So, it is Ryder Cup week! On Friday the action begins and the most famous golfing rivalry rears its head again. Like a bomb detonating underwater, the emotions come rushing to the surface, it comes out through the golfer’s pores and you witness the normally cool, calm and collected men of this fine game simply unravel. Some will unravel due to the pure tension and pressure and others who will come to tears when they cannot contain the sheer joy of victory.
There will be plenty of build up to the start on Friday. Presentations and ceremonies carry on in the lead up to the event. Wives and Girlfriends are also part of the Teams and are often seen out on the course supporting their partners and his teammates.
The Tour Players Championship finished this past weekend and showed some glimpses of what the excitement will be like come Friday. Rory McIlroy was extremely animated when he holed out to make an eagle on the 16th hole. He eventually went on to win the tournament after a play-off which involved the final wildcard pick for Team USA Ryan Moore. Moore is an excellent choice and displayed the form and demeanour which must have convinced Captain Love III to plump for him. He played very well all through the final day and made some big putts under pressure, exactly what you need in your Team. He will also be a calming influence for his partner as Moore really seems to take everything in his stride. Unfortunately, this left no space for Bubba Watson who is always fun to watch.
McIlroy has also hit some outrageous form having won 2 of his last 3 events. He looks completely in the zone and will be a formidable opponent for the USA Team. In contrast, Phil Mickelson’s form must be a worry for his Captain. After playing sublime golf in the Open this year, his form has been patchy lately and as one of the stalwarts of the Team, he needs to come good.
As mentioned in my previous articles, the European Team have dominated this event on the last five occasions. They seem to always unite well as a Team and really have been able to elevate their game in previous years. On paper the USA Team would seem to be favourites. They have the stronger players in terms of world ranking and have home ground advantage at Hazeltine. They will also enjoy vociferously biased galleries. Time will tell whether all the USA Players can stand up to this huge support but most have previous Ryder Cup experience and should be able to feed off this.
Who is going to win??? It could really go either way. Both Teams have fantastic players and great Captains. It might well boil down to the finest of margins to separate the two. I think it will be decided by small one point margin. My head says USA, my heart says Europe.
I’m going to really, really enjoy watching this weekend, whoever wins.