On golf: many changes in the Ryder Cup over 25 years, and the Americans are still looking for

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This year, Furyk and the European captain, Thomas Bjorn, each have five assistant captains, many of whom , even though they do not compete, are here with their own caddies. Love, 54, plays the role of assistant after serving as captain in 2016 when the Americans won at the Hazeltine National Golf Club in Minnesota.

The modern success of the Ryder Cup is rooted in a strong rivalry, but not really Europe versus the United States, which is not a classic sports gathering point. The rivalry was the European Tour versus the more lucrative PGA Tour, based in the United States.

This lifestyle gap was a motor for Europeans and made their dominance of the event even more counter-intuitive in the 2000s. But the dividing line between the teams has long been blurred, with Europe's best routine participation in the American tour. In this globalized era, the Irish star Rory McIlroy knows the games and characters of the Americans better than those of some of his European teammates.

In 1993 the Ryder Cup still felt like a real clash of golf cultures instead of a rearrangement of the card game. But that does not mean that ending the drought in the United States would not resonate, especially for those who have lived the longest.

Phil Mickelson, then new from Arizona State University, was candidate for a 1993 captain but was not chosen by Watson. His first Ryder Cup was in 1995 and he has not missed any more since then, with 0-5 on the road and losing in Spain, England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland.

Could France be where the streak ends?

"If we did," said Mickelson, "it would be something that I would remember and cherish for the rest of my life."

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