Ryder Cup-winning captain Tony Jacklin feels USA appear to be 2016 favourites on paper

He speaks to Off The Ball ahead of the tournament start

BY Raf Diallo 20:54 Thursday 29 September 2016, 20:54 29 Sep 2016

Captain Tony Jacklin celebrates with the trophy after victory at Muirfield Village ©INPHO/Getty Images

Former Ryder Cup winning captain Tony Jacklin feels that, on paper, USA are favourites to win this year's tournament.

The two-time major winner led Europe to Ryder Cup victories in 1985 and 1987 as well as retaining it in 1989.

Jacklin will be watching on at Hazeltine as Europe try to retain the trophy won two years ago and he joined Off The Ball from the course ahead of Friday's tournament start.

He believes that it will be hard to predict whether it will be Europe or USA's year in 2016 until after that opening day of action.

"Until you know you get the first day under your belt, you don't really in all truth get the sense of what's going to happen," he said.

"I do believe passionately that it's up to [Europe] to get off to a fast start. There's very pro-American galleries here and they're going to be making a lot of noise and the way to make less noise is to get ahead early. If we can do that and quieten things down, who knows?

"On paper, with six rookies playing away from home for the first time, not knowing how they're going to react to Ryder Cup pressure, one has to say that America on paper does look favourites."

But he still sees plenty of experience within the European ranks. 

Looking back at his own experience of helping Europe to turn their losing record against the USA into a winning one," he said: "We were always at a disadvantage because, I think, of our approach. And once we straightened all those issues out, the players responded in kind. The great players came along one after another and the victories came with them." 


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