ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – Rory McIlroy has a warning for the United States Ryder Cup team.
“It won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be,” McIlroy said ahead of the $3 million Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship.
McIlroy admits the U.S. team is a better unit now than it’s been in previous Ryder Cups, but they could be in for a surprise when they play in Paris this September.
“The Americans are very strong,” McIlroy said. “For the first time they have a real cohesion. All the younger guys get along great. Jordan, JT, Rickie, Brooks, Patrick Reed, Daniel Berger, they all get on really, really well. There’s a real core group of players there, young players that will be around for a long time.”
McIlroy, who is making his return to competitive golf since the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship last October, says home course advantage should play into Europe’s hands in the same way Hazeltine favoured the U.S. in 2016.
“Look at Hazeltine last time and how they set that golf course up: big wide fairways, no rough, pins in the middle of greens. It wasn’t set up for the way the Europeans like to play. I think Paris will be a completely different kettle of fish.
“The Americans have obviously been buoyant about their chances and but it is never as easy as that, even when Europe was winning six of eight or five of seven, whatever it was. Yes Europe won and it looked dominant for a while, but the matches were always closer than that.
“The Ryder Cup’s always close. It always comes down to a few key moments, and it will be no different in Paris. We’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”