Ryder Cup: Stevie G hopes Europe ‘make it easy’ for Bjorn

Thomas Bjorn leads Europe into battle on Friday. Pic: Tom Russo
Thomas Bjorn leads Europe into battle on Friday. Pic: Tom Russo
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Stephen Gallacher is hoping Europe’s players “make it easy” for captain Thomas Bjorn by proving his pairings hit it off in this week’s Ryder Cup.

Gallacher was part of the team that got off to a slow start in the 2014 match at Gleneagles, losing the opening session 2.5-1.5.

But Paul McGinley’s men roared back with a 3.5-0.5 afternoon win on the first day before repeating that feat on the second day.

That left them leading 10-6 heading into the singles and another strong performance in that concluding session sealed a thumping 16.5-11.5 victory.

“You see with Thomas’ picks (Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter, Henrik Stenson and Paul Casey) that he is trying to balance up the team due to five rookies having qualified automatically,” said Gallacher.

“He didn’t have the luxury of picking a couple of rookies due to that. He’s gone for experience to balance it and, of course, he’ll be looking at partnerships.

“That’s a huge thing in the Ryder Cup due to the dynamics of the event. For four sessions, there’s only eight players on the course at one time and it’s about getting good partnerships in those. We had a couple of 3.5.0.5 wins and that made it easy for Paul McGinley to pick the same guys.”

Europe are underdogs heading into the match which starts on Friday but Gallacher is quietly confident that a run of the Americans having not won on this side of the Atlantic since 1993 can be extended.

“The guys in this team are not used to winning in Ryder Cups apart from the last one,” added the Lothians star.

“More often than not, we have been winning it in recent times and Thomas has picked guys who are used to that experience.

“That always helps because coming down the stretch they know exactly what to do.”

Meanwhile, Tyrrell Hatton, one of five rookies in the European team, has revealed that Colin Montgomerie and not compatriot Ian Poulter was his Ryder Cup hero as a youngster.

“From the age of five, I was looked after by Callaway,” said the Englishman. “They would send some clubs out to me until I was about 10 or 11 and obviously Colin was their No.1 player. So, naturally, you kind of look up to that as a kid. Obviously, he’s Ryder Cup legend as well. If you could end up having half the career that he had then you’d end it very happily.”

Hatton will hit his opening tee shot in the event in front of the biggest grandstand ever built at a golf event.

“Probably the most nervous I’ve been was when I was 18 and trying to qualify for the Open at Ladybank,” he said of playing at the Fife venue back in 2010. “I knew I was going well and, on the second last hole of the day, I could see the head on my 7-iron shaking.”