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If you think the American Ryder Cup team are bothered by their miserable run of form on European soil, think again.

It’s one thing the European journalists enjoy sticking to the visiting players during their traditional pre-tournament press conferences, and this year they even get to use the “30 years of hurt” line.

Jordan Spieth probably doesn’t understand that particular reference – he almost certainly wasn’t watching England’s heart-wrenching semi-final exit at Euro 96, let alone has heard of Baddiel and Skinner – but he could not be more frank about how he feels on the matter.

“We’ve been made very aware of how long it’s been,” the three-time major champion sighs. “That’s been made very clear to us over the last few months.

“But over half the team wasn’t born yet the last time we won over here. It’s not something we really care about, to be honest.”

Of the 12 that will make up the Zach Johnson’s team in Rome, only four have played in an away Ryder Cup – Spieth, Rickie Fowler, Justin Thomas, and Brooks Koepka.

“Most of the guys weren’t on any of those losing away teams,” Spieth adds. “I was on two of them, but I felt like I played good golf. All you can try and do is have a winning record, and if everyone on your team does, you dominate the other team.”

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As the conversation moves away to other topics, Spieth relaxes into his rhythm to which we’ve become so accustomed. He says how he expects a “football-like atmosphere” – American, presumably – and how his pal and controversial captain’s pick JT is “a backbone for the US team”.

But it isn’t long before we’re back to 1993 and all that.

“I really didn’t mean for it to sound like I said anyone is listening to any negativity around it,” Spieth says with a little more irk in his voice. “I was almost making it a joke. We haven’t won the Ryder Cup over here, but most of the guys weren’t born yet, so that doesn’t really matter to us, is what I meant.

“Rickie has played in three over here, I’ve played in two over here, Brooks and Justin played in one over here. We weren’t on all those losing teams. I was on a couple of them, but I played well. Justin played well. Brooks played well. So it’s not…”

He pauses for thought before deciding to just reiterate.

“It doesn’t matter to us. I don’t mean to speak for everybody, but I would be somebody on our team who could speak on that matter.

“I said it at Whistling Straits that this is really nice but until we win one over there nobody can talk about a change in the Ryder Cup.

“I mean, Rickie probably feels that way, guys who have played one and lost one over here probably feel that way – but it has nothing to do with 30 years of it. It’s just a couple of them for me and one of them for some others.”

He calms himself.

“Having said that, I don’t think the Europeans are underestimating us by any means,” he adds. “I think it’s going to be a really, really good match this year. I think they have guys that are playing fantastic golf – especially of late – and really good form with an unbelievable crowd behind them.

“We’ve got a really tall task, but we have a phenomenal group of guys as well.”

One can only wonder if Spieth will be at Adare Manor in 2027 batting away questions about the American team’s 34-year losing streak…


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Alex Perry is the Associate Editor of bunkered. A journalist for more than 20 years, he has been a golf industry stalwart for the majority of his career and, in a five-year spell at ESPN, covered every sporting event you can think of. He completed his own Grand Slam at the 2023 Masters, having fallen in love with the sport at his hometown club of Okehampton and on the links of nearby Bude & North Cornwall.

Associate Editor

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