Ryder Cup 2014: Paul McGinley says Europe wary of USA threat

Paul McGinley
European captain Paul McGinley won three consecutive Ryder Cups as a player
2014 Ryder Cup, Gleneagles
Dates: 26-28 September Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live, highlights on BBC Two and live text commentaries on the BBC Sport website each day via desktop, mobile, tablet and app.

Europe captain Paul McGinley says his side will not underestimate the USA in the Ryder Cup.

The average world ranking of the 12 European players is 19, compared to 16 for the Americans.

However, defending champions Europe start the competition at Gleneagles on Friday as favourites.

"The bookies are making us slight favourites but this is not a weak American team," McGinley told BBC Radio 5 live's Sportsweek.

"This is not an American team to be underestimated. This will be a very strong, well led American team.

"Slight favourites, slight underdogs - there is not much of a difference.

"It is going to be tough, a heavyweight contest, toe to toe, right to the very end, like the previous Ryder Cups have been.

2014 Ryder Cup - world rankings compared
EuropeWorld rankingUSAWorld ranking
Rory McIlroy1Jim Furyk5
Sergio Garcia3Bubba Watson7
Henrik Stenson4Matt Kuchar9
Justin Rose6Rickie Fowler10
Martin Kaymer12Phil Mickelson11
Graeme McDowell18Jordan Speith13
Victor Dubuisson23Zach Johnson16
Jamie Donaldson28Jimmy Walker19
Thomas Bjorn30Hunter Mahan21
Stephen Gallacher34Keegan Bradley26
Ian Poulter37Patrick Reed27
Lee Westwood41Webb Simpson33
Average world ranking1916
Europe player profilesUSA player profiles

"We are going to have be very strong. We are going to be on top of this team and play incredibly well to win this Ryder Cup.

"If we don't win the Ryder Cup it will not be because of complacency or because we underestimate the USA."

The US will be without injured former world number one Tiger Woods, who misses the competition for the first time since 2008.

But McGinley does not think the absence of the 14-time major winner is a boost to Europe's chances.

"Tiger Woods is arguably the greatest player the game has ever seen but over the last six months he has been injured and off-form and has not earned his place in the team," said McGinley.

"The guy that takes his place will be a very strong player."

Europe's recent Ryder Cup dominance
YearWinnerVenue
1999USABrookline, USA
2002EuropeBelfry, UK
2004EuropeOakland Hills, USA
2006EuropeK Club, Ireland
2008USAValhalla, USA
2010EuropeCeltic Manor, UK
2012EuropeMedinah, USA

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