Rival Ryder Cup captains smash golf balls off the Eiffel Tower
18 October, 2017, 07:34
European captain Thomas Bjorn will stress the pain of losing to his team, but is confident a combination of talent and team spirit can see his side regain the Ryder Cup in France next year.
The United States ended a run of three straight defeats with victory at Hazeltine past year, before an impressive young outfit crushed the Internationals 19-11 at the Presidents Cup earlier this month.
Captain Jim Furyk is likely to have current world number one Dustin Johnson, Open champion Jordan Spieth, FedEx Cup victor Justin Thomas, US Open champion Brooks Koepka and Tour Championship victor Xander Schauffele in his side. His Europe counterpart Bjorn added: "It's been an unbelievable experience and to know that Arnold Palmer did it as well, we're very fortunate to be in this situation as Ryder Cup captains, but to get to do things like this is something that you cherish for the rest of your life".
Although the top two players in the world rankings are Americans - Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth - Europe boast 10 of the top 20.
"I think in order to validate what we have been working on we are going to have to win on both sides of the pond". We might have to take a page from their book and try to figure it out.
"I remember being in Detroit (as vice-captain in 2004) and I think I was 60-something in the world and wasn't in the team".
Still, Europe captain Thomas Bjorn refused to be intimidated by the strength of the American line up.
"You've got to look at Hazeltine. there was certainly a transition on the European team, and an American team that played unbelievably well, and it became a very hard task for Darren and the team from earlier on in the week. I will do everything in (my) power to deliver a team that can win the Ryder Cup".
"He wants to be a part of it, but he really has for a while tried to prioritise his family and any man has to respect that some people make those priorities, but having him in the Ryder Cup team would be a fantastic asset if he plays the way he is at the moment". But we did and we did it together. "That's what our team needs to do".
"We have 25 years of scars to overcome", Furyk said at a press conference in Paris, where earlier in the day, the pair recreated history by hitting golf balls off the famous Eiffel Tower, 41 years after the legendary Arnold Palmer became the first - and only previous person - to do so.
"Yes, the Americans are doing well, they did well at Hazeltine and in the Presidents Cup, but you'd expect that".
"I've said all along I have an open conversation with Paul", Bjorn told reporters in Paris.
"But also it will be a different 12 guys".
"I don't want them going in there being overconfident that they are the greatest team".
"We still have a chip on our shoulder". We'll catch them at a different time in their career.
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