Ryder Cup 2014: Full Teams and Analysis for USA and Europe Showdown

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Ryder Cup 2014: Full Teams and Analysis for USA and Europe Showdown
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An outstanding major season for golf is now over, but another pivotal week of golf looms. With the 2014 Ryder Cup field now set, the matchup between Europe and the United States is a huge moment for every player involved.

While the majors allow for individual success and help in the rankings, the Ryder Cup is completely different. As the two teams play for pride and honor for their country, the world will be watching to see which players excel on one of golf's biggest stages.

Names such as Rory McIlroy, Henrik Stenson, Bubba Watson and Phil Mickelson are in the field. But with pressure on each player, how they respond will ultimately decide the victor of the showdown.

Before the tournament gets underway, here's a look at the full teams and breakdown of the 2014 Ryder Cup tournament.

2014 Ryder Cup Teams
United States
Player Age Ryder Cup Record Appearances
Rickie Fowler 25 0-1-2 2
Jim Furyk 44 9-17-4 9
Zach Johnson 38 6-4-1 4
Matt Kuchar 36 3-2-2 3
Phil Mickelson 44 14-18-6 10
Patrick Reed 24 0-0-0 1
Jordan Spieth 21 0-0-0 1
Jimmy Walker 35 0-0-0 1
Bubba Watson 35 3-5-0 3
Keegan Bradley* 28 3-1-0 2
Hunter Mahan* 32 3-2-3 3
Webb Simpson* 29 2-2-0 2
Europe
Player Age Ryder Cup Record Appearances
Thomas Bjorn 43 3-2-1 3
Jamie Donaldson 38 0-0-0 1
Victor Dubuisson 24 0-0-0 1
Sergio Garcia 34 16-8-4 7
Martin Kaymer 29 3-2-0 3
Graeme McDowell 35 5-5-2 4
Rory McIlroy 25 4-3-2 3
Justin Rose 34 6-3-0 3
Henrik Stenson 38 2-3-2 3
Stephen Gallacher* 39 0-0-0 1
Ian Poulter* 38 12-3-0 5
Lee Westwood* 41 18-13-6 9

RyderCup.com (*Captain's Pick)

 

Ryder Cup Analysis

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

In a year in which the young stars have risen to the challenge, might the same be expected in the Ryder Cup?

That young talent is highlighted by McIlroy, who has won two majors this season and went on a three-tournament win streak. Unfortunately, he hasn't been at the top of his game lately and fallen in both the Barclays and Deutsche Bank Championship.

Even his off game led to a tie for fifth place in Boston, so an individual showdown should fare well for McIlroy. The 25-year-old referenced his finish at the Deutsche Bank after the tournament:

While McIlroy typically gains all of the attention for his play—and rightfully so—two young stars for the U.S. will also play a crucial role.

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Those players are of course Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth, who have been playing phenomenal golf this season. Spieth has seven top-10 finishes on the year and will be participating in his first Ryder Cup.

As for Fowler, the 25-year-old has a history at the Ryder Cup, but it's not positive. He has just one appearance with a 0-1-2 record, failing to live up to expectations.

But with a great season thus far that has included finishing in the top five in every major tournament, Fowler should fare much better in 2014. Following the final close call at the PGA Championship, Fowler spoke about his season, per Mark Cannizzaro of the New York Post:

If you look major by major, it is tough because I was close in each one. I had chances in all of them. But when you look back at all four together there are only three guys in history to do that [finish in the top 5 in all four]. My main goal going into the year was to play well at the majors and be in contention, and I did that, so it was a huge step in the right direction.

Much like McIlroy, Fowler's game this season should translate well in a head-to-head matchup. With the consistency he's shown in 2014, expect him to finally pull out a win on the huge stage.

Outside of the youth, there is plenty of experience on both teams. Mickelson comes in as the lone player with double-digit appearances, but has a losing record to show for his efforts.

Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

The simple truth is that Europe is in search of its third consecutive Ryder Cup title and six of the last seven with a triumph this year. Having the likes of Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood on the team gives Europe three contenders with winning records.

When the tournament gets underway later this month, both youth and experience will play a huge factor. As the date quickly approaches, the golf world will be teeming with anticipation for the massive showdown.

 

Follow @RCorySmith on Twitter.

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