Butch: Ryder Cup not over yet, remember Medinah?

Butch Harmon

Golf Columnist

Butch Harmon vows to never again predict a Ryder Cup result ahead of Sunday’s singles having written off Europe at Medinah. But being 11-5 down, would a comeback at Whistling Straits would be the greatest in sporting history?

Last Updated: 26/09/21 1:45am

Team USA may have their largest lead in a Ryder Cup since 1975, but Butch Harmon is wary of a repeat of the Miracle at Medinah and will not write off Europe’s chances of a historic comeback.

I made a huge mistake at Medinah before the start of the singles matches, when I said there was absolutely no way the Europeans could come back from four points down, and I will never make that mistake again.

So I am not going to go out on a limb and tell you who is going to win, but I will say this one is not over yet. Team Europe will front-load their singles line-up and put their best players out first to try and make something happen. And, as we know, it’s sport, it’s golf, and it’s never over until it’s over.

Butch Harmon wrote off Europe's comeback chances at Medinah Butch Harmon wrote off Europe's comeback chances at Medinah

Butch Harmon wrote off Europe’s comeback chances at Medinah

One of the big differences from Medinah this week, apart from the scoreline after two days, is that Team USA have six rookies who have never lost a Ryder Cup. They don’t know what it’s like to have the scar tissue of being in a losing team.

I think that’s what the Americans have going for them on Sunday, and I’m sure these kids will continue to play well and remain aggressive. If they can go out and get points on the board in the first few matches, it will get to the point where the rest of it does not matter.

It’s easy to say, but it’s not going to be easy to do.

This is one of the best teams we have ever seen in Ryder Cup history, and that’s incredible when they are so young. Yes, half the team are rookies, but one of those rookies has won two majors already.

US captain Steve Stricker has instilled positivity and pride in his team US captain Steve Stricker has instilled positivity and pride in his team

US captain Steve Stricker has instilled positivity and pride in his team

Five of those rookies have won on the PGA Tour, Patrick Cantlay has just won the FedExCup, so Ryder Cup rookies in this day and age are a different breed. Scottie Scheffler is the only player without a win, yet he’s played phenomenal golf this week.

This is a young team, the new breed of the American team. The old guard is gone, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson are now on the sidelines, and they have been replaced by kids who are hungry and ready, and they are used to winning already.

Having a six-point lead can cause complacency, but I will tell you now there will be no complacency in the American team room. They know this is their big chance to get back in the Ryder Cup and start a trend of results going the way of Team USA.

Sergio Garcia and Jon Rahm: The new Seve and Olly? Sergio Garcia and Jon Rahm: The new Seve and Olly?

Sergio Garcia and Jon Rahm: The new Seve and Olly?

They have lost nine of the last 12 contests, but Captain Stricker is a very positive person, a very proud man, and he has instilled those attributes in his team this week. His players all look up to him, they believe in him, and they have shown this week how good they are.

As for Europe, they have had little to cheer at Whistling Straits, but one bright spot has been the partnership of Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia. For me, they’re the new Seve and Olly, they have been phenomenal.

It’s clearly going to take a lot for Europe to come back and win this thing, but nothing is impossible and I will never, ever say there is no chance for them. If they can pull it off, I think it would be the greatest comeback in the history of sport, not just the Ryder Cup.

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This is why you play the game, this is why you believe in yourself, this is why you have worked your tail off to get to be one of those 12 players in the European team room. You do not hang your head, you do not go around and tell each other how poorly you have played.

You are going to look each other in the eye and say, ‘We’re going to play as good as we can play, and whatever is gonna happen is gonna happen, but there is no quit in us. We’re going to fight and fight’.

Yes, it would be the greatest comeback of all time, and wouldn’t it be fun to be a part of that if it happens?

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