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Phil Mickelson has tongue-in-cheek dig at Europe's Ryder Cup team

Mickelson pictured here during a practice session at Gleneagles. Credit: PA

Ryder Cup veteran Phil Mickelson could not resist a tongue-in-cheek dig at the only element of Europe's preparations which had the slightest whiff of disharmony.

Much of the talk leading up to the players arriving at Gleneagles was about the relationship between Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell in light of the world number one's court case against his former management company into which his fellow Northern Irishman has been dragged.

Both players and captain Paul McGinley have allayed any concerns but in trying to accentuate the togetherness of the United States team Mickelson joked about the issue.

"Not only are we able to play together, we also don't litigate against each other and that's a real plus, I feel, heading into this week," said the 44-year-old, who added with a smile: "I couldn't resist."

Military veterans address US Ryder Cup team

Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson enlisted two American military veterans to provide inspiration for his USA players before Friday's tee-off at Gleneagles.

A marine and a soldier, both members of the charity Wounded Warriors, spoke to Watson's men on Tuesday evening.

"It was a very sobering experience. It did give perspective. We make it (the Ryder Cup) a big deal but it's not that big a deal.

"Look at what those men did, what other people do, they work for a living. We play a game for a living."

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Ryder Cup means more than money to Rory McIlroy

McIlroy is pictured here with his 2014 US PGA trophy. Credit: PA

Rory McIlroy's last competitive outing saw him battling for a £7million payday in the Tour Championship, but the world number one is equally fired up by the thought of playing for team glory at the Ryder Cup.

The 25-year-old famously labelled the Ryder Cup as an "exhibition" the year before his debut in 2010, but contributing to narrow victories at Celtic Manor and Medinah means he appreciates the special nature of the biennial contest.

"It's a group of people that you know well and they all have one goal, one collective task which is to win the Ryder Cup and beat the US team," McIlroy told BBC Radio Five Live.

"The money doesn't matter to us any more, it doesn't matter if we're playing for millions of pounds all over the world. This means as much to us or even more than any other thing that we play for. It's a big deal to us, we want to play as well as we can and try to win."

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The R&A: '85% voted for women to become members'

The secretary of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews said he was "very pleased" that its members "voted overwhelmingly in favour of welcoming women members".

More than three quarters of the club’s global membership took part in the ballot, with a decisive 85% voting for women to become members.

This vote has immediate effect and I can confirm that The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews is now a mixed membership club.

The membership has also acted to fast-track a significant initial number of women to become members in the coming months.

This is a very important and positive day in the history of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club. The R&A has served the sport of golf well for 260 years and I am confident that the club will continue to do so in future with the support of all its members, both women and men.

– Peter Dawson, secretary of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club

Royal and Ancient Golf Club votes to 'welcome women as members'

The Royal and Ancient Golf Club has voted overwhelmingly to welcome women as members, it has confirmed.

  1. Ian Payne

McIlroy hopes for 'right decision' over women's golf

Top golfer Rory McIlroy has told ITV News that he hopes and expects the sport's governing body to "make the right decision" tonight.

The Royal And Ancient Golf club will announce the result of a vote on whether to allow female members at St Andrews, for the first time in its 260 year history.

It is expected the all male membership will approve the move this evening and immediately enrol 15 women.

Rory McIlroy. Credit: Peter Byrne/PA Wire/Press Association Images

I don't even think there should be a debate. Of course women should be allowed to join. I think it's been a long time coming, and it's definitely well overdue, and I'm sure they'll make the right decision in the end.

– Rory McIlroy.

If it is approved it will mean only three major golf clubs will still have men only membership. Muirfield and Royal Troon in Scotland, and Royal St Georges in Kent.

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