Sport Golf

Sunday 19 November 2017

Beating US sweeter with Tiger -- McGinley

B McGuire

While predicting the inclusion of Tiger Woods as a US wild-card pick, Europe's Ryder Cup vice-captains Paul McGinley and Darren Clarke believe it will be a "sweeter" success with the World No 1 in the rival team.

US captain Corey Pavin used the chambers of the New York Stock Exchange, amid the daily fluctuations of the American economy, to announce his picks as Woods, Zach Johnson and Stewart Cink but also take a "calculated gamble" on Las Vegas-based rookie Rickie Fowler.

Europe has won four of five Ryder Cups with Woods in the American team and McGinley, who was a member of three of those victorious sides, is hopeful the trend will continue next month.

"As Europeans, we would have been delighted if Tiger wasn't in the team," said McGinley in Hilversum, where he is competing in this week's KLM Open. "But, having said that, it will be a stronger American side with Tiger present and of course it will be all that sweeter if we were to win.

"But the four Corey chose were to be expected and I'm not surprised. Rickie Fowler will be a good addition to their team. It is a calculated gamble that is worth taking. He'll bring youthfulness, exuberance and excitement to their side.

"Even though Rickie hasn't won, I also see a parallel between him and Rory (McIlroy). They don't seem to have any fear whatsoever."

Clarke -- who joins McGinley in Holland this week -- was also glad after hearing the news of Woods' inclusion. "It's good to see him pick Tiger because I could not imagine a Ryder Cup without the World No 1," he said. "He's the best player in the world and I agree, you want to beat the American team with Woods in the side, and they are a stronger team with him in it."

Germany's Martin Kaymer, who travelled to Valhalla in 2008 with the European team, supports the view of his vice-captains. Kaymer had a bet with his brother on the picks and won, selecting three of the four.

"I agree that you want to see Tiger playing in the team," said Kaymer. "Two years ago when Nick (Faldo) took me to Valhalla he wasn't in the team but now that he is in the side, for myself it will be a sweeter victory if we win."

KLM Open,

Live, Sky Sports 3, 10.30

Irish Independent

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