Nick Matthew column: Europe will edge one of sport’s great events

Workstop-born Lee Westwood, right, and Pete Cowen during a practice session at Gleneagles Golf Course, Perthshire.
Workstop-born Lee Westwood, right, and Pete Cowen during a practice session at Gleneagles Golf Course, Perthshire.
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The Ryder Cup starts at Gleneagles on Friday and I, for one, cannot wait.

It’s probably one of the most edge of the seat, gripping sporting events. I remember staying up until the early hours of the morning to watch the last Ryder Cup at Medinah when the European team defied the odds to comeback and win 14½-13½ over the United States side. I was glued to my TV. I could not take my eyes off it.

I absolutely loved it when Ian Poulter kept on revving up the crowd on the tee. I think he played a cross between Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus two years ago! It was just incredible.

The Ryder Cup is a sporting event I would love to attend. It is great, sporting drama. If you are a sports fan, it is one of those events you circle in your diary.

I think Europe will come out on top but it will be tight. The Americans have some good players. Rickie Fowler is one of the most consistent players on tour. He has really matured in the last couple of years and is close to winning a major.

I saw Bubba Watson win The Masters this year. He was immense. Then they’ve got the experience of Phil Mickelson and Jim Furyk to fall back on.

It’s probably a blessing Tiger Woods isn’t playing. He has never really delivered in the Ryder Cup and the American team have struggled to find a partner to play with him. It is probably a little bit of a distraction for the rest of the team too when he is in action. Tiger is someone who attracts a lot of media attention but this time they don’t have to worry about that circus.

For the European team, Rory McIlroy is nailed on to win BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award. He’s had an unbelievable year, winning two majors. He just looks like he is going to win every event. It will also be good to see Worksop-born Lee Westwood playing back on home soil.

*We are running ‘A Night With the Champions’ exhibition at Sheffield Hallamshire Tennis and Squash Club this Friday night. I will be playing Mohamed Elshorbagy, the current Qatar Classic Champion and world number three, in an exhibition match while Hallamshire coach Alex Cutts will be taking on Laura Massaro, the reigning women’s world champion, as part of the special event. There is also a One Point Challenge which gives a number of the club’s squash members the chance to play against some of the world’s top players.

The night is a fundraiser for Sheffield Children’s Hospital, my academy and a $5k professional tour (PSA) event, which runs from November 27-30. It is something which will hopefully start building momentum towards bigger annual PSA events in Sheffield in the future.

There are still standing tickets available and food will be served on the night so do come and join us!