SHEBOYGAN, Wis. – Rory McIlroy laughs, somewhat shyly, while words from a part of his past are played out in front of him. Call it the naivety of the youth, an understandable, uninformed view on a subject he has not yet had the opportunity to fully experience.
McIlroy was barely 20 years old when he referred to the Ryder Cup as an ‘exhibition’, in which he explained that it was a ‘wonderful spectacle’, but that ‘it should finally be at the end of the day.’ things are not such a big problem for me. “
McIlroy has suffered a significant setback in the comments he made before his first Ryder Cup in 2010. He simply does not know any better.
And although what he said is ultimately true – the Ryder Cup is an amazing spectacle and it’s just an exhibition, but everyone involved knows that the event far surpasses the descriptions.
This week on Whistling Straits, McIlroy, now 32, will compete in the Ryder Cup for the sixth time in a row. He has never missed a game, played in all 24 sessions (there were only four in 2010) for Europe and set an 11-9-4 record, and was on four winning teams.
“If you’re a newcomer to the Ryder Cup, you do not know exactly what to expect,” he said. ‘You’ve watched it on TV over the years, but once you get there, it’s a completely different experience.
“I was a decent player at the time. I was not as established as I am now, or even at the stage with the Ryder Cup. The first Ryder Cup is really special. It’s such a unique experience. I do not think there is. anything else in golf that you can prepare for. “
The newcomers on each side will experience the same feelings.
The United States has six first-timers: Collin Morikawa, Patrick Cantlay, Xander Schauffele, Harris Engels, Daniel Berger and Scottie Scheffler. Cantlay and Schauffele at least played in the Presidents Cup.
The way they view the Ryder Cup is likely to be different at the end of the week.
“It’s bigger than you think,” England said. Justin got up, who did not make the team this year, but did play in five Ryder Cups. ‘The first time I could win it  As a team, I really knew what the Ryder Cup was all about. That victory [Europe came back from a 10-6 deficit on the final day at Medinah] was just amazing. We were being fired there. For nine sessions of Ryder Cup golf, I felt like I was at the end of brutality every time. It really was not that nice. Then Sunday happened in Medina. On Sunday, everything changed about the Ryder Cup. You begin to understand how to win and mean as a team. It definitely changed that for me. ”
Paul Casey saw it more from the negative side. He played his first Ryder Cup in 2004. He is quoted in a newspaper article as saying, “Oh, we hate them properly. We wanted to defeat them as badly as possible”, about the European victory of 18.5-9.5-which the largest was victory margin at the time and later in 2016 equaled by Europe.
These comments were picked up by other British outlets, used in headlines, and Casey finds himself in a firestorm that has shaken him to this day.
“It was the wrong term to use,” Casey said. “But I basically said you ‘hate’ the guy you’re playing against. And when it’s over, you shake his hand and drink a beer. Of course they take ‘hate’ and throw Americans there in a headline and kill me. It hurt terribly.
“I considered quitting, that’s how painful it was. I was in a dark place. It was really painful. I probably took it harder than the sadness I got there. I was very upset. I spent my whole life growing up in [the United States], so it was very painful to be painted like that. “
Casey, 44, who played in four Ryder Cups, has moved to the state of Arizona and still lives in the Phoenix area.
But when he grew up in England, he was well aware of the Ryder Cup and its importance.
“I knew what a big problem it was,” Casey said. “You never quite know until you are completely immersed in it. But Ryder Cups was such a big thing, still such a big thing in Europe. That was all we did was sit down and watch as we children were.Three days TV.It was brilliant.The drama.It is clear that it went through the rich time for the Europeans.The victories at The Belfry. Sam Torrance [holed the winning putt in 1985], Christie O’Connor hits his 2-iron over the water [in 1989], Seven [Ballesteros] drive it at 10 on the green [in 1985]. Such good. It was like folklore. ”
Keegan Bradley had a different way of describing what he thought of the Ryder Cup and what he learned while participating in it.
Bradley, a rookie in the PGA Tour when he won the PGA Championship in 2011, qualified for his first Ryder Cup team in 2012 and won 3-1 over Medinah and won three team games with Phil Mickelson. He also played in the 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles.
“The perception and the story is that Americans do not care as much as Europeans, and that is so far from the truth,” Bradley said. “And that’s so far from the truth in the locker room. It’s so important to everyone and months in advance it’s a big problem. Guys are involved. That’s what struck me most, how important it is to everyone on the team. is.”
And there is no simulation of the intensity.
‘Nervousness is not the right word; it’s not scared, ‘he said Stewart Cink, who played in five Ryder Cups for the United States from 2002 to 2010. “So it brings out a new type of focus. There’s such a focus, such an intensity – such a next level. That part of the Ryder Cup that I loved.”
McIlroy loved it – and fast. He immediately saw how big it was at Celtic Manor, where his teammates greeted him with big wigs to mock with his hair. It was done with pleasure, and McIlroy enjoyed the ribs while having a sense of belonging.
Now he is considered one of the team leaders.
“It’s technically still an exhibition,” he said of one of the words he used, which got him into trouble. “It’s just a very serious one. I think my thing was that I enjoyed it a lot. Golf is an individual sport. I’ve always said I’m most proud of my individual achievements in the game.
“But the most enjoyable and most enjoyable thing I had was easily the Ryder Cups. Being part of a team is something we can not experience so often.”