Golfers Garcia, Cabrera Bello eye fourth straight Ryder Cup win for Europe
Chaska (Minnesota), Sep 29 (IANS) Spanish golfers Sergio Garcia and Rafael Cabrera Bello are looking to play their part in an unprecedented fourth straight Ryder Cup victory for Europe when play kicks off on Friday at the Hazeltine National Golf Club here.
Garcia made his Ryder Cup debut at age 19 at The Country Club in Massachusetts in 1999, when Europe lost to the United States by a single point in a dramatic finish that included a 45-foot putt and a wild celebration on the 18th green that the Europeans felt was unsportsmanlike, reports Efe.
“We have the chance to win four straight, and that would be the first time in Ryder history,” an enthusiastic Garcia, who this weekend will equal his late countryman Seve Ballesteros with eight appearances, told EFE.
Garcia, who has won twice as many matches as he has lost in the Ryder Cup, has been a key cog in European teams that won this competition two years ago in Gleneagles, Scotland, four years ago in Medinah, Illinois, and six years ago in Celtic Manor, Wales.
He has also been successful playing with different partners on the opening two days of the Ryder Cup competitions.
“There’s no one on the team I wouldn’t feel comfortable and happy (playing with). The most important thing is to get along well with your teammate,” he said about the four-ball and foursomes matches scheduled for Friday and Saturday.
“I’d love to play with Sergio, but I’ll be glad to accept whatever the captain (Darren Clarke) says,” Cabrera Bello told EFE.
The Canary Islands native made his first Ryder Cup team after posting six top-10 finishes this year and making the cut in every event he has played on the European Tour and at all four majors.
Europe boasts Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy, winner of last week’s Tour Championship, and Sweden’s Henrik Stenson, who won the British Open in July.
But American commentators have noted that the European squad could be vulnerable because it is relying on several Ryder Cup rookies — Cabrera Bello, Belgium’s Thomas Pieters and England’s Matthew Fitzpatrick, Chris Wood, Andy Sullivan and Danny Willett.
European pundits have pointed out, meanwhile, that the United States’ vaunted experience has added up to six losses in the past seven competitions.
“You don’t win Ryders with your mouth. They’re won out there on the golf course,” Garcia said.