CAPE TOWN – What is it about Team Europe that makes them almost unbeatable at home in the Ryder Cup?
Their latest 17.5 to 10.5 victory over Team USA at Le Golf National near Paris extends their winning run on the continent to 21 years.
The last time the Americans won away was in 1993 at The Belfry in England, claiming a 15-13 victory under the captaincy of Tom Watson.
Let’s see what makes the Europeans so hard to beat in familiar surroundings…
1 Few top Americans play on European Tour
Most of the world’s top golfers, read Americans, play mainly on the US PGA Tour, while only really Justin Rose, Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm and Tommy Fleetwood are regulars in America.
How many US players play in Europe, apart from the Open Championship and maybe the BMW PGA Championship? Very few
2 Tiger Woods didn’t win a match – again
The 14-time major champion failed to score a win at Le Golf National. He hasn’t won a match since the 2010 Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor. So, no Tiger, no win?
3 Perennial European underdog tag
With the Americans ranked much higher on average, the Europeans always seem to have a point to prove.
Ryder Cup “specialists” such as Ian Poulter get the competitive juices going, and with a passionate crowd urging them on, the US players lack the fight.
4 Manicured US golf courses
Most of the time, you can aim straight at the pin on US golf courses. In European conditions, there’s a lot more variables, such as the weather, and also links courses.
That makes for more creative shot-making, and those skills come in handy for the Europeans compared to the straight-shooting Americans.
5 Americans have bigger fish to fry
Maybe it’s just all about the four majors for the Americans – who cares about a team event in golf?