With the U.S. and European Ryder Cup teams now set for later this month at Gleneagles, the comparisons and debates and speculation have begun. Europe is the favorite, boasting both the home course advantage and the No. 1 player in the world.
Two of the most popular players from Ryder Cups past were picked by their captains on Tuesday: Keegan Bradley for the U.S. and Ian Poulter for Europe. Instantly, that became a matchup everyone wanted to see – especially after American captain Tom Watson said Bradley could be the U.S. version of Poulter.
Rory McIlroy, the world’s top-ranked player, was asked about that comparison on Wednesday during his press conference at the BMW Championship.
“They’re both nuts, that’s the first thing,” McIlroy said, eliciting laughter from the assembled media. “Yeah, Keegan gets really passionate about it. Like he really does. He’s probably – yeah if I was to compare sides, he’s the guy on the U.S. team that could get anywhere close to the passion that Poulter shows.”
Yeah, you could say Bradley brings some emotion:
That putt won a match for Bradley and Phil Mickelson over Sergio Garcia and Luke Donald on the first day of the 2012 Ryder Cup. Of course, the title was later taken by Europe in the “Miracle of Medinah,” much to the thanks of Poulter. He went 4-0 that week, while also doing his part to rev up the crowd:
McIlroy continued to say he was happy to see his buddy Bradley picked for the U.S. squad.
“I know Keegan a lot. I’ve played with him a lot down in Florida and I hang out with him, and I know how badly he wanted to make that team. I was happy to see that he got picked. He really wants it and I’m sure he’ll perform well,” McIlroy said.
If Bradley brings to the team what Watson and the rest of the Americans hope he’ll bring, McIlroy and Europe might not be so thrilled he was picked.
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