| 10.3°C Dublin

warning signs Butch Harmon with an alternative view on who should be viewed as Ryder Cup favourites

Close

Captain Padraig Harrington of Ireland and team Europe speaks during the opening ceremony for the 43rd Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits on September 23, 2021 in Kohler, Wisconsin. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

Captain Padraig Harrington of Ireland and team Europe speaks during the opening ceremony for the 43rd Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits on September 23, 2021 in Kohler, Wisconsin. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

Captain Padraig Harrington of Ireland and team Europe speaks during the opening ceremony for the 43rd Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits on September 23, 2021 in Kohler, Wisconsin. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

Butch Harmon believes America's tag as Ryder Cup favourites may be misplaced, as he suggested Pádraig Harrington may be captaining the strongest European team of all-time.

The former coach of Tiger Woods and a host of golfing greats was in bullish mood as he spoke to the media ahead of the 43rd Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits, as he suggested his home nation may be found out over the three days of competition.

"I'm American and I root for America. I want us to win, but I think if we don't play our best, we're not going to win because this is a strong European team," said Sky Sports expert Harmon.

"I think this is one of the strongest teams you guys have put together in a long time, a long time, and that bodes well coming over here.

"There's a lot of pressure on the US team because they've lost so much lately. I think we have a few question marks on guys that aren't playing up as the form that we need to have them play. So I would give the edge to the European team."

Harmon believes the unity on the European team could be critical to the outcome of the contest, as he believes that has been decisive in previous years.

Close

Tiger Woods, left, and Butch Harmon during their time working together

Tiger Woods, left, and Butch Harmon during their time working together

Tiger Woods, left, and Butch Harmon during their time working together

"The Americans have lost nine of the last 12," continues Harmon. "You see the guys that play on the European team and they are all in it together, they are a team. That hasn't always been the case with the Americans.

"Everybody that plays the European Tour is vested in the Ryder Cup because they have an interest in it because they need it. The Americans don’t like losing; they want to win, and they come, and they play as hard as they can, but when they do lose, I think it’s, ‘Okay, we lost, we’ll get ’em next time. In the European team, they come to win, and they’re gutted when they lose.

"We had an interview with Tommy Fleetwood in Paris, and he was asked, would you rather win a major championship or a Ryder Cup. And I was surprised he actually said I’d rather win a Ryder Cup. So that just shows you how much it means. It’s not that doesn’t mean something to us; I just don’t think it’s life or death.

"But for people who say the Americans don't care about the Ryder Cup? Well, yeah. Darn right they care. They don’t like getting beat. And they have to suck it up because they’ve gotten beat. You look at some of these matches, the last one in Paris wasn’t even close.

“They’re going to have to play with a chip on their shoulder, the way Seve used to play, the way Raymond Floyd used to play, the way the old-timers used to play. And I think if they don’t, I think they’re going to lose again.

"I’m American, so I’m always rooting for America and I always pick America and we always get our butts kicked, so I’m going to pick Europe to win and hope I’m wrong.”

Watch all three tournament days of the Ryder Cup live, archive footage and more on Sky Sports' dedicated Ryder Cup channel

Sunday World Newsletter

Sign up for the latest news and updates

This field is required This field is required

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices


Privacy