Two-time former Ryder Cup player and former vice-captain Paul Lawrie hopes Europe use their agonising morning session nightmare of two years ago at Hazeltine to ensure they avoid a repeat in this weekend’s match.
Lawrie was in Darren Clarke’s backroom staff in the United States in 2016 as the hosts raced into a 4-0 lead thanks to a clean sweep in the morning foursomes.
The fast start set the Americans up for a resounding 17-11 win and former Open champion Lawrie knows the class of 2018 cannot not afford a repeat at Le Golf National in France today.
He said: “Last time we were 4-0 down after the morning session and it left us with an unbelievable mountain to climb. No team has an issue being a point or a point and a half behind but 4-0 down was a disastrous position.
“It was frustrating as everyone could see how hard Darren Clarke had worked and he was a really good captain but he lost. There are other captains who have been poorer but won.
“We had six rookies playing away from home and the Americans played and putted brilliantly. I don’t know if any side would recover if they had lost from that position.
“For us it was hugely frustrating but the Americans were able to lay down a marker and give themselves a platform to go on and win.
“That’s why a good start is important and Europe will be aware of what happened two years ago when they step on the tee for the first session in France.”
Lawrie, who is recovering at home in Aberdeen from foot surgery, agrees the Americans are favourites as they bid to become the first US team to win on European soil in 25 years but he believes Thomas Bjorn and his players, backed by a partisan and passionate home support, can upset the odds and regain the Ryder Cup on Sunday.
He said: “They are both really strong sides but he US on paper look better because of their world rankings but the fact it is in Europe really works in our favour.
“I’m expecting it to be mega close but I hope having the home crowd behind him them will be enough for Europe to get the job done.
“It is one of those events where you sit and watch every shot and I’ll be glued to the action this weekend.”