sport news WORLD OF GOLF: Presidents Cup gives Europe hope ahead of next year's Ryder Cup ... trends now

sport news WORLD OF GOLF: Presidents Cup gives Europe hope ahead of next year's Ryder Cup ... trends now
sport news WORLD OF GOLF: Presidents Cup gives Europe hope ahead of next year's Ryder Cup ... trends now

sport news WORLD OF GOLF: Presidents Cup gives Europe hope ahead of next year's Ryder Cup ... trends now

A year out, there might just be signs of separation between what the assumptions and the evidence each tell us about the next Ryder Cup.

It has become accepted wisdom that the US will head into the match in Rome as strong favourites, irrespective of the weighting given to home advantage by recent history.

For that proposition, consider what the European captain Luke Donald told Sportsmail earlier this month: ‘They should be favourites. We have been underdogs many times over the past 30 years and found a way through, so there is nothing wrong with being the underdog, because that mentality can be quite powerful.’

Luke Donald has spoken about the challenges of facing the US in Rome next September

Luke Donald has spoken about the challenges of facing the US in Rome next September

However, the Presidents Cup between the many stars of the US and 12 Internationals over the past four days was a reminder that golf is not played on paper and that team events have a magnificent habit of inserting swings of momentum where they are least expected.

That Davis Love’s US team won by 17.5-12.5 would indicate a strong victory, but that was devilishly misleading for the purposes of broader conclusions. The truth is the numbers were far closer than any forecast and they simultaneously flattered the Americans.

Early in the match, after Friday’s fourballs, the disparity was as wide as 8-2. But by the close of play on Saturday the gap was down to 11-7 and halfway through Sunday’s singles the projected score based on the on-course scenarios was 16-14 to the US. The margin dragged itself back out to five via a few hairy moments, but even that was far tighter than most anticipated for the circumstances.

Europe's stars, including Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm, will always give them a shot at glory

Europe's stars, including Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm, will always give them a shot at glory

The US triumphed in the Presidents Cup but it was closer than many anticipated ahead of the event

The US triumphed in the Presidents Cup but it was closer than many anticipated ahead of the event

At this moment, a reminder of those circumstances is necessary: the Internationals were playing away against a team featuring the World No 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9, and a lowest of 25. Even more significantly, the Internationals had also lost

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