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PGA of America, European - Ryder Cup Matches Preview
From The Sports Network

DATES: Friday, September 26th through Sunday, September 28th
SITE: Gleneagles Resort (PGA Centenary Course), Perthshire, Scotland
COURSE ARCHITECT: Jack Nicklaus (1993)
PAR: 72
YARDAGE: 7,243
Hole-By-Hole:1 - Par 4 426 Yds10 - Par 3 208 Yds
2 - Par 5 516 Yds11 - Par 4 350 Yds
3 - Par 4 431 Yds12 - Par 4 445 Yds
4 - Par 3 211 Yds13 - Par 4 481 Yds
5 - Par 4 461 Yds14 - Par 4 320 Yds
6 - Par 3 201 Yds15 - Par 4 463 Yds
7 - Par 4 468 Yds16 - Par 5 518 Yds
8 - Par 4 419 Yds17 - Par 3 194 Yds
9 - Par 5 618 Yds18 - Par 5 513 Yds
36 3,751 Yds36 3,492 Yds
Biennial:  40th
Television:  GolfChannel - Friday -- 2:30 a.m.-1 p.m. (ET),
  NBC - Saturday -- 3 a.m.-1 p.m. (ET),
  - Sunday -- 7 a.m.-1 p.m. (ET)
Defending Champion:  Europe
Schedule of Play:  Match Play, including foursomes, 2-man teams in alternate
  shot four-ball, 2-man teams in better ball singles, 18
  holes of match play
Scoring:  Victory in a match scores one point. When a match goes 18 holes
  without a decision, one-half point is awarded to each side.
Series Standing:  United States (25-12-2)
Captains:  Tom Watson (United States)
  Paul McGinley (Europe)
Assistant Captains:  Raymond Floyd, Andy North, Steve Stricker (United States)
  Des Smyth, Sam Torrance, Jose Maria Olazabal,
  Padraig Harrington, Miguel Angel Jimenez (Europe)
Past Ryder Cup Winners
YearWinner (Score) -- Course
2012Europe (14 1/2 - 13 1/2) -- Medinah Country Club, Illinois
2010Europe (14 1/2 - 13 1/2) -- Celtic Manor Resort, Wales
2008United States (16 1/2 - 11 1/2) -- Valhalla GC, Kentucky
2006Europe (18 1/2 - 9 1/2) -- The K Club, Ireland
2004Europe (18 1/2 - 9 1/2) -- Oakland Hills CC, Michigan
2002Europe (15 1/2 - 12 1/2)-- The Belfry, England
2001Not Held due to the tragedies of September 11
1999United States (14 1/2 - 13 1/2) -- Country Club, Massachusetts
1997Europe (14 1/2 - 13 1/2) -- Valderrama GC, Spain
1995Europe (14 1/2 - 13 1/2) -- Oak Hill CC, New York
1993United States (15 - 13) -- The Belfry, England
1991United States (14 1/2 - 13 1/2) -- Kiawah Island, South Carolina
1989Tie (14 - 14) -- The Belfry, England
1987Europe (15 - 13) -- Muirfield Village, Dublin, Ohio
1985Europe (16 1/2 - 11 1/2) -- The Belfry, England
1983United States (14 1/2 - 13 1/2) -- PGA National, Palm Beach, Florida
1981United States (18 1/2 - 9 1/2) -- Walton Heath, England
1979United States (17 - 11) -- Greenbrier, West Virginia
1977United States (12 1/2 - 7 1/2) -- Royal Lytham, England
1975United States (21 - 11) -- Laurel Valley GC, Pennsylvania
1973United States (19 - 13) -- Muirfield, Scotland
1971United States (18 1/2 - 13 1/2) -- Old Warson CC, St Louis, Missouri
1969Tie (16 - 16) -- Royal Birkdale, England
1967United States (23 1/2 - 8 1/2) -- Champions GC, Houston, Texas
1965United States (19 1/2 - 12 1/2) -- Royal Birkdale, England
1963United States (23 - 9) -- East Lake CC, Atlanta, Georgia
1961United States (14 1/2 - 9 1/2) -- Royal Lytham, England
1959United States (8 1/2 - 3 1/2) -- Eldorado CC, California
1957Britain (7 1/2 - 4 1/2) -- Lindrick GC, Yorkshire, England
1955United States (8 - 4) -- Thunderbird CC, Palm Springs, California
1953United States (6 1/2 - 5 1/2) -- Wentworth GC, Wentworth, England
1951United States (9 1/2 - 2 1/2) -- Pinehurst CC, North Carolina
1949United States (7 - 5) -- Ganton GC, Scarborough, England
1947United States (11 - 1) -- Portland GC, Portland, Oregon
1945Not Held due to World War II
1943Not Held due to World War II
1941Not Held due to World War II
1939Not Held due to World War II
1937United States (8 - 4) -- Southport & Ainsdale GC, England
1935United States (9 - 3) -- Ridgewood CC, Ridgewood, NJ
1933Britain (6 1/2 - 5 1/2) -- Southport & Ainsdale GC, England
1931United States (9 - 3) -- Scioto CC, Columbus, Ohio
1929Britain (7 - 5) -- Moortown GC, Leeds, England
1927United States (9 1/2 - 2 1/2) -- Worcester CC, Massachusetts
Note:Ryder Cup was not held in 2001 due to the tragedies of September 11.

Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - Europe
Darkhorse - NA
Last Week's Pick to Win (Bubba Watson) - Finished 14th
Last Week's Darkhorse (Morgan Hoffmann) - Finished tied for 27th
All eyes will be on Scotland next week, as the 40th Ryder Cup matches will be staged at the PGA Centenary Course at Gleneagles Resort. Team USA will be led by captain Tom Watson, while the Europeans have Paul McGinley at the helm. The European team currently owns the Cup thanks to a 14 1/2 - 13 1/2 win at Medinah Country Club in Illinois in 2012. The European team has dominated this event in recent years, winning seven of the last nine Ryder Cups.

Europe will be led by world No. 1 Rory McIlroy, who has dominated the game in recent months. McIlroy has finished in the top-8 in six of his last seven events. He won three straight tournaments starting with his third major title at the British Open and ending with his fourth major conquest at the PGA Championship. McIlroy finished tied for second last week at the PGA Tour Championship.

Jim Furyk is the top-ranked American at No. 5 in the world. The 44-year-old has not won in four years but has had an outstanding season in 2014 despite not coming up with a victory. Furyk has made the cut in all 21 events he has played this year, including four runner-up finishes. He led the PGA Tour in top-5 finishes with eight and finished third on the money list with just under $6 million in earnings. Furyk finished tied for second with McIlroy last week at the Tour Championship.

Lee Westwood is the most successful Ryder Cup player in the field. He owns a 18-13-6 record in his eight appearances. Sergio Garcia has also played well with a 16-8-4 record in six appearances. However, Ian Poulter has dominated in his four appearances. Poulter owns a 12-3 record for a winning percentage of 82%, the best all-time on the European side. He has never been defeated in singles play, winning all four of his matches.

Phil Mickelson has the most points earned by American players. Mickelson has a record of 14-18-6 for 17 points. He will look to team up with Keegan Bradley again this year, as the pair went 3-0 together at the 2012 Ryder Cup. They also teamed up for a 2-1-1 record at the 2013 Presidents Cup.

There are six rookies playing this week, with three on each team. The first-timers for the U.S. are Patrick Reed, Jordan Spieth and Jimmy Walker, while Jamie Donaldson, Victor Dubuisson and Stephen Gallacher are the rookies for Europe.

The format has the teams playing four Foursome and four Four-ball matches Friday and Saturday and then play wraps up with 12 singles matches on Sunday.

In 2012, Europe equaled the largest comeback in history on the final day, overcoming a 4-point deficit to win. Europe won 8 1/2 out of 12 points on Sunday and won the Cup outright at Medinah, when it looked like the United States would win the event in a walk. Martin Kaymer defeated Steve Stricker, 1-up, to guarantee the Ryder Cup stayed with Europe. Stricker missed a 7-foot par save at 17 and needed to win the 18th to give the Americans any chance. Stricker made a gutsy 8-footer to save par at the last, but when Kaymer's 6-footer fell in, the comeback was complete and Europe matched the 1999 U.S. team at Brookline for the largest final-day comeback in Ryder Cup history. The difference between the two comebacks was the U.S. was on home soil for its Sunday miracle in 1999, while Europe pulled this off on the road.

Down 10-6 at the start of the singles, Europe front-loaded its lineup and the stars produced. Luke Donald, Poulter, McIlroy, Justin Rose and Paul Lawrie won the first five matches. Westwood, Garcia and Kaymer added the other points, and that was enough for Europe.

In 2010, Europe won the Cup by a single point on Monday when Graeme McDowell secured the winning point in the anchor match against Hunter Mahan. McDowell won the 17th hole to give Europe the 14 1/2 points it needed to reclaim the Cup it lost in 2008. With the matches tied at 13 1/2 apiece, McDowell needed a full point to give Europe the Cup. A halve in the last match would have given the Cup back to the U.S. based on its victory in 2008. After he made a mess of No. 15 en route to a loss of the hole, McDowell poured in a 15-foot birdie putt on the 16th to win and go 2-up with two to play. He knocked his tee shot at the par-three 17th right of the hole on the collar. Mahan nervously left his tee ball well short of the putting surface. Facing enormous pressure, Mahan chunked his chip short of the green. McDowell putted his second four feet short of the flag stick. Mahan needed to make his putt and hope McDowell missed to have a chance. Mahan's putt never threatened the hole, and he walked over and shook McDowell's hand to concede their match, 3 & 1, and the Cup to the Europeans.

The 2010 matches were the first time the Cup came down to the final singles match since 1991, when Bernhard Langer missed a 6-foot putt on the 18th that would have given Europe the Cup.

It took nine years, but the United States finally won back the Cup in 2008. Jim Furyk beat Miguel Angel Jimenez, 2 & 1, in singles at Valhalla to get the United States the necessary 14 1/2 points to win the Cup. The U.S. claimed a 16 1/2 - 11 1/2 win, which was the largest margin of victory for the Americans since 1981. It was the first win for America in this competition since 1999. Europe had taken three in a row, including the previous two by record-setting 9-point margins. For U.S. Captain Paul Azinger, it was validation for all the work. He got the PGA of America to change the points system in order to get the hottest players at the time of the matches. Azinger received four picks, a change from two, and those four went 6-3-5 for the week.

When Luke Donald rolled in a 3-foot putt at the 17th hole in 2006 to win his match against Chad Campbell, that gave Europe 14 1/2 points, the number needed to win the Cup -- again. The European side captured the Cup by a final score of 18 1/2 - 9 1/2, which matched the largest margin of victory by its side that was established the last time around in 2004 at Oakland Hills. All totaled, Europe pounded the Americans in singles, winning 8 1/2 - 3 1/2, the largest margin of victory in singles ever for a European team. The European side captured all five sessions, a feat accomplished for the first time by either team since the inception of the current format in 1979. This was another historic victory for the Europeans. It was the third straight win for that team, which is the first time that happened for the European side. The European team had inspirational leadership from Darren Clarke, who went 3-0 for the week, just one month after the death of his wife, Heather, from cancer. The U.S. team only won six matches out of the 28 played for the week.

There were two holes-in-one at the 2006 Ryder Cup, both coming at the 14th hole. Paul Casey aced the 14th with a 4-iron in the Saturday foursomes. Scott Verplank aced the 14th with a 3-iron in Sunday's singles. Verplank's hole-in- one was the sixth in Ryder Cup history and first by an American.

The 2004 Ryder Cup was anti-climatic, as the Euros drubbed the United States on the South Course at Oakland Hills Country Club in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Captain Bernhard Langer's squad opened up an impressive 11-5 advantage after the first two days and then won 7 1/2 out of a possible 12 singles points on the final day for the win.

In 2002, Paul McGinley drained the clinching putt when he saved par from seven feet out on the 18th hole to halve his match with Furyk. The European side gained 7 1/2 points in 12 singles matches to cruise to the win.

The Europeans last loss prior to 2008 came in 1999 at The Country Club in Massachusetts. That win for the United States team is most remembered for the wild celebration set off when Justin Leonard holed a lengthy birdie putt on the 17th green in his battle against Jose Maria Olazabal that led to the halving of their match. That halve clinched the Cup for the Americans. In a classy move after that wild scene, the late Payne Stewart conceded his match to Colin Montgomerie.

The 2016 Ryder Cup will be staged on American soil in Minnesota at Hazeltine National Golf Club.

09/22 11:38:25 ET

As of September 22, 2014, at 11:41 AM ET

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