The Ryder Cup returns to ‘The home of golf’ this September when Team Europe welcome Team USA to Glenagles, Scotland.
Rory McIlroy and his European compatriots are the big favourites to continue their recent dominance of the competition but before you take advantage of Coral’s £20 free bet, we have compiled five-reasons why you should consider backing Team USA.
5. No Tiger Woods
The Ryder Cup is intense enough without the added media circus that constantly surrounds former World no.1 Tiger Woods. His absence can only help Team USA prepare for the competition properly without the added distraction his selection would bring.
The 38-year-old confirmed in August that he did not want to be considered for the competition due to his lack of form. Woods was brutally honest and he has struggled with a back injury that will rule him out of action until at least December.
He said: “‘Physically, I couldn’t do it. I wouldn’t be ready and not being able to be there for my team-mates, the captain, assistant captain and everyone that’s involved in the event, I just wouldn’t be ready and I just couldn’t help the team.
“When your name is called you have to be able to go out there and get a point and I just didn’t feel like I could be ready enough to get a point.”
4. Tom Watson
The Team USA captain has made some bold selections this year, coming under great scrutiny from the America press.
Watson, however, masterminded the USA’s last victory on European soil back in 1993.
And the 64-year-old is hungrier than ever to repeat that achievement this year and right the wrongs of 2012.
The American’s looked in control, leading 10-6 going into the final day and needing just 4 ½ points to win. Europe produced a stunning fightback in Medinah, however, winning eight and tying one of the 12 singles matches.
He said: “My strengths are that I’ve been there before (in 1993) and have the experience. And I have an absolute desire to do everything possible to set the stage for them to win.
“Weaknesses? I don’t know. Maybe compassion. I have passion, but maybe compassion is something (I lack). I expect these players to go out and take care of business.
“I fully think that the reason they’ll want to win is because we lost the 2012 Ryder Cup.”
3. They are the underdogs
Team USA will arrive in Scotland knowing they are not expected to return to the States as Ryder Cup champions. The European’s are favourites with just about everyone, no one is giving the American’s a hope this September.
And that could actually benefit Team USA who will head into the competition without pressure. Team Europe need to perform and they will be aware that nothing less than victory will do.
The majority of the team have all enjoyed great 2014 season’s as individuals but that does not mean that their form will automatically continue into the team competition. Could complacency set in? Possibly, especially when everyone is telling you how poor Team USA are this year, the American’s could easily be underestimated.
2. Squad isn’t really that bad, is it?
Much has been made about Tom Watson’s Team USA Ryder Cup squad.
Many critics have likened the side to the USA’s 2006 Ryder Cup squad, considered by some their worst ever side. But the 2014 group does have some genuine talent.
Bubba Watson has enjoyed seven top-10 finishes this year and won his second Masters title in three years with victory in Augusta this April. And the 35-year-old will be joined in Scotland by Rickie Fowler, arguably Team USA’s most in form star.
The Californian finished in the top five of all four majors this year, an achievement only Tiger Woods and Jack Niclaus have managed before him. With 10 top-10 finishes this year the 25-year-old should arrive in Scotland full of confidence.
Ryder Cup rookie, Jimmy Walker, meanwhile, heads into the competition on the back of the greatest season of his career. The 35-year-old ended a 187 event wait to lift his first PGA title with victory in the 2013 Frys.com Open.
And like buses, after waiting so long for one, two more arrived with victory in the Sony Open in Hawaii and in the AT&T Pebble Beach National ProAm.
Three PGA wins in eight starts propelled Walker into the worlds top 50 for the first time and he continued his good form with top-10 finishes in the US Open (T9) and 2014 PGA Championship (T7).
1. 2012 Revenge
The defeat at the hands of Team Europe in Medinah, Illinois, hurt the American’s and it is something that they are still talking about heading into this year’s event.
Captain Tom Watson says his side are hungry to fix the wrongs of 2012 and while not everyone in the squad this time were there two-years-ago, they will have that same sense of American patriotism and feeling of injustice.
Bubba Watson, Keegan Bradley, Webb Simpson, Zach Johnson, Matt Kuchar, Phil Mickelson and Jim Furyk all featured in 2012 and the seven will head to Scotland more determined than ever after seeing victory slip away on home soil.
Heading into the final day in such a commanding position and losing left the American’s stunned and their poor record against the European’s in recent years made the defeat even harder to stomach.
Team Europe have dominated the competition this century, winning five of the last six meetings and they have not lost on home soil since 1993 but if the underdogs can take a lead into the final day this year they will be surely not let it go, again, will they?
Whoever you’re backing in the 2014 Ryder Cup, remember you can bet £5 to get a £20 free bet when joining Coral