McIlroy not intimidated by 'Tiger factor'

McIlroy felt the full force of Woods's revival after being outplayed by him in the final group on Sunday at East Lake. "There are definitely obstacles to overcome, but that group out there is feisty and confident", U.S. captain Jim Furyk said of his team.

It is an offshoot of the world Woods constructed for so long.

Europe, he added, "can at times be a fragmented place, but when it comes to the Ryder Cup it's different". So the acoustics are going to be amplified three times if not more.

Bjorn said he would accept a split of the morning matches considering he has four rookies playing, though he hopes for more.

On top of that, Le Golf National negates a lot of the strengths of the Unites States team.

But it's questionable if Woods, a 42-year-old victor of 14 major titles, and left-hander Mickelson, a five-time major champion at age 48, would be united in foursomes or four-balls by USA captain Jim Furyk.

Phil Mickelson missed his first opening session since his rookie year in the Ryder Cup, and he was missing while in action during the afternoon.

Of course, the singles pairing that everyone wants to see is a head-to-head showdown with Poulter, who is 12-4-2 at the Ryder Cup and has never lost a singles match.

The biggest name in golf took a break from putting practice at the Ryder Cup to get introduced to the teams who contested the junior version of the event on Monday and Tuesday. I don't really need any motivation.

It's about who they become playing under a flag, for a tour, and playing for each other. Coincidence? No one thought so. Still, it's an odd sight: Tiger, with an earpiece wrapped around his head rather than a hand wrapped around a club. That it fizzled out after just nine holes, though, was disappointing for Rory McIlroy. I think during that process, I wanted to be there for him as a friend, or as somebody, because the life he lives is so different than everybody else. But it was also part of a rebranding, and choking back tears mattered. None of them come in playing their best golf of the year, but they won't be bug-eyed all week like Olesen, Noren and the rooks will. This was more real and accessible, more human. This is his first Ryder Cup appearance since 2012. They are not going to put two rookies up on Friday morning.

Flags were raised, anthems were played and the partisan cheers began late Thursday afternoon to signal the end of a hype and anticipation of a Ryder Cup featuring two of the strongest teams the US and Europe have presented at the same time. I expect him and Tiger to be on roughly the same three-match schedule. We have seen his best on Tour. My overall Ryder Cup record, not having won as a player since 1999, is something that hopefully we can change. We're just trying to beat the U.S. Team.

"I'm addressing what we are in that European team room", he explained. You know, and for them to be here, we're in a position with a chance to do something very special.

This week, he plays for himself and his teammates. So what is fourball some may ask, well it's two golfer teams representing each country go into battle against each other, each of the four golfers play their own ball and the best score from a single player counts for the team for that hole.

Europe's squad is heavy on new faces while the United States have given another chance to veteran pair Tiger Woods - a victor in last week's Tour Championship in Atlanta - and Phil Mickelson.

The Northern Ireland national has refused to be swept away by the media storm surrounding the stunning victory [VIDEO] achieved by Woods and is instead focusing strongly on the "togetherness" that has perhaps eluded Team USA in previous tournaments.

  • Julie Sanders