June 19, 2013
US hoping no place like home at Ryder Cup
US captain Davis Love III has struggled for years to come up with a way of getting a real 'home field advantage' over Europe at this week's Ryder Cup and he hopes a freewheeling, birdie-laden shootout is his team's best shot at the trophy.
The battleground for the biennial golfing showdown will be the stately Medinah Country Club on the outskirts of Chicago and that choice alone suggests the United States will have an edge.
Tiger Woods has won twice at Medinah, lifting the PGA Championship in 1999 and 2006, while many of his Ryder Cup team mates grew up learning the game on similar tree-lined layouts.
But American-style courses and their slick greens are no longer a mystery to European visitors, who have been bagging more PGA Tour wins over the years.
Spaniard Sergio Garcia has twice finished runner-up at Medinah while Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy does not need a windswept links course to find success, the world number one winning four titles on American soil this year including his second major at the PGA Championship.
Love, however, believes he can get an advantage from Medinah by playing to U.S. strengths.
"I struggled for two years to kind of come up with a way, how do you get an advantage," Love told reporters shortly after he arrived at Medinah on Monday with his European counterpart Jose Maria Olazabal.
"We're a long-hitting, freewheeling, fun-to-watch team. We have 24 of the best players in the world. They are all pretty good at adapting to conditions.
"One thing I've never liked is rough and I've been lucky enough to have a little bit of an influence on two golf tournaments, our McGladrey Classic and this Ryder Cup, and neither one of them had a lot of rough.
"I just don't like rough."