There's been some turnover from 2012 to 2014, but seven of the players from the American team at Medinah two years ago are in Scotland for the Ryder Cup. Seven players on this Ryder Cup team lived the meltdown that saw Europe overcome a record four-point Saturday night deficit.
Captain Tom Watson didn't lead that team, but he knows the motivation for this team is self-explanatory.
“I made it very clear to them. This trip is a redemption trip," Watson said Monday. "Those players who played on that team -- [seven] of them are on this team -- it’s time to make amends. It’s a motivation.”
Ian Poulter incited the European comeback on Saturday night, birdieing the last five holes of the Saturday fourball match against Jason Dufner and Zach Johnson and earning a critical point while partner Rory McIlroy looked on astounded. The Englishman's rally incited a 8.5-point performance in the Sunday singles session, capping an unprecedented comeback.
That comeback is why, in part, Tom Watson is the captain of this team. Watson, previously captain in 1993, is the last American captain to win on the road. He leads a side with just two wins since then. While his team, minus Tiger Woods and Dustin Johnson, looks weaker than the stacked European side on paper, Watson is quietly confident his team can pull through. In fact, he's already instructed the traveling American fans on how to share his optimism: shout the chant that had the nation in a frenzy around the World Cup.
“We believe that we can win,” Watson said.