"Best-ever” claims set to fire up Europeans
GOLF: The war of words before this week's Ryder Cup have begun with European captain Paul McGinley hitting back at claims from US counterpart Davis Love III that his team is the "best ever assembled”.
Love is looking to end European domination of the bi-annual event and avoid losing for the ninth time in the past 11 meetings when the tournament hits off in Minnesota this weekend.
The US team has 11 major titles between the players, with Love saying: "We're a great golf team. This is the best golf team maybe ever assembled.
"If we just go play our game ... ignore the noise, work hard, do your job, everything else will take care of itself.”
McGinley said Love's boast could help bring his players together as they look to extend the winning run.
"It's going to have a big galvanising affect on the European team,” he told the Golf Channel.
"I find it strange positioning. There's always a jockeying going on as to who's favourite and who's the underdog. Davis has taken that off the table now.
"It puts a lot of pressure and does corner his team to a large extent but maybe that's his plan ... But if it doesn't work out, there'll be a lot of questions about that comment.”
American Brandel Chamblee, a former PGA Tour winner, had an even stronger reaction.
"I can't imagine how this one is going to work out,” Chamblee, who now commentates on the Golf Channel, said.
"This looks like a colossal mistake. There have been so many mistakes over the years of American arrogance that have backfired and this is another one of them.”
Chamblee said this US team paled beside the 1981 side that won a combined 49 major championships.
That team included Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson, Lee Trevino, Raymond Floyd, Hale Irwin, Larry Nelson and Johnny Miller.