By Tony Jimenez
GLENEAGLES Scotland (Reuters) - Paul McGinley rates his Ryder Cup team as one of the strongest assembled by Europe but he will be mindful this week of the special influence rival captain Tom Watson can exert on his United States side.
Holders Europe are considered the favorites to win the 40th edition of the biennial team event especially as they boast four of the top six players in the world rankings and have won seven of the last nine Ryder Cups.
McGinley, however, sounded a warning to his players.
"We are confident. We have assembled a great team, arguably the strongest European team ever, but there is a word of warning as well," the Irishman told a news conference on Monday.
"If you know Tom Watson, that glint never leaves his eye, he's a real competitive guy. This is a strong American team and it's not to be underestimated how strong they're going to be and we've got a real challenge ahead of us.
"If you take their average world-ranking position, theirs is 16 and ours is 18 so this is not a weak American team," said McGinley as the countdown began to the matches that start on Friday morning.
"As strong as we are they're very strong as well and that's what makes the Ryder Cup so great and unique."
(Editing by Pritha Sarkar)