The first battle cries have been sounded ahead of the 36th Ryder Cup, which takes place between Europe and the USA at the K Club in Ireland from September 22-24.
American Chris DiMarco, who was a member of the USA team that suffered their worst ever Ryder Cup defeat in losing 18.5 to 9.5 to the Europeans on home soil at Oakland Hills in 2004, is hoping that his second place finish at the Open Championship can act as a catalyst to qualification for this year’s team. Once he has achieved that, there is only one thing on his mind – erasing the bitter memories of seeing the Europeans celebrating a comprehensive win on US soil.
The points that DiMarco picked up at Hoylake propelled him into 6th position on the American points list and he is predicting that a good showing in this weekend’s Buick Open will be enough to seal his place in captain Tom Lehman’s team at the K Club. Time is running out for his compatriots further down the list, and events at Warwick Hills this weekend, the International next weekend and the USPGA Championship at Medinah from August 17-20 will be decisive.
“I’ve got three tournaments left – just a good week this week and it’s done,” DiMarco said.
“I’d like to earn it my own way and not have Tom have to pick me as a wildcard. There’s a lot of us who remember the European chants of ‘Ole, Ole, Ole, Ole’ on that green two years ago, believe me. We’ve been thinking about it for two years.”
“There’s no doubt that in the last five or six Ryder Cups we’ve been the favourites on paper. Sometimes you have to be the underdog. After getting whipped like we did last time we’re going to be the underdogs until we get that Cup back.”