Europe has a job on its hands to retain the Ryder Cup trophy this year, but here are eight factors to suggest they can bring the trophy home...

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Jon Rahm

In Jon Rahm, Europe has the best player in the world who enters the Ryder Cup in scintillating form.

Rahm made his Ryder Cup debut last time at Le Golf National where he defeated Tiger Woods in the Sunday Singles, so he brings experience as well as a world’s-best game.

He won his maiden Major title this summer at the US Open and continues to go from strength-to-strength.

Another superb Spaniard for Team Europe.

Rory McIlroy back to form

Alongside Rahm, Rory McIlroy is another of Team Europe’s leaders.

Rory has played in five Ryder Cups prior to this year and is always one of the Ryder Cup’s star names.

Whilst he hasn’t had the best of seasons, he is beginning to show some great form after two top-fours and two top-14s in his last five starts.

He may be peaking just in time for Whistling Straits.

Whilsting Straits

Hole 17 Whistling Straits Course Guide

Whistling Straits could be the perfect venue for Europe

Home advantage plays a huge role at the Ryder Cup but this year’s course looks to be a very good setup for Europe.

The Straits Course is linksy in its style as opposed to the typical American style of golf usually seen week-in, week-out on the PGA Tour.

It is also yet to yield an American winner in the three PGA Championships it has hosted, with Vijay Singh, Martin Kaymer and Jason Day winning.

Padraig Harrington

The Irishman is set to be a hugely popular character within the team room and will surely leave no stone unturned.

He is as analytical as they come and has superb experience with three Major titles and six Ryder Cup appearances.

He has also been a vice-captain on three occasions.

Harrington has all the makings of a fantastic Ryder Cup captain, and he looks to have chosen his vice-captains very wisely with Karlsson, Donald, McDowell, Kaymer and Stenson.

Experience

The European team has vast experience of winning Ryder Cups

Alongside the likes of McIlroy, Westwood and Casey, Europe has two huge Ryder Cup names in the form of wildcard picks Ian Poulter and Sergio Garcia.

They might not win every week on Tour, but the pair are two of the fiercest competitors when they put on those European shirts.

Garcia is the Ryder Cup’s all-time points scorer and Ian Poulter has a history of being Europe’s talisman.

The team has just three rookies, which could well be the perfect mix of experience and talent.

Contrast that with the six rookies on the US side, Europe certainly had the edge in the experience category.

Many of Europe’s players and captains have experience of winning Ryder Cups both home away and know how to contribute off the course to help the team play its best.

Bryson and Brooks

Whilst Steve Stricker insists that the feud has been put to bed, it cannot have helped the spirit in the USA team room.

Both men are clearly not fans of each other and their feud has certainly cast unnecessary stories on Team USA this season.

They certainly won’t be paired together this year and the bickering hasn’t helped USA’s chances.

Brooks was also very unenthusiastic about the match in an interview with Golf Digest, where he called it “a bit odd.”

Bryson also says he has “wrecked hands” from long drive training and can’t be fully focused on the Ryder Cup with his Professional Long Drivers Association World Championship appearance the day after Whilsting Straits.

We know that Team Europe will be a united team and there are already signs that the US could be a team of 12 individuals.

Viktor Hovland

Viktor Hovland

Hovland is one of the world’s most exciting talents

The 2018 US Amateur champion has taken to pro life like a duck to water, having won twice on the PGA Tour and once on the European Tour.

He also reached the world’s top 10 for the first time just a couple of months back.

Hovi is one of the best and most popular Europeans, and has vast experience of competing out in the US despite being just 23-years-old.

He’s an asset to Harrington in all three of the four balls, foursomes and singles.

There’s always fantastic rookie performances in the Ryder Cup and Hovland is surely set to be a star for Team Europe.

The Solheim Cup

Sophia Popov celebrates with Team Europe after winning the 2021 Solheim Cup

The Solheim Cup will have inspired Europe’s men

Earlier this month, Catriona Matthew took her Europeans over to Ohio in a match where the USA were heavy favourites.

They had the World No.1, Major winners and were superior when it came to the world rankings.

They also had to go up against a partisan home crowd with very few Europeans travelling over due to the Covid-19 restrictions.

Harrington’s men will have been buoyed by the stunning triumph from Europe and will be confident that they can pull off a similar upset.

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