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Last Updated: Monday, 20 September, 2004, 10:16 GMT 11:16 UK
US 'undone by animosity'
Padraig Harrington and Colin Montgomerie
No 'i' in team. Padraig Harrington and Colin Montgomerie plot victory.
Former Ryder Cup player Philip Price says the lack of American team spirit was the reason for their record-breaking defeat in Detroit.

Price says hostility on the US Tour means many of the team do not like each other and it undermined their campaign.

"I think a few players in that team do not get on, the most obvious being Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.

"All of a sudden they're expected to be high-fiving it and that's a problem if they don't feel good about each other."

Price, who did not qualify for this year's team but secured a vital win over Mickelson in the Belfry victory two years ago, said the spirit in the American camp was in marked contrast to the obvious European unity.

"It makes such a difference. In the European team it raises everybody's level - the best players will pull along those not in such good form because of the feeling of being wanted, welcomed and encouraged.

Tiger Woods and Davis Love
Divided they stand. Tiger Woods and Davis Love didn't click.
"And I think the opposite also happens. If you're spending time in a team where people do not care that much for each other it actually lowers your level.

"So a combination of these two factors is probably why the winning margin was so big."

Price said the different qualification system for the two teams was also a factor.

The US players had two years to qualify, as opposed to only one year in Europe, which meant many of the Europeans were in better form.

Meanwhile US golf guru Butch Harmon has also lifted the lid on the ill-feeling in the US camp, claiming some players had told him they were unhappy with Mickelson.

The US Masters champion switched clubs a week before the competition and chose to practice alone rather than with the team.

"The players won't say it publicly but they told me they did not like it. Phil is a very nice man but I find it hard to understand the way he acted this week."

Price added that the unfriendly atmosphere on the US Tour made competiting in America "unpleasant".

Colin Montgomerie
"Some of the guys will just look straight through you and not even acknowledge you which I find it quite unsettling. You just don't get that on the European Tour."

Price said he was hoping the Ryder Cup euphoria would boost confidence of all Europe's top golfers.

"For quite a few years people talked about the European Tour as the poor relation (to the US Tour) but hopefully the domination in the Ryder Cup will boost everybody's confidence, and in the not too distant future we will have another major winner."

The last European to win a major was Paul Lawrie at the Open in 1999 and the last European to win a major in America was Jose Maria Olazabal in the same year.

Interview: Philip Price

Interview: European captain Bernhard Langer

Interview: Colin Montgomerie

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