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Making up for Medinah isn't motivation for Team USA

By Carl Markham

United States Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson called for his players to use redemption for motivation at Gleneagles this week, but many appear not to have received the memo.

Seven of the team were complicit in the collapse at Medinah two years ago when the hosts surrendered a 10-4 lead to lose in Chicago and Watson thinks now is the time to put things right.

However, according to many of his senior players it is not something which has even been mentioned.

"It's golf that motivates me. I'm not worried about two years ago," said double Masters champion Bubba Watson, appearing in his third Ryder Cup.

"If I did that, I'd be a terrible golfer because I lost a lot."

Veteran Jim Furyk, preparing for his ninth outing in the event, insists Medinah has been blocked out of their memories as they focus on the present.

"I would say that it's been mentioned, but I wouldn't say there's been really any discussion about it, if that makes sense," he said.

"I don't think I've heard more than about 20 to 30 seconds on it."

Matt Kuchar thinks the Americans' poor record, having lost seven of the last nine and being on European soil puts the pressure on their hosts.

"I think we come in here as perceived underdogs, but everybody here thinks they have got every bit the same chance the home team has," he said.

"I don't think there's a revenge nature in the game of golf."

Hunter Mahan returns to the Ryder Cup after four years with personal demons to exorcise after losing to Graeme McDowell in the nail-biting final match at Celtic Manor.

"It's painful when you lose and it's unbelievable when you win," he said, having tasted victory in 2008.

"Redemption is a word that some guys have thrown out and it kind of feels like that.

"I think the US has been kicked in the teeth for a while now and I think a lot of the guys are motivated."

Bubba Watson was USA's cheerleader two years ago as the home crowd lapped up his unconventional antics to whip up the atmosphere.

There will be no repeat this year, however.

"I'm just here to play golf, make some putts," he added.

"When you're at home, you can do other things and be goofy, but when you're away, you don't want to do anything like that, even though we had some fun a couple years ago with getting the crowd revved up."

Meanwhile, European captain Paul McGinley insists he has not "tricked up" the course at Gleneagles, but admitted Mother Nature had played an unexpected role.

"The rough is a little thicker than we would have liked it, but I think that's down to the warm Scottish September that we've had, along with some heavy showers," McGinley said.

"I haven't gone out of my way to trick things up."

As captain of the home side, McGinley has the right to set up the PGA Centenary Course as he sees fit, but promised that there would be no major surprises when play gets under way on Friday.

"I'd like to think I'm playing it very straight this week when it comes to the course set-up," the 47-year-old added.

"I've aligned it very much with the set-up that we play on the European Tour. In general we have narrower fairways, a little bit more rough and in general your greens are quicker and faster than the European Tour. I think the rough is a little thicker than ideal, but that wasn't a calculated decision."

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