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.
England’s Charley Hull triumphs in Texas to end six-year wait for LPGA title
The victory was the 26-year-old’s first on the LPGA Tour since prevailing at the CME Group Tour Championship in November 2016.
Ryan Fox remembers Shane Warne after St Andrews success
The New Zealander secured his third DP World Tour title in front of his family with a one-shot victory at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
Romain Langasque equals course record to lead Alfred Dunhill Links Championship
The Frenchman recovered from an early bogey with two eagles and eight birdies to reach 11 under par.
Rory McIlroy bemoans ‘ugly year’ and seeks solution to divide in golf world
The arrival of Saudi-backed LIV Golf series has fractured the game in 2022.
On this day in 2014 – Europe retain Ryder Cup with Gleneagles victory
The Gleneagles victory was Europe’s eighth win in 10 matches.
‘Is this where I am going to die?’ Nicolas Colsaerts on kidney disorder battle
The Belgian is the focus of attention this week as he belatedly defends the Cazoo Open de France title he won three years ago.
On this day in 2008: Ryder Cup misery in Louisville for Nick Faldo’s Europe team
Faldo was heavily criticised for his tactics in the closing singles.
Open champion Cameron Smith wins first LIV trophy in just second start
The world number two is the highest-ranked player to join the rebel series.
Robert MacIntyre beats Matt Fitzpatrick in play-off to win Italian Open
MacIntyre birdied the first extra hole at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club, the venue for next year’s Ryder Cup.
Matt Fitzpatrick holds narrow lead ahead of final round at Italian Open
Rory McIlroy and Aaron Rai are one shot off the pace.