Vice-captain Paul McGinley believes Europe can shoot down Corey Pavin’s long-hitting US bomber squadron and win back the Ryder Cup.
American skipper Pavin rounded out his 12-man team with four picks when he handed wildcards to big-hitting rookie Rickie Fowler and major winners Tiger Woods, Stewart Cink and Zach Johnson.
With long-hitters like Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson and Bubba Watson already in the side, the addition of Fowler and Woods makes the US squad one of the most powerful in Ryder Cup history.
But McGinley reckons Europe have ways to hit back, insisting: “There is no question that he has a very powerful team of long hitters with the likes of Mickelson, Johnson, Bubba Watson and now Fowler. And yes, length is a big factor at Celtic Manor. But we have ways of combating and managing that.
“I can’t say too much because we have ideas about what way to set up the golf course. I don’t want to say something that will grab their attention and give them an edge.
“Of course there is going to be a bit of rough but it is all about scoring and getting the ball in the hole at the end of the day.”
The Dubliner is vastly experienced in the heat of Ryder Cup battle with three wins from three appearances. And while he is not surprised by the inclusion of Woods, Johnson or Cink, he reckons Pavin has taken something of a gamble on 21-year old Fowler for what he believes will be one of the tightest Ryder Cup matches of all time.
Assessing the US wildcards, McGinley said: “I am not really surprised. They are the four picks I thought he’d make. Johnson and Woods were a lock on Stewart Cink got in because he was the British Open champion last year and has a lot of Ryder Cup experience.
“So Corey Pavin has had a punt with inexperience and gone for Rickie Fowler who is a really good young player.
“I’d agree with all his picks, though he has left out Charlie Hoffman, who is second in the FedEx at the moment.”
Europe were hot favourites to win back the Ryder Cup during the summer months but the Americans have hit form at the right time.
Even Tiger Woods has started playing better since his divorce and McGinley does not believe that Europe will underestimate him.
McGinley added: “It’s a very strong American team at the end of the day. And it is a lot stronger than it looked two months ago.
“I think it is going to be a great Ryder Cup and I think it is going to be tight. The last two months they have become very strong and lot of their players have performed very well - the likes of Dustin Johnson and Bubba Watson have had a great finish to the season and a great finish to their qualifying campaign.
“Zach Johnson has been playing great for the last month and Stewart Cink always plays well. The likes of Hunter Mahan and Jeff Overton have all had very good seasons.
“They are not carrying anybody on their team. They have a very strong team and we will respect them highly. But we have a very strong team as well so it’s going to be a great battle.”
While world No 1 Woods has only started to regain form over the past three weeks, McGinley insisted: “You can never discount Tiger. I think he is going to be a big threat and a big force in the American team.
“I am not surprised to see him playing better because he has just been divorced, as everybody knows, and he is working with a new coach.
“He had a great Presidents Cup last year and I expect him to have a very good Ryder Cup too. We won’t be underestimating his abilities.
“He has a great partnership with Furyk as well as Stricker. So it is a very strong American team and it will be a great Ryder Cup between two very well matched teams.
“Both teams have shown a lot of form and players on both sides have showed form in the last month to make it. I think Corey Pavin has done a good job with four very good picks. Roll on the Ryder Cup.”