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

R. Cory Smith@@RCorySmithSenior Writer ISeptember 3, 2014

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 02:  U.S. Ryder Cup Captain Tom Watson poses with the Ryder Cup on September 2, 2014 in New York City.  (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images)
Noam Galai/Getty Images

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
PlayerAgeRyder Cup RecordAppearances
Rickie Fowler250-1-22
Jim Furyk449-17-49
Zach Johnson386-4-14
Matt Kuchar363-2-23
Phil Mickelson4414-18-610
Patrick Reed240-0-01
Jordan Spieth210-0-01
Jimmy Walker350-0-01
Bubba Watson353-5-03
Keegan Bradley*283-1-02
Hunter Mahan*323-2-33
Webb Simpson*292-2-02
PlayerAgeRyder Cup RecordAppearances
Thomas Bjorn433-2-13
Jamie Donaldson380-0-01
Victor Dubuisson240-0-01
Sergio Garcia3416-8-47
Martin Kaymer293-2-03
Graeme McDowell355-5-24
Rory McIlroy254-3-23
Justin Rose346-3-03
Henrik Stenson382-3-23
Stephen Gallacher*390-0-01
Ian Poulter*3812-3-05
Lee Westwood*4118-13-69
RyderCup.com (*Captain's Pick)

Ryder Cup Analysis

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CHARLOTTE, NC - MAY 01:  Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland and Rickie Fowler talk on the 12th tee box during the first round of the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Club on May 1, 2014 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty I
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:

Rory McIlroy @McIlroyRory

Boston you were awesome this week, disappointing way for me to end the tournament today but congrats @Chris_Kirk_ you deserved it!

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.

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.

NORTON, MA - AUGUST 31:  Phil Mickelson tees off on the fourth hole during the third round of the Deutsche Bank Championship at the TPC Boston on August 31, 2014 in Norton, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
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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