Five keys to a Team Europe victory

World Number One Rory McIlroy will be key to Europe's hopes

Five keys to a Team Europe victory

On the eve of The 2012 Ryder Cup we have put together the five keys to European Team victory ahead of the opening Friday morning Foursomes Matches.

Spanish Passion
With José María Olazábal at the helm of the European team, and the memory of Seve Ballesteros at the forefront of everyone’s mind as his iconic emblem adorns the bags of each team member this week, the players surely cannot help but be inspired by two men who formed the most successful partnership in Ryder Cup history. If the spirit in the team room is anything like the chemistry witnessed between these two golfing matadors then the Americans could be in for a torrid time - and in the backyard of the Chicago Bulls no less.

Every other shot at a time
Speaking of great teamwork, since European players joined the fray in 1979 almost every team has had its fair share of incredible couples, and two halves of one particularly strong duo are in the European side this week. Sergio Garcia (8-0-1) and Luke Donald (6-0-0) have never lost a match in foursomes individually or collectively, which should make for either a dominant partnership when they join forces once more at Medinah, or could spell success for whoever plays alongside them this weekend.

The Top Dog
Anyone would love to team up alongside Rory McIlroy with the Northern Irishman travelling to Chicago fresh off US PGA Championship domination while a couple of quick-fire FedExCup play-off titles in consecutive weeks helped cement him return to the top of the Official World Golf Rankings. And if this tightly curled talisman hits his stride this week then it could prove just the fillip for his team-mates and the European support that will be outnumbered but still out in force at Medinah.

Mr Ryder Cup
There can be few people since the inception of this biennial contest that have embodied such pure and unadulterated Ryder Cup spirit than match play specialist Ian Poulter. With his unwavering self-confidence and belief in his own ability, he has not only become a colourful character in this event’s history, but a man who has top scored for his team in the last two Ryder Cups. Throw his two global match play titles at the WGC-Accenture (2010) and Volvo World Match Play Championships (2011) into the mix, and the Americans will know they have a fearsome opponent on their hands.

No ‘I’ in Team
Paul Azinger, victorious US captain at Valhalla in 2008, started the week by stating: “We have four days to build a team, the Europeans have been a team since they were born.” What more can we say, that sounds spot on to us; the unique camaraderie and team spirit has always been deemed the key to the numerous dominant European displays of the last 20 years. And all that without a ping pong table in sight…

We’re sure you’ll all agree, but couple these five points with the fact that Europe has won six of the last eight Ryder Cups, and you have a pretty strong case that number nine could be just around the corner.

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