Rory McIlroy: ‘It’s becoming tougher to win the Ryder Cup on the road’

The Northern Irishman expects a partisan home crowd with Europe’s lack of fans in Wisconsin increasing the scale of their task

When Rory McIlroy used a devilish pre-Masters question about voting rights to call the United States “the best country in the world” it was easy to sense another blow to the once-ferocious rivalry that existed in the Ryder Cup. How could McIlroy and the other residents of Florida who represent Europe for a week every two years possibly feel antipathy towards their adopted home?

Perfectly easily, as it transpires. McIlroy expanded on his “best country” remark by pointing to the convenience of life for someone in his “fortunate” sporting position. McIlroy admires this “land of opportunity.” Yet one glance at his face upon his singles defeat to Justin Thomas at Le Golf National in 2018 or his hulk-like demeanour when losing narrowly to Patrick Reed in the same format two years earlier reveals someone who can very easily turn against the star-spangled banner. The Ryder Cup is not the cosy domain of those who frequent the coffee shops of West Palm Beach.

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