Ryder Cup 2014: Sergio Garcia says desire to beat USA 'as hard as you can' remains undimmed

The Spaniard is playing in his seventh Ryder Cup

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The Independent Online

Sergio Garcia may be playing in his seventh Ryder Cup but he insists the desire to beat America "as hard as you can" remains undimmed.

Previous teams have always had a significant Spanish influence, with the likes of Seve Ballesteros and Jose-Maria Olazabal and Garcia, who took on that mantle over the last decade or so.

However, after the heroics of Ian Poulter in 2012 and the presence of world number one Rory McIlroy also in the European ranks, Garcia is not now really thought of as the go-to guy when it comes to geeing up the team.

But there is no doubt the fire still burns bright within the 34-year-old.

"This is not a competition. I think we all know what we bring to the team," he said.

"At the end of the day, the most important thing is that we are all here together and we are all here fighting for each other.

"Everybody has their own way of doing it and we love the way Poults does it, and we all try to do it the way we know that works better for us and for the team.

"The drive to try to do well and obviously win, it's still the same.

"There's no doubt Europeans now are a lot more global than we used to be and a lot more of us play on the PGA TOUR and get to play with a lot of the Americans.

"We get to know each other better and obviously have closer relationships, but once you put your clothes on and your shoes on and you step on the first tee you still want to beat them as hard as you can, the same way that they do with us.

"That's the nature of the game. That doesn't change."

Garcia practised with McIlroy on Tuesday and it is entirely possible the two will be paired together on Friday morning's fourballs.

The world number one and current holder of two of this year's four majors is, as he was two years ago, Europe's form player.

"He's definitely grown up a lot, I think both as a player and as a person," said Garcia.

"He's gotten to know what the Ryder Cup is all about even better. He has a lot more respect for it - not that he didn't before.

"He lives it a little bit more than maybe he would have at the beginning, so I think he's become a really nice team player.

"Obviously we know the ability he has to play and it's been nice to be a part of it with him on the team.

"I've got to know him quite a lot and he's the kind of guy that you always want to have on your team.

"But to me, truly, I can see so many pairings. I can see everybody playing with everybody.

"It's not like sometimes you get on teams and you think, okay, so these are pairings that are definitely going to be there.

"Here I could see myself playing with everybody on the team, no problem, and the same way around.

"It doesn't matter if it's a rookie or a veteran. I see a lot of depth on this team."

Celtic fan Stephen Gallacher revealed he had received a good luck message from former Parkhead boss Martin O'Neill, but was also impressed by Ferguson.

"I thought he was brilliant," Gallacher said. "He spoke for half an hour and then we sort of asked him some questions and he was very candid and very open.

"There's bits that I definitely would take away from it, not just as a team aspect, but for progression going forward.

"I kind of knew he was (a confident person) anyway, but to hear him talking you can see why the players respected him so much. You can see his sort of passion for the game and how much he loves football and how much he loves the strategy and the game.

"He misses it a bit he said, but you know, an absolute legend in my eyes."