One of the most exciting weeks in golf takes place this week in Chaska, Minnesota. The Ryder Cup returns to the United States to Hazeltine National Golf Club. The teams of 12 are set after Davis Love III announced his final pick last Sunday. Here is a quick rundown of what you need to know headed into the first matches tomorrow.
Dustin Johnson Rory McIlroy
Jordan Spieth Henrik Stenson
Phil Mickelson Sergio Garcia
Patrick Reed Danny Willet
Brooks Koepka Justin Rose
Zach Johnson Martin Kaymer
Brandt Snedeker Matthew Fitzpatrick
Jimmy Walker Chris Wood
Rickie Fowler Andy Sullivan
JB Holmes Lee Westwood
Matt Kuchar Rafa Cabrera-Bello
Ryan Moore Thomas Pieters
One thing to watch this week is Europe’s six rookies. Many Americans might not know much if anything about half of Europe’s team but they aren’t to take lightly. That youthful energy could push Team Europe over the edge to victory. Another thing to watch is the play Patrick Reed and Jordan Spieth. This duo lit up Gleneagles two years ago and were really the only bright spot in that 2014 Ryder Cup. Reed would come to the first tee riding a bald eagle if he could so hopefully that passion and patriotism is infectious this weekend.
Pairings I’d like to see.
Fourball (two players per team, each team takes the better score among their two on each hole):
Reed/Spieth: Anything else or DL3 is the worst captain of all time
D. Johnson/Koepka: One word: Birdies
Mickelson/Z. Johnson: Made a great pairing at Presidents Cup last year. Their game’s compliment each other nicely.
Holmes/Moore: Like Phil and ZJ, their styles of play and skill sets compliment each other.
Alternate Shot (two players per team, teammates alternate who hits the next shot):
Reed/Spieth: See above reasons
D. Johnson/Kuchar: They have been paired together before and have had success. Kuch balances out DJ nicely. Both cool as a cucumber.
Fowler/Walker: Both have very similar games and have familiarity with each other. Jimmy needs to hole some putts. Fowler can provide a spark.
Snedeker/Koepka: Similar to Kuch and DJ. Im excited to see Koepka in the team event setting and Sneds might be the best putter on the team.
Tiger will be an assistant captain this week and it will be great. Tiger makes everything better but especially this week. He has put in so much work, preparation and time into this and its great to see his love for the game. I expect we will see a Tiger fist pump or two from his golf cart.
Friday & Saturday:
- 7:35 a.m.
- 7:50 a.m.
- 8:05 a.m.
- 8:20 a.m.
- 12:30 p.m.
- 12:45 p.m.
- 1:00 p.m.
- 1:15 p.m.
Singles – Starting at 11:04 a.m.
For those not familiar with this format of golf. Each match is worth one point, with matches ending in a draw worth 1/2 point to each side. The first team to reach 14 ½ points wins the Ryder Cup. If the matches end in a 14-14 draw, the team holding the Ryder Cup retains it.
Call me bias, call me whatever but I think the US team will it pull it out in an instant classic. USA beats Europe 15-13.