Mickelson claims USA must win Ryder Cup for good of the event

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The appearance of some of the golf world’s heavy-hitters indicates that the 2014 season is starting in earnest, with one of the most famous providing some interesting quotes ahead of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship.

With it being a Ryder Cup year, Phil Mickelson has made some interesting claims surrounding the general perception of the tournament, believing that an American win is very much needed to not only boost his own country’s morale but to spark greater interest in the match-play event in general.

Europe have won seven of the last nine tournaments, and the left-handed American believes their dominance has turned the competition into something of a dull affair.

“I think if we were able to come out on top that week, it would be something really good for not just the United States but also the tournament in general because we have not been faring well in that event,” he said.

Ladbrokes price Mickelson as a 1/20 guarantee to play for Team USA at Gleneagles in September, but rate his country mates as 5/4 outsiders to lift the trophy.

That price is wholly understandable considering the Americans have travelled to Europe to battle their rivals and come out on the losing end in all of the last four trips.

To boost Europe’s chances of retaining the title they won so dramatically in Medinah in 2012, they have some of the world’s most in-form golfers on their side.

Henrik Stenson, the reigning FedEx Cup and Race to Dubai champion, is 1/50 to represent his continent in Scotland and is joined in the betting by defending US Open winner Justin Rose.

Meanwhile former world number one Rory McIlroy is a 1/25 shot to make what is likely to be a formidable European side, containing seasoned Ryder Cup pros like Ian Poulter, Sergio Garcia and Lee Westwood.

Former Ryder Cup squad members Paul Casey and Francesco Molinari head the pack of odds-against chances at 5/2.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.