Internationals win key to Cup remaining relevant: Ogilvy


“The Ryder Cup wasn’t the Ryder Cup until Europe started winning it – it was a big event but it went nuclear once Seve (Ballesteros) came along and they started winning a few and now they win more than they lose and it’s created this friendly animosity which adds tension and drama to the event.

“A couple of wins from us or a couple of close ones would help that.”

The signs don’t look promising for an International upset, with America fielding a star-studded 12-man team boasting seven of the world’s top 10 players including playing captain Tiger Woods.

But Ogilvy, who grew up next to Royal Melbourne and said he used to jump the fence to get into the course, said the local knowledge of the Australians in the team as well as their plans to play in the Australian Open the week prior to the Presidents Cup could give them a genuine boost.

He felt that would fast-track the cultural differences in the team, with players coming from Japan, South Korea, Canada, South Africa, Venezuela and Argentina.

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Adam Scott, Jason Day, Marc Leishman and Cameron Smith are the local hopes among the Internationals, who are skippered by South African great Ernie Els, who holds the unofficial course record at the famed sand-belt course.

“The American team look like a bit of a juggernaut but we’ve got a good young team,” the former US Open champion and world No.3 said.

“This is a tough place for them to play and Ernie is historically great around Royal Melbourne so he’s got a lot of wisdom and the players want to win for him.

“The Americans are in a sweet spot of form but if you watch the Ryder Cup, they are very beatable if you play well.

“I see no reason why we can’t pump them.”

Former Australian great Ian Baker-Finch, who won the British Open in 1991, and has co-captained the Internationals, felt the event’s future was secure but also thought his team needed a win.

“I think the future is still solid but yes, it would mean something, especially for the guys who have played many years in a row,” he said.

“It’s a long time to be going for just one win.”

AAP

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