Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 24th 2014 Contents A60
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Wednesday, September 24, 2014
GLENEAGLES --- Paul McGinley is
not trying to reinvent the wheel at
the Ryder Cup. He just wants to keep
The European captain spoke in
mysterious terms yesterday about a
"template" his team has followed
toward dominance in these matches.
He didn t offer many details, though
the recent record should be all the
evidence he needs.
Even though the teams are evenly
matched, the powerful Americans
have won only twice in the last 21
"I don t see myself as a maverick,"
McGinley said. "I see myself as a guy
who has been very lucky to ride shot-
gun on a lot of success, both as a
player and vice captain. I ve learned
a lot from the captains. This is not
a time for me or Europe to have a
maverick captain. It s a time for me
to go in, identify the template, enhance
it and try to make it better, roll it out
again and hopefully you hand it over
to the next captain."
McGinley speaks from experience.
The Irishman has played a part in
five of the last six Ryder Cup matches,
all of them European victories dating
to 2002 when McGinley made his
debut by holing the winning putt at
So what s the secret?
Matt Kuchar, one of nine American
players who have only posed with the
prized trophy during team photos,
doesn t think there is one. Asked
whether too much is made of Euro-
pean dominance because all but two
of those victories came down to the
wire, Kuchar suggested it was a coin-
"I can t put my finger on anything,
so that would be random," Kuchar
Even more aggravating for the
Americans is that they have won the
majority of the five sessions the last
"Why do they keep winning? I
don t know yet," Zach Johnson said.
"Other than the fact that they ve
played well and won the tournament,
I can t answer."
Players from both teams got in a
full round of practice at Gleneagles
in the long week leading to the open-
ing tee shot Friday, which sets off
three days of relentless action. US
captain Tom Watson began to tip his
hand with some of the groupings,
such as Kuchar playing with 21-year-
old Jordan Spieth, and Jim Furyk with
Ryder Cup rookie Patrick Reed.
McGinley sent his players out in
threesomes, a sign that he has plenty
of options to mix and match.
Watson has not been at any Ryder
Cup since 1993, when he was captain
of the last US team to win on Euro-
pean soil, though he was quick to
point out that I ve been there every
time watching intently on TV."
It has looked like a horror show at
times, especially two years ago Med-
inah when the Americans squandered
a 10-6 lead on the last day. Sergio
Garcia, Justin Rose and Ian Poulter
won the last two holes for 1-up vic-
tories in three pivotal matches.
From Watson s viewpoint in front
of a television screen, that s why
Europe keeps winning.
"They have been able to pull it out
a little better at the end than we have.
That s what I ve seen," Watson said.
"They have pulled it out. I can t
explain why. I have to give credit to
the Europeans. They have played bet-
ter at the end."
The Europeans always have been
able to rally around some cause. They
were regarded as underdogs even
when they were winning regularly.
The Ryder Cup was a chance for them
to show their tour should not be por-
trayed as a second-class citizen in
the world of golf, even though most
players are joint members of the PGA
Tour. One year, the Europeans were
put off by promotional chatter that
the Nationwide Tour (now the
Web.com Tour) was the second-best
tour in golf.
Now they go into this Ryder Cup
as favorites, and that has only embold-
ened the Europeans.
They kept it light during practice.
From the back end of the 18th green,
Rory McIlroy putted down a ridge
and up the other side to the front pin
position. Sergio Garcia pulled out his
sand wedge to show him another way
--- he clipped the ball perfectly so as
not to remove a divot, the ball check-
ing up near the hole. McIlroy went
down into a collection area and tried
to chip between two golf bags to
where Garcia was hitting.
It was fun. It was light.
Is that part of this "template?"
McGinley only laughed when asked
why Europe keeps winning.
"There s a number of reasons, and
obviously I can t go into those,"
McGinley said. "I have views. I m not
privy to what goes on in the American
team room. I m only privy to what
goes on in the European team room.
And I m really concerned about get-
ting that template right again this
time. It s not about changing it. It s
about doing what we ve always done."
Ryder Cup: An unbalanced ledger in Europe's favour
Europe's Ian Poulter and team vice captain Padraig Harrington, left, watch
Justin Rose play out of the rough on the 15th hole during a practice round
ahead of the Ryder Cup golf tournament at Gleneagles, Scotland,
yesterday. AP PHOTO
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