MADRID, 25 Sep. (EUROPA PRESS) –
The captain of the European Ryder Cup team, Luke Donald, stated this Monday that he has “a lot of confidence” in his 12 players to try to win the trophy again and warned that “it is too late to have doubts” about his choices, hoping They also benefit from playing at home, at the Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in Rome.
“As a captain you have to have confidence and, certainly, I have a lot of confidence in my team. I know that the next few days will be difficult because we know that the United States is a very strong team and we are coming off our worst defeat in a Ryder Cup,” said Donald in Press conference.
The Englishman stressed that “the American players are strong and are at the top of the world rankings, they have excellent partners and have been very successful.” “We have a lot of work ahead of us, but you have to believe that you will lead your team to a place where they will be successful,” he said.
“Absolutely not,” he replied about whether he felt pressure. “I think this has been about a 14-month process for me, a little longer for Zach (Johnson, US captain), but I’ve been scouting and studying these players and talking to my vice-captains along the way, and we feel “We have the best people who are prepared for the job and now there is no doubt. It is too late for that,” he added.
Donald said that two years ago at Whistling Straits they did not provide “a good level of golf.” “The Americans were strong and played like they know they can,” he recalled, hoping now to take advantage of the “advantage” of playing on European soil. “Having that support, that crowd behind you, is useful and increases your energy as a player and you can feed off of it. Hopefully it’s something that will definitely benefit us,” he hoped.
Questioned about the absence of the Spanish Sergio García, the player who has given the most points to Europe, the captain highlighted that the player from Castellón “resigned five months ago” to be a member of the European Tour due to his involvement in LIV Golf. “And once that happened, it wasn’t eligible for me to even consider it,” he said.
“I know there were some stories about him trying to pay some fines and stuff. Obviously we know what the DP World Tour rules are and once you quit, you can’t reapply for membership until the following year,” he added. . “Right now I’m just focusing on my 12 guys that I have this week. My only goal is to deal with those guys over the next six days and give them the best opportunity to succeed,” he remarked.
Luke Donald did not hide that he has players in the team who could “certainly” play for the five points, since although the Marco Simone route “is very exhausting”, it seems that the weather will not be “too hot”. “I’ll certainly consider it, but it’s not out of the question for some people to play five points and I highly doubt anyone won’t play all the way to singles,” he said.
The Englishman is “very excited” about this opportunity and sees his team as “ready.” “I’m very excited about the team I have and the challenge ahead of us, I’m really looking forward to it finally getting going. I think the players are eager to play and it will be a fun show,” he said.
Finally, the captain argued why he put the ‘foursomes’ matches (an alternating shot by each player in the pair) in first place than the ‘fourballs’ matches (each player plays his ball and the best result counts). “It’s really quite simple. We feel that, as a team, we are statistically stronger in foursomes than in fourballs. Why not start fast? That’s all,” he said.