Golf

Key to Ryder Cup success? European players left egos at the locker room door, says Graeme McDowell

?Ryder Cup vice-captain Graeme McDowell
Carl Markham

Ryder Cup vice-captain Graeme McDowell believes the key to success over the United States came down to players treating each other as equals and "leaving their egos at the door".

In the fall-out from the loss of the trophy Patrick Reed, the self-styled Captain America, was first to break rank by suggesting the reason why a team with six of the world's top 10 in it - plus 14-time major winner Tiger Woods and veteran Phil Mickelson - failed so badly was because there was no sense of equality.

Reed claimed Jordan Spieth, one of the USA's best performers over the last three events, did not want to reprise his successful partnership with him and that he was given no say in the matter.

McDowell said while the United States played up to their egos the opposite was true of a self-deprecating European team.

"It was the difference between bringing your egos with you, which was apparently on the American locker room wall - and I'm not sure what that means," he told Press Association Sport.

"It's not how you build a team, right? You leave your egos at the door. You come together and you play together.

"My objective opinion this week was that's what the guys are great at and they do it naturally.

"You don't have to teach it - you can't teach it - they just do it naturally; you can't tell them how to do it they just do it and they are very good at it."

Europe had their own stars and major winners - Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Henrik Stenson and Francesco Molinari - but there was never any sense of entitlement or superiority.

"Just having an opinion on things, seeing the ways these guys come together is my big takeaway from the week," said McDowell.

"It is the adage of 'yeah, the Europeans have camaraderie blah, blah, blah' but I've seen it with my own eyes this week.

"The golfing achievement level from Justin Rose and Rory McIlroy all the way down to the rookies, for example, it's a real thing.

"But these guys, the top players, are able to embrace the young guys, bring them up to a level, partner with them and make them feel an equal to where they could perform with each other."

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