It is one of the most anticipated events on the sporting calendar and on Friday the Ryder Cup comes to Minnesota as Team Europe and Team USA do battle oncemore. Although the latter are boosted by a home venue, Team Europe will be well aware of their own history at the famous course.
A sensational but challenging venue
As is so often the case in the modern game, the course is surrounded by amazing scenery that will be enjoyed even more following a major re-routing project. Eight holes have been reversed so that spectators can enjoy the more spectacular views on the final run towards the clubhouse.
Named after Lake Hazeltine that surrounds the impressive venue, the course scenery will not be enjoyed quite as much by those battling for their country or continent on it. The course consists of the two largest holes in Ryder Cup history, surpassing the ninth at Gleneagles. The third hole at Hazeltine is a massive 633 yards, whilst the sixth is nine yards longer. Not to mention the 606 yard eleventh, this course will be a challenge even for those who hold a long drive in their armoury.
Europeans have a part in a long Hazeltine history
Hazeltine joins Pinehurst as the only course to host the US Open, US PGA, US Women’s Open, US Amateur and now Ryder Cup as it continues to build an incredible history. A large handful of what has been witnessed at this venue in previous years has encompassed numerous members of the current Team Europe squad.
In a famous US Open seven years ago, where Tiger Woods lost his last 54-hole advantage to the first Asian Major winner in YE Yang on the back nine, many European names grasped places on the leaderboard. Lee Westwood and a young Rory McIlory finished tied third, whilst Martin Kaymer and Henrik Stenson shared sixth, four places ahead of vice-captain for this weekend Padraig Harrington.
Tony Jacklin, Luke Donald and Richie Ramsay have gone a step further in winning notable competitions at Hazeltine, proving that Team Europe have nothing to worry about when it comes to be labelled as the visitors in what is sure to be an enthralling contest.