Rory McIlroy eager to 'embrace' American target on his back

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"Those were the matches that swing", Woods said.

The Ryder Cup, that's just like the Open or the Masters, then?

Europe's squad is heavy on new faces while the United States have given another chance to veteran pair Tiger Woods - a victor in last week's Tour Championship in Atlanta - and Phil Mickelson. That was almost 20 years ago and required a record comeback on the final day. I mean, it went forever.

Paul Casey: Played in the French Open just twice and missed the cut in 2012 after back-to-back rounds of 80.

Woods and Mickelson have indifferent Ryder Cup records - Woods has won 14.5 points out of a possible 33, and Mickelson 18.5 from 42.

Ryder Cup veteran Sergio Garcia insists he does not feel a responsibility to justify captain Thomas Bjorn's decision to pick him.

"To be honest, we're just trying to make fun of each other. You know, 2016 was a great example of how we're getting the Ryder Cup. we're getting a lot better". Reed, McIlroy and the likes of Ian Poulter, Tyrrell Hatton and Bubba Watson are sure to get the crowd going one way or another and as a watching fan, there is truly nothing like the Ryder Cup. I think you have a lot of great players on the team that have played in a lot of Ryder Cups and will put their hand up to be one of the leaders and to try to lead by example. Both the Americans and the Europeans have 12 players and the teams will battle it out for 28 points over three days at the biennial showpiece. But I certainly wish I was at East Lake, no question.

And for this week's matches, which begin Friday at Le Golf National, that rush figures to pack an even more powerful punch because the grandstands behind the first tee are, by far, the largest in the history of the event, fitting some 7000 fans.

"Are they good?" Woods asked to plenty of laughter. "If I showed up in the morning and guys had a look on their face that made me nervous".

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NBC Sports Group said the final round was the highest-rated Tour Championship on record dating to 1991. I think they both mentioned it would be a lot better pairing than it was in the past.

"The only time I've seen stands this big is in a football stadium, " he said. "I've thought about it plenty, but nothing prepares you for the real thing". "A guy with his status and that number of wins, he can flip the page and turn his attention to this week".

"We will play with passion, we will play with commitment and we will play with pride, but more than anything else this week we will play for that flag".

The chant, which sounds more like Yooooo-Rup!, will be heard around Britain and the rest of Europe starting Friday when the continent's best players take on Tiger Woods and the American team in the Ryder Cup, golf's biggest team event. Furyk said not to read anything into the way he sent off his players in groups of four for the first official practice round. Tony Finau, whose PGA Tour average drive this season is over 315 yards, admits he will hit driver only between four to six drivers a round compared to 10 to 12 he would usually employ on courses in the US. He and Henrik Stenson are the only players to have beaten the pair of Spieth and Patrick Reed at the Ryder Cup.

Pressed on whether Furyk planned on sending the two out together on day one, Mickelson replied: "I do have an idea of what captain Furyk is thinking, yeah".

"You know, I won't ever say it wouldn't happen, but it's probably not too likely".

"We're coming over here to compete, and I feel like it's going to be a really good match like it has the past few years, or the past few Ryder Cups; it's going to come down to the singles matches and I feel like it's going to be fairly close coming into Sunday and coming down to the last few matches".

It was a change that revitalized the Ryder Cup.