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Ryder Cup: Loaded USA face tough test vs Europe

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KOHLER (Wisconsin), September 23

Home advantage for a largely inexperienced US team versus European passion will be one of the compelling storylines in this week’s Ryder Cup between two star-studded teams at Whistling Straits.

The Americans will have six Ryder Cup rookies on their 12-man team who will strive to reclaim the trophy against a close-knit and battle-tested European side that have mostly dominated the biennial match play competition over the last four decades.

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Despite a slew of new faces, the US do not lack for talent given an average world ranking of nine compared to 30 for Europe, but American struggles to play as a unit at the Ryder Cup have become an all too familiar refrain.

“The fact that the Americans have only won five times in 38 years has us all wondering can this juggernaut of an American team… beat that team,” NBC Sports golf analyst and former US Ryder Cup captain Paul Azinger said on a conference call. “Because (Europe are) going to show up as a bonded team, and our guys are going to show up — I don’t know how they’re going to show up. They’re going to show up as the best players.”

World No. 2 Dustin Johnson, playing in a team-high fifth Ryder Cup, headlines a US squad whose rookies include British Open winner Collin Morikawa, Olympics champion Xander Schauffele and PGA Tour Player of the Year Patrick Cantlay. — Reuters

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