Sunday, September 17, 2006

Ryder Cup on Paper

I've run a little analysis of the Ryder Cup by comparing the players in order of their official world golf rank.

1. Tiger Woods vs. Sergio Garcia - Woods - Ryder Cup records may favor Garcia, but I think Woods is getting a little better handle on the concept of a team event. And last week's match play aside, who's gonna bet against his current form.
2. Jim Furyk vs. Luke Donald - Furyk - Donald is good, but Furyk is better. 'Nuff said.
3. Phil Mickelson vs. Henrik Stenson - Mickelson - Tough call here, but I'm going with Mickelson's experience despite Stenson's recent win.
4. David Toms vs. David Howell - Howell - Both have been hit and miss, but not allowing myself to pick draws and I'm a Howell fan.
5. Chris DiMarco vs. Colin Montgomerie - Montgomerie - Boy, oh boy, what a choice! Grinder Dimarco or Ryder Cup royalty.
6. Chad Campbell vs. Padraig Harrington - Harrington - Finally an easy choice!
7. Stewart Cink vs. Jose Maria Olazabal - Cink - Cink is sharpening his game right on schedule.
8. Scott Verplank vs. Darren Clarke - Verplank - Clarke's got something to fight for, but the pressure is on and Verplank is a grinder.
9. Zach Johnson vs. Paul Casey - Casey - Properly hating means knowing your opponent wants to win just as much you do and now is the time to be competitive. Casey is ready to keep that Cup.
10. Vaughn Taylor vs. Robert Karlsson - Karlsson - Karlsson has been in quite good form of late.
11. J. J. Henry vs. Lee Westwood - Henry - I'm with the doubters on the Westwood pick.
12. Brett Wetterich vs. Paul McGinley - McGinley - An Irishman in Ireland.

In summary, Americans 6, Europeans 6. As for the fourball and foursomes, I'm guessing the Euros have a slight edge, say 7½ - 8½. That makes my final call Europe keeps the Cup in a closely fought showdown ending 14½ - 13½. So there, I agree with everyone that says that we're the underdogs this year, but I don't think it is as drastic as it looks at first glance.

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