Ryder Cup - let the battle begin
BY Bruce Young | US PGA Tour | 2012 The 38th Ryder Cup | Preview | 26 Sep 2012
The Ryder Cup begins this Friday in the north western suburbs of Chicago when Europe and the USA will again do battle in what has developed into one of the greatest of all sporting spectacles.
Since Great Britain combined their playing resources with those of Continental Europe in 1979 the Ryder Cup has developed into one of the most evenly contested events in sport, the last thirteen encounters in particular providing the event – and world golf – with just the boost they needed.
Europe has won eight of those contests and the USA four with one tie, those results in stark contrast to sole victory produced by Great Britain in the previous sixteen since World War 11.
On paper at least the USA side appears to have the ascendency and coupled with what will be a significant hometown advantage they would seem to be the commanding favourites.
The Americans boast five players from the world top ten with only one of their twelve currently outside the top twenty in the world ranking.
The Europeans on the other hand have four inside the world top ten but only six inside the top twenty and half of their side are ranked below America’s lowest ranked player Jim Furyk.
As is often said of statistics however they will be of little relevance when the battle hopefully goes down to the wire on Sunday.
Medinah Country Club is an original 1925 Tom Bendelow designed layout although significantly upgraded by Rees Jones in 2003.
The venue gets to host the Ryder Cup for the first occasion although it is no stranger to major events having hosted three US Opens and two PGA Championships, the first of which came in 1999 when Tiger Woods won the second of his 14 major championships, the most recent being when Woods again prevailed in 2006.
The Cup officially gets underway on Thursday when the now traditional opening ceremonies take place ahead of the first of the on course battles on Friday morning when the opening four Foursomes matches are played.
On Friday afternoon four Fourball matches are played with a repeat of Friday’s programme on Saturday.
By then the initial 16 points will have been decided prior to the 12 singles matches on Sunday.
Most would suggest a commanding USA victory and perhaps the opportunity to claim back some of the ground they have lost in recent years, having lost six of the last eight match-ups.
The hometown advantage should work in the Americans favour but while the fervour of the crowd provides support it also applies pressure and with four rookies in their side they will feel the need to perform.
Their greater current form and that crowd support should play their role in getting the locals home.
I’m picking the USA to win by 16 to 12.
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