It’s hard to believe that two years have already passed since the incredible drama of Medinah, when the spirit of Seve Ballesteros seemed to grip the European team on that magical Sunday when they staged surely the greatest ever Ryder Cup comeback.
Martin Kaymer’s putt, Jose Maria Olazabal’s tears for his dear friend and the whole rollercoaster of that stirring comeback still seems so fresh in the mind.
And it was such a truly remarkable sporting moment that everybody needed a couple of years to come down off the high!
Now we find ourselves on the cusp of the 2014 Ryder Cup with the wonderful historic venue of Gleneagles waiting to welcome the latest players fortunate enough to compete for this stellar trophy.
And what of the 2014 crop?
By Rob Boulton – Lead Golf Writer
Europe rightly come into the tournament as clear favourites, with Rory McIlroy fast becoming the new golfing megastar – and appearing more than comfortable in leading the European quest even at just 25 years of age.
The rest of the European side also seem to be in good form coming into the tournament, with Ian Poulter again likely to be a key performer for the team.
Behind McIlroy and Poulter, Europe have a string of top class players more than ready to rise to the occasion – so captain Paul McGinley will be quietly confident.
Justin Rose, Lee Westwood, Sergio Garcia, Jamie Donaldson are all in fantastic form – and with no Luke Donald it shows just how tough spots in this team are to come by.
As for the Americans, no Tiger Woods may seem a blow to the spectators – but with a mixed record in this event his absence may strike to galvanise the team.
Led by the wiliest of wily foxes in Tom Watson, the Americans will need some of their more maverick players to find top form if they have any hope of taking the trophy back over the pond.
However in Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk and Matt Kuchar – they have the talent and experience to cause a surprise.
The Ryder Cup always produces historical moments, but it also creates heroes – and under the pressure cooker atmosphere literally anything can happen.
Whoever comes out on top, it promises to be a captivating weekend of viewing – though the Europeans will be hoping Rory McIlroy has invested in a new suit if they do win it, after his recent outing at Old Trafford…