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He will be Team USA's talisman when the competition starts on Friday, with Jim Furyk's men looking to become the first American side to win on European soil for 25 years.

These are not "mops" on the European team, the word Thomas Bjorn used to describe two of his captain's picks. "These teams are the two best teams world ranking-wise that have been across from each other in this event".

It's like an National Football League player about to run through the stadium tunnel onto the field for a Super Bowl feeling like he's going to pop out of his skin. All of the guys are playing some great golf.

The US roster has nine major winners and 11 of the world's 17 top-ranked players, led by world number one Dustin Johnson and third-ranked Brooks Koepka, this year's US Open and PGA Championship victor.

"You'd like to be ahead after any session, but when I look at these matches, they could be as tight as anything, all four of them, and it's impossible for me to predict what's going to happen", Bjorn said.

- The 2018 Ryder Cup is the second to be held in continental Europe after 1997 when it was played at Valderrama in Spain. In all, the teams combine to have 22 of the world's top 28 ranked players. US captain Jim Furyk said Wednesday it's "probably not too likely".

Spieth expects some par celebrations this week instead of birdie binges that were enjoyed in the U.S. 2014 win at Hazeltine.

Spieth called his 2014 tee shot at Gleneagles "probably the most nerve-wracking tee shot I've ever hit" and expects another tough one this week with 7,000 fans at the first tee.

Team Europe's Rory McIlroy has suggested it would be "silly" to focus exclusively on Tiger Woods ahead of the upcoming Ryder Cup.

Europe's Jon Rahm plays from a bunker near the 10th green during a practice round at Le Golf National in Guyancourt outside Paris France Tuesday Sept. 25 2018. The 42nd Ryder Cup will be held in France from Sept. 28-30 2018 at Le Golf National
The Ryder Cup: How does it work?

Asked if the pairing might happen, Mickelson said: "I do have an idea of what captain Furyk is thinking, yeah".

Split into three days, the first two days see teams of two play across four foursome matches (golfers play alternate shots) and four fourball matches (golfers play the better ball) per day.

With narrow fairways and a hard rough, not to mention the large expanses of water that will set hearts pumping on the first and 18th holes in particular, the 6,568-metre Parisian layout will not be offering many gifts. These are happy times for Woods, regardless of whatever Bryson DeChambeau said to cause such a reaction Tuesday. "Those little half-points to point swings are enormous over the course of the entire Cup".

Woods and Mickelson have indifferent Ryder Cup records - Woods has won 14.5 points out of a possible 33, and Mickelson 18.5 from 42. Le Golf National won't have a tunnel but they'll have a ton of fans ready to go nuts on Friday.

Rory McIlroy: After missing the cut in 2008 in first his full season as a professional, he finished fourth in 2010 and third in 2016 after a frustrating final round containing one birdie, one bogey and 16 pars. This grandstand is going to create the effect of a team coming out for the Super Bowl more than hitting a drive down the fairway.

Expectations are for players to attack with second shots to a putting surface that could surrender some impressive long putts.

"I've been excited for this for basically since the last day in Hazeltine, whenever we weren't the ones spraying champagne for a change", the world number six said. "You can be aggressive from 20 to 40 feet".

"I think to focus on one player is silly, especially when I might not even see him at any point this week because I mightn't be on the course with him or play against him". "It's like there's a certain guy, I'm not going to say who, had to say certain words in their interviews; who knows if they said them". "Everything is a crescendo there".

Sarri denies 'psychological advantage' over Liverpool
He's a special player who enjoys these one-on-one situations. The German said: "I know exactly how good he is". I don't think the ref has to see it (VAR).


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