Team USA hope lessons have been learnt

Sport360 staff 04:03 29/09/2016
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Revenge on the mind: Team USA.

A US Ryder Cup team more relaxed and better prepared than past losing versions takes a confident attitude into this week’s showdown against holders Europe.

Europe have won three in a row, six of seven and eight of the past 10 over the Americans entering Friday’s start of the biennial team golf matches at Hazeltine.

“We are just tired of being told we haven’t won one in a while,” two-time major winner Jordan Spieth said. “We want this one. We feel very comfortable this year with the team we have and very confident as well.”

Spieth recalled the tense feeling of the US losing his 2014 debut at Gleneagles.

“I don’t know why the Europeans have a better record,” Spieth said. “I think they have felt more relaxed going in. I’ve only been part of one. Our experience over there was pretty tense and this one feels a bit different. So we’re confident about that.”

US captain Davis Love had the same job in 2012 when the Americans suffered the biggest last-day collapse in Ryder Cup history to fall in Medinah. But Love has learned and a task force instituted after the dysfunctional 2014 failure has led to meticulous planning.

“We have a fresher attitude and I’ve got a better support team around me,” Love said. “We’ve been working hard on a game plan and preparation. We’re just a little bit more prepared this time than we were in 2012.”

Love said he is better able to cope with any situation than he was in 2012, when Europe built momentum in the last-day singles while the US team struggled to the finish.

“We’ve all got more miles under our belt and can handle really any situation better than probably we could in 2012,” Love said. “If we get four ahead or two behind, we’ve got it a little more figured out than we did in 2012. We’re just looking to the future right now and not looking to the past.”

Despite all the US changes, there’s nothing like defeat to motivate the Americans.

“I want sweet revenge just like our whole team does,” said Patrick Reed, who silenced European fans at Gleneagles after a big putt. “Unfortunately, the Cup didn’t come back with us. Hopefully, our team gets fired up to go out and keep that Cup home.”

Spieth, who paired well with Reed in 2014, likes the blend of Team USA, which has some experienced stars like Phil Mickelson, Matt Kuchar and Jimmy Walker.

Spieth said: “The combination of experience, a little bit of scar tissue or red ass some of these older guys have of really wanting to right the wrong of Ryder Cups past, with some new blood – I think that’s a successful formula. That’s nothing you necessarily have to search out for because it’s already falling in place that way.”

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