Just before Team USA set about trying to wrestle back the Ryder Cup from Europe’s clutches, no doubt their captain Tom Watson, a great in his own right, will have invoked the spirit of these legendary Americans for inspiration.
Before a single putt has been sunk in anger for the 2014 edition of golf’s most partisan rivalry, Ladbrokes have placed the travelling US contingent as the 7/4 outsiders, making Europe the strong 2/5 favourites to retain the Ryder Cup.
However, Watson’s current dozen only need look to these five American legends and Ryder Cup record holders for the inspiration to defy the odds at Gleneagles:
Phil Mickelson – Aside from Watson, the USA already have a Ryder Cup great among them in Scotland. Lefty has played more matches than any other American in history.
Jack Nicklaus – The greatest golfer that ever lived hardly needs introduction. Only, his great on course rival has contested more singles matches than the Golden Bear’s 10. His final-round tussle with Tony Jacklin at Royal Birkdale is enshrined in Ryder Cup folklore.
Arnold Palmer – A winner as a playing captain and a non playing captain The King is the veteran of seven US victories stretching from 1961 – 1975.
Lee Trevino – Taking on Palmer’s mantle throughout the 70s and 80s, the charismatic Trevino holds the joint record of most single points won in Ryder Cup history of seven. He was also a winning captain in 1985.
Justin Leonard – A winner the last time the Americans claimed the Ryder Cup in 2008 at Valhalla, Leonard is one of the USA’s Ryder Cup game raisers. He’s most revered for holing an astonishing 45ft putt on the 17th to basically seal victory in the 1999 ‘Battle of Brookline’.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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