In formidable form
'European success is a real bonus ahead of Ryder Cup'
Last Updated: 04/09/12 10:44am
Gallacher: believes the United States will start as slight favourites
Former Europe captain Bernard Gallacher thinks Jose Maria Olazabal's team is nicely balanced for this month's Ryder Cup showdown in Chicago.
"It's a wonderful spectacle and I would say everybody - not just golf supporters - is looking forward to the Ryder Cup."
Bernard Gallacher Quotes of the week
Gallacher, skipper in 1991, 1993 and 1995, believes Spaniard Olazabal will lead the strongest European side to ever visit American shores at Medinah Country Club in September but says home advantage could play a decisive role in the final result.
"I think we've got a very good chance," he told Sky Sports News. "The teams are very evenly matched - it's difficult to pick an outright favourite.
"I'd say at the moment that the Americans are probably slight favourites because they are at home - and that should suit Jose Maria Olazabal, because he'll feel they can go in as slight underdogs and be able to go for it."
Olazabal finalised his line-up last Monday when he named Ian Poulter and Nicolas Colsaerts as his two wildcard picks. Read the story here.
"The European side is a fantastically strong side - it's probably the strongest side that has ever gone to America.
"It's led by Rory McIlroy, the world's No 1 player; Luke Donald is not far behind him in the world rankings and he's closely followed by Lee Westwood.
"You can go down the list and most of the players are winning tournaments; Paul Lawrie won the Johnnie Walker Championship recently, Sergio Garcia won recently in America.
"So Olazabal is going in there with players that are really on form and that's a real bonus as this late stage. But the Americans are anxious to beat us and it's about proving which continent has the best players - is it America or is it Europe?
"It's a wonderful spectacle and I would say everybody - not just golf supporters - is looking forward to the Ryder Cup. It's a very close match normally and it's of worldwide interest."
The 2012 Ryder Cup is live in High Definition on Sky Sports from 12.30pm on September 28th.