Clarke calls European Ryder Cup team 'underdogs'


The United States has managed to win just one of the last seven Ryder Cup competitions, but after a recent look at the points list, European captain Darren Clarke considers his side the "underdogs" heading into Hazeltine.

Bear in mind, the Ryder Cup has become so lopsided, and the Americans' post-match media availability at Gleneagles was so dysfunctional, that the U.S. felt it necessary to develop a task force to better compete. 

Nonetheless, Clarke on Sunday posted this tweet from the Bahamas:

In fairness, of the 17 players - eight for the U.S., nine for Europe - who would qualify for the Ryder Cup if the matches were held today, the Americans do boast a significantly higher average world ranking, 11.9 to Europe's 28.3.

The players currently atop the U.S. list are Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson, Zach Johnson, Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson, Kevin Kisner, Bubba Watson and Brooks Koepka.

Europe, separately, would send Rory McIlroy, Victor Dubuisson, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Andy Sullivan, Henrik Stenson, Justin Rose, Chris Wood, Kristoffer Broberg and Danny Willett to Minnesota.

Of course, a lot will change for both sides between now and the cut-off dates for qualification in August. Team Europe, for example, does not currently include past stalwarts like Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter, Graeme McDowell, Martin Kaymer or Luke Donald, who would all be available as captain's picks and who still have eight months to make the team on their own accord. Recent WGC winners like Shane Lowry and Russell Knox are likewise absent.

Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup captains also have a long history of this sort of talk.

However the rosters shake out, Ted Bishop, who perhaps against better judgment has opted to continue tweeting about the Ryder Cup, had this to say in response: