September 21, 2014 - 7:55pm
mark.aumann's picture
Team USA charter flight
Julius Mason/PGA of America
Team USA met in Atlanta on Sunday night to board a charter jet bound for Scotland and the 2014 Ryder Cup.

And they're on their way, and they'll be in Scotland before you.

The 12-man United States Ryder Cup Team, led by Captain Tom Watson, gathered in Atlanta on Sunday night before a short trip to Hartsfield Jackson International Airport, where they boarded a charter jet bound for the British Isles and a date later this week with Europe's best.

LEAVING ON A JET PLANE: Sunday's photos before the Team's departure for Scotland

Here's Tom Watson's post on Twitter:

 

 

Some members of the team got a first-hand look at the seats forward of First Class, like Rickie Fowler:

Bubba Watson then took his turn in the pilot's chair:

 

 

With Fowler and Bubba Watson taking up residence in the jet's cockpit, it's not hard to imagine what was going through Ryder Cup rookie Jordan Spieth's mind at the time:

 
Thankfully, the regular crew arrived and restored order shortly thereafter. Still, if somebody called out "Captain," would it be the pilot or Tom Watson who would respond first?
 
And finally, how about a prediction from PGA of America President Ted Bishop as the U.S. squad prepared for takeoff:
 
 
 
 
 
Next stop: Gleneagles
Rickie Fowler
Rickie Fowler/Twitter
This is the photo Rickie Fowler posted on Twitter on Sunday evening.

Did Rickie Fowler really get the letters "USA" shaved into his hair just behind his right ear before leaving for the 2014 Ryder Cup matches at Gleneagles?

LEAVING ON A JET PLANE: Photos of Sunday's departure from Atlanta

It sure appears so, according to his Twitter post:

 

 

Not sure Walter Hagen, Ben Hogan or Sam Snead would have gone to such lengths (or lack thereof) to show their dedication to the team. But then again, they also didn't get together to take the ice bucket challenge back in the day.

2014 RYDER CUP: Complete coverage

The obvious next question: What did Rickie have shaved into his scalp on the left side? We may have to wait for another selfie to be sure.

 

 

 

Did Rickie Fowler get "USA" shaved into his hair?
Ian Poulter's hotel room
Ian Poulter | Twitter
Ian Poulter shows off his Gleneagles digs.

If you're like us, you can't get enough of the Ryder Cup. We want to get as much behind-the-scenes content possible, and thanks to Ian Poulter, we now know what the hotel accomodations are like for Team Europe. 

Poulter tweeted on Sunday morning a picture of his hotel room at Gleneagles. He also gave us a peek at the unreleased Team Europe uniforms. You can't tell much detail from the picture, but it does give a general idea of what the Europeans will look like on the course. 

Poulter flew to Scotland on Sunday morning, tweeting that he had just landed in London and was about to take off for Scotland. That was about two hours before tweeting the photo.

More Ryder Cup: Course Tour | Videos | Complete Coverage

We still have five days to go before the start of the Ryder Cup, but it definitely looks like Poulter is ready to go. 

Team USA is departing from Atlanta later on Sunday for its overnight flight to Scotland. With at least nine hours in the air, certain golfers (we're looking at you, Rickie Fowler) will find ways to make it fun.

Poulter shares peek of Ryder Cup hotel, uniforms
September 21, 2014 - 9:07am
andrew.prezioso's picture
Ryder Cup 2006
PGA of America
Team Europe won its third consecutive Ryder Cup in 2006, the first time it had ever done that.

The names are different, but the setup sounds pretty similar to this year's Ryder Cup.

Team USA arrived at the K Club at Straffon, Ireland, with four rookies on its roster and up against a veteran-heavy European squad. Faced with the task of trying to take down the heavy favorites, the Americans struggled to keep pace. Team Europe held a 5 to 3 advantage after the first day, and pulled away on Sunday with 8 1/2 points to get the 18 1/2 to 9 1/2 victory. 

One of the best Ryder Cup moments happened on Sunday as Darren Clarke, just months after the death of his wife, beat American Zach Johnson and members of both teams came up to him to show their support. 

Here's a breakdown of the 2006 match: 

 

 

Ryder Cup Flashback: 2006
September 20, 2014 - 9:00am
andrew.prezioso's picture
Colin Montgomerie
Colin Montgomerie locked up Team Europe's victory during Sunday Singles.

Team USA came into the 2004 Ryder Cup at Oakland Hills Country Club in Bloomfield Township, Mich., with the idea of teaming up the top two ranked players in the world: Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson. Unfortunately for the Americans, the combination never clicked. 

Team Europe got early momentum when Colin Montgomerie and Padraig Harrington beat Woods and Mickelson in Friday morning fourballs, and the Europeans never slowed up. By the end of Friday's matches, Team Europe held a 6 1/2 to 1 1/2 lead and the tandem of Woods and Mickelson had lost a second time. 

When all was said and done on Sunday, the Europeans walked away with a 18 1/2 to 9 1/2 win, their largest victory in the history of the event. 

Here's a breakdown of the 2004 match: 

 

Ryder Cup Flashback: 2004
September 19, 2014 - 10:34am
mark.aumann's picture
Jimmy Walker
USA Today Images
Jimmy Walker is a product of the Texas junior golf ranks.

Like beef brisket, chili, Dr Pepper and Lone Star Beer, this year's United States Ryder Cup Team has a definite Texas flavor.

According to Texas-based golf writer Art Stricklin, no fewer than four players on the roster -- Jordan Spieth, Hunter Mahan, Jimmy Walker and Patrick Reed -- all came from Texas junior golf programs.

RYDER CUP FLASHBACK: Team USA wins at Brookline in 1999

Seems like Texas has been at the forefront of Ryder Cup play for some time. Think about Justin Leonard's performance in 1999, with Ben Crenshaw captaining the team. Northern Texas PGA Executive Director Mark Harrison certainly remembers.

“When we last won the Ryder Cup in 2008, we had three former junior golfers from our Section on the team in Hunter, Chad Campbell and Justin Leonard, they played great and were instrumental," Harrison said. "When we won in 1999, Justin made the key putt on 17 at Brookline and Texan Ben Crenshaw was the captain.

"Texas has a storied history with the Ryder Cup and I’m confident that Jordan, Hunter, Jimmy and Patrick will continue that tradition this year.”

BUILDING A WORLD CLASS TEAM: Team USA 1999

Oh, and don't forget Lee Trevino and Jack Burke. And a couple of guys who won a few tournaments -- and Ryder Cups -- in their day: Ben Hogan and Byron Nelson.

Of course, other states -- California and Georgia, for example -- can claim a pretty strong Ryder Cup connection in 2014. But since Texans are known for proudly promoting their state as the biggest and best, where would the fun be in pointing that out?

As they say in the South, "it ain't bragging if you can back it up."

RYDER CUP HISTORY: All-time player records


 

Texas flavor to 2014 U.S. Ryder Cup Team