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U.S.A. on a mission to reclaim trophy

Team U.S.A.'s Dustin Johnson on the 4th green during a practice round in Whistling Straits, Sheboygan, Wisconsin, U.S., on September 23, 2021.   | Photo Credit: Reuters

An American squad featuring nine of the world’s 11 top-ranked golfers tries to reclaim the Ryder Cup from Europe this weekend, aided by 40,000 loud supporters and a home course edge.

The European side, however, has won nine of the past 12 editions of the biennial team matches, including three of the past six on U.S. soil, and brings an experienced line-up to face a U.S. team with six rookies on its 12-man roster.


“Everything is stacked against us,” said European talisman Ian Poulter, who has never lost a Ryder Cup singles match. “When you have that, when you can go in as underdogs, when you can turn the tide and actually come out victorious, it means a little bit more,” he said.

Four-time Major winner Rory McIlroy of Europe says a win “would be massive”.

Brisk winds

Brisk winds at Whistling Straits along the Lake Michigan shoreline promise to make the layout, tucked among cliffs and hillsides, formidable for everyone when play starts on Friday.

The U.S. line-up boasts of 2020 Masters winner Dustin Johnson, Tokyo Olympic champion Xander Schauffele, British Open champion Collin Morikawa and U.S. PGA Tour play-off winner Patrick Cantlay — all ranked in the top five, even if the last three are Ryder Cup newcomers.

Friday and Saturday feature morning foursomes and afternoon four-ball matches ahead of Sunday’s 12 final singles matches.


About 40,000 spectators are expected each day, mostly U.S. supporters due to COVID-19 travel restrictions after the event was delayed from 2020 by the pandemic.

It’s the first time in 60 years that Europe will have four players over age 40 while the Americans field one of their youngest line-ups.

The teams: U.S.A.: Steve Strickler (Capt.), Phil Mickelson (Vice-Capt.), Fred Couples, Collin Morikawa, Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas, Patrick Cantlay, Daniel Berger, Harris English, Tony Finau, Xander Schauffele, Scottie Scheffler and Jordan Spieth.

Europe: Padraig Harrington (Capt.), Paul Casey, Matt Fitzpatrick, Tyrrell Hatton, Tommy Fleetwood, Rory McIlroy, Viktor Hovland, Jon Rahm, Lee Westwood, Bernd Wiesberger, Sergio Garcia, Shane Lowry and Ian Poulter.

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Printable version | Oct 21, 2021 5:42:32 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/usa-on-a-mission-to-reclaim-trophy/article36639711.ece

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