Nicklaus speaks: "Are you trying to tell me you have more pressure trying to win the Ryder Cup than you do coming down the stretch trying to win the US Open? Crap!”

Nicklaus speaks: "Are you trying to tell me you have more pressure trying to win the Ryder Cup than you do coming down the stretch trying to win the US Open? Crap!”
 Jack Nicklaus speaks at the Honda Classic

Jack Nicklaus speaks at the Honda Classic

It appears that Jack Nicklaus wishes the US team would quit fretting about overcoming Ryder Cup pressure and concentrate on winning majors.

“My feeling on that is that it goes in cycles,” Nicklaus said when asked about the dinner he hosted for some 25 potential US  Ryder Cup players at his Palm Beach home last Thursday evening and the anxiousness of the Americans to end European dominance in the event. 

“I said to them, ‘There you are worrying about the Ryder Cup and you have four majors coming up. There are far more important things that the Ryder Cup coming up.’

“It is a great honour to represent your country and it is a great honour to be part of an international team, but it is supposed to be fun.

“I said, ‘Can you tell me who won and lost the matches in the last Ryder Cup?’ Not at all. Can you tell me who won the last four majors? 

“It is not that big a deal. I know you want to play your best but take it as a game you prepare for and have fun. 

“It is for bragging rights and don’t try to make it more than what it is. You talk about pressure. Are you trying to tell me you have more pressure trying to win the Ryder Cup than you do coming down the stretch trying to win the US Open? Crap.”

Padraig Harrington agrees with Nicklaus that the results are cyclical.

"Look, at the end of the day, these results are circumstantial," Harrington said last week: "We are having a good run, the US aren't, everybody is trying to find an answer. I don't think it is as measured as you think it could.

"In Europe, we have a little chip on our shoulder — a point to prove — being the underdogs. We need it more than the US. Maybe now the US needs it a lot as well. For the last 20 years, we've needed to win the Ryder Cup to justify our status. We are the country cousins and we want to prove ourselves. Now, we are putting it up to the US."