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Ryder Cup
Event: 39th Ryder Cup matches
When: Friday-Sunday
Course: Medinah Country Club; at 7,658 yards, will be the longest ever for a Ryder Cup
Format: Four matches of fourballs (better ball) and foursomes (alternate shot) Friday and Saturday, 12 singles matches Sunday
Points: Europe needs 14 points to retain the cup; the United States needs 14 1/2 points to win the cup
Series: United States leads 25-11-2
Associated Press
Luke Donald, who lives in Chicago, will be playing for the European team when the Ryder Cup comes to the Chicago suburb of Medinah.

‘Hometown’ player Donald on other team

– The Ryder Cup comes to Chicago for the first time, and it’s only fitting that the Windy City can claim one of the players as its own.

Luke Donald spent four years at Northwestern, winning an NCAA title and graduating with a degree in art. He married a local girl and never found reason to settle anywhere else. He lives on the North Side and suffers annually with Cubs fans. After the Ryder Cup, he and his wife will pick apples in the country for her birthday.

There’s only one catch – Donald is English.

The only “hometown” player in this Ryder Cup will be playing for the visiting team.

“Unique, isn’t it?” Donald said.

This is not the first time for a Ryder Cup played in the United States to include European players who make their primary home in America – Graeme McDowell, Ian Poulter and Justin Rose (Orlando, Fla.), Paul Casey (Scottsdale, Ariz.) and Jesper Parnevik (Jupiter, Fla.) to name a few. But those are seen as golf communities. Chicago is among the world’s great sports cities, and it’s one of the best golf markets in America.

It is expected to be loud at Medinah when the matches begin Friday, and there is little doubt that will give the Americans a big edge in crowd support.

So where does that leave Donald?

“The way I look at it is the home team has the biggest advantage,” he said. “Just taking away 1 percent of the crowd support, that’s a help to our team. And that’s the way I’m looking at it. But, yeah, it’s kind of odd. … Staying in a hotel 20 miles away from where you live is kind of strange, but that’s the way it goes.”

Donald will have support from more than just a few friends and family members. Europeans are coming across for the Ryder Cup, too, and you’ll be able to hear them singing around the first tee and belting out that “Ole, ole, ole ole” across the tree-lined course.

But it won’t quite be the same as what Kenny Perry and J.B. Holmes heard at Valhalla in their native Kentucky, the reception Padraig Harrington and the Irish boys received at The K Club, Jose Maria Olazabal at Valderrama or Lee Westwood at The Belfry.