Friday, December 3

Europe clings to the spirit of Seve in the fight with the USA in the Ryder Cup

Europe prepares to defend from this Friday until Sunday in the US andhe Ryder Cup title, in the edition postponed last year because of the pandemic. Jon rahm, number one in the world ranking, and Sergio garcia they will be two of the 12 members of the team that will captain Padraig Harrington to face one of the most mediatic competitions at a global level that exists today in sport, with a potential audience of more than 600 million viewers. At Ryder, there is no money at stake, only the tradition, pride and prestige of the victor. With these values, curiously, he has managed to build a true European feeling as has not been achieved in other disciplines.

It will be in a more than demanding setting, the golf course of Whistling Strait, in Wisconsin, windswept on the shores of Lake Michigan, where Europe will try to retain the title won three years ago in Paris 2018 with one of his heaviest victories (17.5 to 10.5 points). The challenge is high. On the one hand, it is not easy to win in enemy territory, with the same atmosphere in the stands that could be found in a football stadium, far from the spirit of ‘fair play’ that rules in golf and that in its last appearance in Hazeltine (Minnesota) in 2016 came to hooliganism. Europe He has only achieved it four times in history. But, above all, it is because the United States will attend this event with eight players in the top 10 of the world ranking of its 12 members: Dustin Johnson (2), Collin morikawa (3), Patrick Cantlay (4), Xander Schauffele (5), Justin thomas (6), Bryson DeChambeau (7), Tony Finau (9), Brooks koepka (10).

Europe, which has managed to prevail in four of the last five editions, will have to play the trump card of experience, with 168 Ryder matches among its members compared to the 49 played by the players captained by Steve Stricker, which will have six debutants in its ranks against three of the Europeans. Rahm is the only European top 10 (1) and Vicktor Hovland, Rory McIlrroy and Tyrrel Hatton the other three listed in the Top 20.

Seve for reference

To understand the reasons that explain this union and the chemistry that works in the European team, it is necessary to refer in a forced way to the figure of the ill-fated Seve Ballesteros. The Ryder in its beginnings was a competition with little interest between the United States and Great Britain in its beginnings. It was Seve’s drive to open the doors to European players that radically changed his vision of the tournament and made it a world-class event. And his spirit remains.

“It all started with It looks in the 1980s. He was the one who pushed for the Ryder to become a continental competition beyond Great Britain and Ireland. Seve thus managed to legitimize the European tour ”, he explained earlier this week., Padraig Harrington, on the merits of a player who accumulated five victories in this tournament.

“Playing and winning the Ryder was the way of saying that Europe deserved a place in world golf. If we look at the great players we had in the 80s, many came for Seve and all of them managed to bring Europe to a much stronger position in world golf. Seve led us in it. We are here to play for the European tour ”, added the European captain who will have to decide in these next few hours the pairs that will compete in the first two days, Friday and Saturday, in the modalities of ‘foursomes’ (each pair plays a ball with strokes alternates) and ‘fourball’ (each player in the pair plays his ball and scores the best one). Sunday will be the 12 individual matches.

Motivational video

Motivation is one of the weapons he has used Padraig Harrington with the players who will represent Europe this weekend. The European captain tried to impress them by making them see how special it is to represent the team and for that he used the numbers, such as the fact that 570 people have been in space but only 164 players will be included among the members of the Ryder with him. Norwegian’s debut Viktor Hovland, the Irish Shane lowry and the austrian Bernd Wiesberger.

“When you think that 580 people have gone to space and 5,870 have ascended Everest, it is incredible that there are so few players who have played the Ryder,” he reflects. Harrington in the video that he posted on his Twitter account and that he projected for his players as soon as he landed in Whistling Straits.

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“The spirit of the European team is not something you have to work on, it’s there,” says the Englishman. Lee Westwood, one of the referents of the European team, who has been in seven of the triumphs of Europe in his career, only one more thanand Sergio García, the player who accumulates the most points earned in the history of the Ryder (25.5 points) and of those who have best collected the heritage of the historical Ballesteros, Olazábal, Langer, Faldo, Montgomerie or Woosnam, those who have achieved that this event has penetrated with such force in the fans on both sides of the Atlantic.

“There is nothing that makes me happier than playing the Ryder, it is a unique tournament,” says the man from Castellón. Sergio Garcia, who recognizes that he would like to partner in this edition with Jon rahm, an option that both would agree on. “I would be delighted, but it will all depend on how the captain and his assistants see it. The important thing will be to help the team, together or separately ”, he says.

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