The 2014 Ryder Cup plays on the PGA Centenary Course in Perthshire, Scotland at the Gleneagles Hotel and Team Europe will be looking to continue unbeaten on home soil for a fifth Ryder Cup tournament following Team USA’s last win in Europe in 1993. They have the world number one in Rory McIlroy leading the playing squad in Scotland, but will the Northern Irish player be the Top European Player and be able to lead the Europeans to a third successive Ryder Cup victory?
The world number one player will be playing in his third Ryder Cup this year at Gleneagles and he will be looking to improve on an already fine playing record in the competition. He has four wins and two draws to his name in nine games in this Europe versus USA team event and with him bringing back to wins at The Open Championship and PGA Championship into the competition you can see why he is favoured to score best for Team Europe.
34 year old Englishman has also played in two previous Ryder Cup tournaments and he brings the second highest win percentage in the competition for Team Europe. He has won six and lost three of his nine matches so far, second only to Ian Poulter who has 12 wins and three defeats in 15 games, but he has not finished in the top ten in an major in 2014 so far. He did, however, win the Scottish Open in early July and he’ll be confident on his return to Scotland for the Ryder Cup. Can he challenge McIlroy for Top European though?
Despite being the same age as Rose, Spaniard Garcia has played in three times as many Ryder Cup tournaments and this year’s event will be the seventh time he has been a part of Team Europe. He has 16 wins in 28 matches, with four draws and eight defeats in the other 12 clashes, and sits at number three in the world for the start of this tournament following a reasonable year so far that has seen him win in Qatar and finished tied second at The Open. He is second only to Lee Westwood in the experience stakes for the Europeans, but will this see him upset the odds to finish as the best performing European?
I feel that Garcia has certainly been better and more consistent than Justin Rose in the lead up to the 2014 Ryder Cup, but following a poor showing in the early part of the year Rory McIlroy has shown that he deserves to be the world number one and he’ll drive Europe onwards as they look to live up to their pre-tournament favourite billing at Gleneagles.