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Friday 17 August 2018

'Cup brings out best and worst of everybody': Zach

American Zach Johnson says he does not need any extra motivation at this month's Ryder Cup in Scotland where the United States will bid to improve on a dismal record of seven losses to Europe in the last nine editions.

The last time the teams met, in what became known as the 'Meltdown at Medinah' in 2012, the Americans threw away a commanding four-point lead going into the last-day singles to lose by 14-1/2 points to 13-1/2.

This year's US captain, Tom Watson, believes memories of that stinging defeat will serve as his team's greatest motivation at Gleneagles, but Johnson says he does not require any extra inspiration for the biennial team competition.

"I don't need any motivation for the Ryder Cup," Johnson said during last week's Tour Championship in Atlanta, the final event of the PGA Tour's 2013-14 season.

"Granted Medinah was sour, or bitter-sweet.

"I mean it was a great week but bitter in the end for us.

"But regardless of what happened two years prior, motivation for this golf tournament is just not needed.

"It's the best sporting event I have been associated with inside the ropes for sure and, as a result, motivation is not an issue."

Atmosphere

Johnson, who is known for his gritty temperament, accuracy off the tee and brilliant short game, expects the atmosphere to be as intense as ever at Gleneagles from September 26-28 when he will represent his country for a fourth time at a Ryder Cup.

"The bottom line is that this is an individual game," said the 38-year-old American, who has won 11 times on the PGA Tour.

"And when you take such an individual game and combine that with team-mates, leaders and obviously you are representing your country, you've got your nation's flag on your sleeve, it just adds more to it, there's more weight involved.

"As a result, each shot has more weight. It probably shouldn't, it is still just golf, but you can't help the fact that it just means more.

"It brings out the best and worst of everybody."

Johnson has compiled a creditable win-loss-half record of 6-4-1 from his first three Ryder Cups, but would dearly love to savour the experience of being on a triumphant team for the first time.

"It's a goal of mine," he said. "I can't deny that.

"I would certainly give my individual record away for it.

"I certainly would sit down for the team. I would do anything just to have a 'W' (win).

"How important is it? I don't want to say it's the loftiest of goals, but yet it has kept me up at night at times, put it that way."

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