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September 29, 20165 huge momentum swings from Ryder Cup history (The Associated Press)

FILE - In this Oct. 22, 1967 file photo, British Ryder Cup team captain Dai Rees, left, congratulates Ben Hogan, captain of the U.S. team after Hogan's golfers beat the British in the three day competition at Champions course in Houston. Momentum means everything at the Ryder Cup. Shot to shot, match to match, even era to era, its swung back and forth between the United States and Europe. Golfers dont come any tougher or more taciturn than Ben Hogan. The United States had largely dominated Ryder Cup play in the preceding four decades. (AP Photo/File)

Momentum means everything at the Ryder Cup. Shot to shot, match to match, even era to era, it's swung back and forth between the United States and Europe, sometimes at a glacial pace and occasionally with head-turning speed. Europe has won the last three, six of the last seven and eight of the last 10.


September 28, 2016Rookies could hold Ryder Cup key, says Jacklin (Reuters)

Tony Jacklin of England tees off on the first hole during the first round of the Mission Hills World Celebrity Pro-Am golf tournament in Haikou, China's Hainan province October 20, 2012. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu (CHINA - Tags: SPORT GOLF ENTERTAINMENT) - RTR39CO4

By Tony Jimenez CHASKA, Minnesota (Reuters) - The destiny of the Ryder Cup may rest on how Europe's six rookies perform this week, according to Tony Jacklin, described by ESPN this week as the man who saved the biennial team event in the 1980s. Jacklin, Europe's most decorated captain after winning twice and tying once in four Ryder Cups, says no one knows how Danny Willett, Chris Wood, Rafa Cabrera-Bello, Andy Sullivan, Matt Fitzpatrick and Thomas Pieters will fare under the microscope.


September 28, 2016Mickelson starts war of words with former Cup captain Sutton (Reuters)

Sep 28, 2016; Chaska, MN, USA;  Team USA golfer Phil Mickelson addresses the media before their practice round for the 41st Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

By Mark Lamport-Stokes CHASKA, Minnesota (Reuters) - Phil Mickelson sparked a verbal spat with former United States captain Hal Sutton at Hazeltine on Wednesday for events that occurred during the 2004 Ryder Cup at Oakland Hills. Mickelson criticized Sutton for his late decision that week to pair the American left-hander with Tiger Woods, the world's two top-ranked players at the tine who went on to lose both matches they played against Europe. "We were told two days before that we were playing together, and that gave us no time to work together and prepare," Mickelson told reporters during the build-up to this week's Ryder Cup.


September 28, 2016Willett apologises for brother's anti-American rant (Reuters)

Sep 28, 2016; Chaska, MN, USA;  Europe team captain Darren Clarke addresses the media following their practice round for the 41st Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National Golf Club.   John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

By Larry Fine CHASKA, Minnesota (Reuters) - European Ryder Cup player Danny Willett and captain Darren Clarke apologized on Wednesday over a crude rant from the Masters champion's brother about the nature of U.S. crowds he expects this week at Hazeltine. In an article published on nationalclubgolfer.com, a magazine website, Pete Willett wrote in part: "They need to silence the pudgy, basement-dwelling, irritants, stuffed on cookie dough and pissy beer ... "They need to smash the obnoxious dads, with their shiny teeth, Lego man hair, medicated ex-wives, and resentful children." Willett and Clarke emphatically distanced themselves and the team from the diatribe, which was laced with political jabs and swipes using caricatures of Americans.


September 28, 2016Mickelson 'team leader' of U.S. side, says captain Love (Reuters)

Sep 28, 2016; Chaska, MN, USA;  Phil Mickelson walks on the course during the practice round for the Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

By Tony Jimenez CHASKA, Minnesota (Reuters) - Davis Love III is the non-playing skipper charged with the task of ending Europe's domination of the Ryder Cup but there seems little doubt that Phil Mickelson is the unofficial playing captain. "Phil is, I think, the backbone of the team," Love told reporters at Hazeltine National on Wednesday. "He's been a team leader, gosh, I'd say in the last six or eight teams I've been around, he's been the leader on the golf course or in the locker room or in the team room." Brandt Snedeker, making his second U.S. Ryder Cup appearance this week as his side attempt to defeat Europe for the first time since 2008, explained how much of an influence the 46-year-old Mickelson had been in the countdown to the event.


September 28, 2016Golf-Willett apologises for brother's anti-American rant (Reuters)

* Willett phones brother over his fiery rant * Masters champion apologises to U.S. captain * Player calls incident 'a distraction' (Adds player Willett quotes) By Larry Fine CHASKA, Minnesota, Sept 28 (Reuters) - European Ryder Cup player Danny Willett and captain Darren Clarke apologised on Wednesday over a crude rant from the Masters champion's brother about the nature of U.S. crowds he expects this week at Hazeltine. In an article published on nationalclubgolfer.com, a magazine website, Pete Willett wrote in part: "They need to silence the pudgy, basement-dwelling, irritants, stuffed on cookie dough and pissy beer ... "They need to smash the obnoxious dads, with their shiny teeth, Lego man hair, medicated ex-wives, and resentful children." Willett and Clarke emphatically distanced themselves and the team from the diatribe, which was laced with political jabs and swipes using caricatures of Americans.

September 28, 2016Danny Willett apologizes for brother's words about US fans (The Associated Press)

Europe's Danny Willett watches his drive with teammate Europe's Justin Rose and Europe's Sergio Garcia during a practice round for the Ryder Cup golf tournament Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016, at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minn. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Danny Willett's focus faltered a bit Wednesday during practice at Hazeltine National Golf Club. Willett was a couple of holes into his round when informed about the online buzz created by the colorful, humorous and crude essay written by his columnist brother , Pete Willett, on the National Club Golfer website that poked fun at the American players and castigated the culture from which their fans have come. Willett praised the American fans who ''took me under their wing fantastically'' at Augusta National Golf Club in April.


September 28, 2016Mickelson promises prepared US team at Ryder Cup (The Associated Press)

United States' Phil Mickelson hits from a bunker on the first hole during a practice round for the Ryder Cup golf tournament Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2016, at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minn. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Two days before the Ryder Cup, Phil Mickelson went back 12 years to drive home a point that the Americans are prepared to play their best golf. This time, his target was Hal Sutton. Mickelson was the catalyst for change at the last Ryder Cup when he publicly questioned Tom Watson's heavy-handed style - with Watson sitting at the same table - after another American loss at Gleneagles.