Wind to decide whether course proves a breeze


THEY might not have agreed at the time, but the treacherous conditions at the Tour Championship at East Lake last weekend might have actually done the Americans a favour as they look to defend their Ryder Cup honour this weekend.

With the Dunhill Links Championship coming up at St Andrews next week, this is officially the start of the ‘cold season’ – and the weather forecast this weekend pretty much follows the trend for a traditional British autumn.

You would have to say that this would normally favour the European team – and the British players in particular – but this is the Ryder Cup, it’s something special, and there really is no massive advantage to be taken in the conditions.

I’ve been lucky enough to fulfil my childhood dream and be involved in three Ryder Cups, while on the bag of Paul Casey, and there really is nothing like it – it’s the highlight of the golfing calendar and a privilege to be a part of.

Celtic Manor is also a fantastic Ryder Cup venue and, I would say, not typical of a Major course. The weather is crucial here. When it blows across you it can make it very difficult, but when it’s calm and still it can play quite easy.

Martin Kaymer really enjoyed playing there at the Wales Open back in June, and the fact that Graeme McDowell, Luke Donald, Edoardo Molinari and Miguel Angel Jimenez occupied four of the top eight places that weekend would indicate that he is not the only member of the European team looking forward to going back in an attempt to reclaim the cup.

We have to start as slight favourites and there’s a real positive feeling in the camp. I reckon they just might pull it off.