before the contest. “Let’s get in as much practice as we can (and) maybe take a little of the stress of Ryder Cup week off our plates,” Stricker said.
I don’t think LIV golfers should be on European Ryder Cup team – Rory McIlroy
American players remain eligible despite being banned or resigning from the PGA Tour in the wake of joining the Saudi-funded circuit.
Brendan Lawlor and Kim Moore excited for next week’s Scandinavian Mixed event
The pair won the men’s and women’s titles at the G4D Open at Woburn earlier this month.
Emiliano Grillo claims second PGA tour title in Texas
It was Emiliano Grillo’s first PGA Tour win in over seven years.
Pablo Larrazabal to follow Miguel Angel Jimenez after KLM Open win in forties
Larrazabal celebrated the milestone by winning his ninth DP World Tour title and second in just four weeks.
Harry Hall bounces back from double blow to keep share of lead
Cornish rookie heads into final round tied at the top with American Adam Schenk.
Harry Hall opens three-stroke halfway lead at Charles Schwab Challenge
The Cornish rookie is chasing his first PGA Tour win after opening round of 62.
England’s Harry Hall takes three-shot lead in Texas with career-best outing
He picked up eight birdies without dropping a shot and managed to save par from 15 and 30 feet.
Victor Perez to defend KLM Open title in race for Ryder Cup place
Perez has moved into the automatic qualifying places for the European Ryder Cup team.
Michael Block in no rush to return to reality any time soon after US PGA heroics
Block almost stole the show from winner Brooks Koepka at Oak Hill, making a hole-in-one during the final round.
Tiger Woods withdraws from next month’s US Open
Woods pulled out of the Masters during the third round in April, saying at the time it was due to plantar fasciitis.