The gun has sounded on the 2018 Ryder Cup in France and Team Europe and Team USA will now go head to head in what will surely be one of the closest editions of the event in recent times. There really is nothing between the two teams and, even if America has an all-star cast who appear to be better on paper, Europe have the home ground advantage and that famous never say die attitude that has kept them going in times of adversity.
When the Ryder Cup swings around once every two years, fans get to see a completely different side to the players who fight so fiercely for individual honours during the other 103 weeks in between the event. For the most part, egos go out the window and the team becomes bigger than any one individual.
— Ryder Cup Europe (@RyderCupEurope) September 26, 2018
That hasn’t always been the case for the USA, which may go a long way in explaining why they have been on the losing sides eight times out of the last 11 Ryder Cups that have been played. The USA’s record away from home makes for even worse reading, with their last win on European soil coming in 1993.
It has been a long 25 years for the Americans, which makes the duel at Le Golf National all the more intriguing, with the USA being heavily tipped to end the drought away from home.
Overcoming the odds means overcoming personal differences certain team members have, which isn’t a challenge exclusive to only the Americans; the Europeans have a history of fractured relationships that they have had to mend quickly before going into the trenches together. The likes of Padraig Harrington and Sergio Garcia come to mind, as does Nick Faldo’s captaincy in 2008 where he alienated many of his troops. Faldo has since been described as the captain that failed from start to finish and, these days, cuts quite a lonely figure at the Ryder Cup.
The form factor, or lack of it, is also one of the great mysteries of the Ryder Cup, with certain players arriving at the event seemingly unsure of what way to hold the golf club only to win all their games that weekend.
It is vice versa with the players who have enjoyed unprecedented success over the course of the season as they arrive and then get beaten by rookies. Bet365 may have Tiger Woods as favourite for the Masters next year at 9/1 but all his good form and momentum means nothing when it comes to the Ryder Cup. You can forget past glories or being the likely winner at future events down the line as the Ryder Cup isn’t won by reputation or name.
— Ryder Cup USA (@RyderCupUSA) September 28, 2018
The Ryder Cup is unique in so many different ways and it never fails to produce the most incredible drama.
Many of golf’s greatest rivalries are born at the Ryder Cup, as are intriguing subplots that develop between players whilst battling it out for golf’s greatest team event. There truly is nothing like the Ryder Cup and, after the final putt is sunk at Le Golf National, you can be absolutely sure that the future of golf will be changed forever in some way or another.