Gleneagles Ready For Ryder Cup Showdown

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Ryder Cup fever is in full swing as the best players from both sides of the Atlantic prepare to do battle for the famous trophy. Here's a guide to the fantastic event.
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Gleneagles in Scotland is the venue for the latest instalment of a fierce rivalry that stretches all the way back to the 1920s. 

Europe are the current holders after staging one of the greatest comebacks in sporting history, not just golf, to pip the United States by a score of 14½ points to 13½ at Medinah Country Club in Illinois two years ago.

No one expected the 10-6 overnight lead held by the Americans to be overturned, especially in such dramatic fashion, but when Martin Kaymer sunk the decisive putt on the 18th green history was rewritten.

The Miracle of Medinah has gone down in folklore.

Now golf fans around the world are rubbing their hands together at the prospect of another epic clash. 

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Players to watch

Phil Mickelson will take on the mantle of the main man for the United States in the absence of Tiger Woods. Playing in his 10th Ryder Cup, the veteran left-hander will be vital to his side’s chances of victory. 

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Rory McIlroy, on the other hand, is undoubtedly the star of the show for Europe. The world number one, who won back-to-back major titles – the Open Championship and US PGA major – during a golden summer on the course after his break-up with Caroline Wozniacki, looks hungry for further success. 

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Sergio Garcia and Rickie Fowler are two other names to lookout for during the three-day event.

Garcia has enjoyed one of the best years of his career, despite not picking up that elusive major, with nine top 10 finishes in just 15 tournaments, so his form and experience could prove crucial for Europe.

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Fowler, meanwhile, has burst onto the scene in spectacular fashion, finishing in the top 5 of the four majors this year. The talented youngster, who has rapidly grown to become something of a legitimate star in the space of just a few months, will be looking to continue his rise to prominence at Gleneagles.

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Bubba Watson and his bumper golf clubs – including that famous pink driver – will also be showing what he can do, as will Ian Poulter, famed for his aggressive style of play and distinctive fashion sense. 

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Golf course or catwalk?

Speaking of fashion, the Ryder Cup always brings with it some memorable outfits.

Who can forget the shirts that the Americans wore at Brookline, Massachusetts in 1999? If you can’t remember, a quick internet search should refresh your memory. Just be sure to avert your gaze as quickly as possible.

Glenmuir has designed Europe’s kit this year, while Ralph Lauren has done the same for the United States.

Adidas has also released a limited-edition footwear collection especially for the event.
The range includes two designs – one for each team – for three golf shoes. Jim Furyk will be sporting them for the United States, plus Justin Rose, Martin Kaymer, Stephen Gallacher and Garcia will wear them for Europe.

Even European captain Paul McGinley will be getting in on the act.

Sadly, however, the limited-edition golf shoes will not be available for retail.

Luckily for you there is no shortage of golf shoes out there, not to mention accessories like golf bags, so you can look the business as you make your way around your local golf course. Just don’t go over the top like Poulter!

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And the winner is…

Europe have won seven of the last nine Ryder Cups and haven’t lost on home soil for 21 years.

But this year’s outcome is far from a foregone conclusion. You can never predict what will happen in golf, that’s the beauty of the sport. The legend that is the Miracle at Medinah is the perfect example of this.

The fact that five of the last 11 showdowns have been won by a single point speaks volumes, while the match before that finished in a tie. Two others were decided by two-point margins, so we’re talking about fine lines.

Home advantage has some influence, it always does, but Tom Watson will have prepared his troops for this.

What is certain, however, is that we’re in for an exciting and unmissable three days of golf. It’ll be full of thrills and spills that will keep us on the edge of our seats – and we wouldn’t want it any other way. 

Pic: David Davies/PA Archive/Press Association Images
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