It was a wonderful afternoon for the United States in the Ryder Cup, as the team used a 3-1, Four-Ball win to take a 9.5-6.5 lead into the Singles on Sunday. The result means the US team needs five points out of the 12 matches to bring the Cup back to the United States.
Europe needs 7.5 points to retain the Cup.
Here’s a quick look at the 12 singles matches in order of how they go out on the course. I am not picking any draws – where is the fun with that!!
Patrick Reed vs. Rory McIlroy: Wow, the first match may be on the best to watch. Reed is arguably the emotional sparkplug of the Americans, as is McIlroy is for the Europeans. This is an absolute must win for Europe. They don’t get this, there is no chance of winning. USA 9.5, Europe 7.5
Jordan Spieth vs. Henrik Stenson: Just another great match. Two warriors and two of the best. Spieth seems to thrive for these spots and Stenson’s final round of the British Open shows his ability to handle pressure. I would go with whoever is home and this time it’s Spieth. USA 10.5-Europe, 7.5.
JB Holmes vs. Thomas Pieters: Pieters has played with composure well beyond his rookie status in this event. Holmes is playing well also and does love playing at home. USA 11.5, Europe 7.5.
Rickie Fowler vs. Justin Rose: Fowler is one of my favorite players, but Rose always seems to rise to the occasion. Have to take the age and experience of the European player. USA 11.5, Europe 8.5.
Jimmy Walker vs. Rafa Cabrera-Bello: One of the underrated Euros taking on of the best all-around players on the American side. Walked just seems so unflappable right now and that should be enough to handle the talented Spaniard. USA 12.5, Europe 8.5.
Phil Mickelson vs. Sergio Garcia: The other top match of the Singles along with the opener, America’s most popular players against a player the American fans love to root against. The difference will be that Philly gets a little too erratic and Garcia always seems to feed on people wanting him to lose. USA 12.5, Europe 9.5.
Ryan Moore vs. Lee Westwood: Not too much to say here other than Moore has been playing great and Westwood – not so much. USA 13.5, Europe 8.5.
Brandt Snedeker vs. Andy Sullivan: On paper it seems a mismatch between the unspectacular, but incredibly consistent game of Sneds and the rookie inconsistencies of Sullivan. And this match will go in reality as it does on paper. If all the previous matches go the distance, this could be the one that gives the Cup to the USA. USA 14.5, Europe 8.5.
Dustin Johnson vs. Chris Wood: This is the mismatch of the Singles. DJ has got it all and Wood is one of the rookies for Europe. The total package for the United States gets this. USA 15.5, Europe 8.5.
Brooks Koepka vs. Danny Willett: It is too bad the moron of a brother Danny Willett has in his brother Peter (the MVP for the United States) has taken away from a very talented player. Peter’s mean and derogatory text about American fans has destroyed his brother. Before the text, I thought Willett was good for a minimum of three points for Europe, but now he will play all of three matches and is 0-2 heading into Sunday. He’s been destroyed for now. USA 16.5, Europe 8.5.
Matt Kuchar vs. Martin Kaymer: Perhaps no player gets a lift from the fans like Kuchar does. Given than the Cup should be locked up by the time they reach the turn, Kuchar – one of the smoothest players on the roster – should really enjoy his Sunday afternoon. USA 17.5, Europe 8.5.
Zach Johnson vs. Matthew Fitzpatrick: If this went down to the last match, the United States would have a huge advantage. But it won’t and Johnson will have a leisurely stroll around the course. Then again, this is the type of match where the players agree to a draw and the party begins. USA 18.5, Europe 8.5.
After the collapse four years ago it may concern some fans about suggesting such a big win for the United States, but I felt this was a different team coming in and there are two points to validate my feelings. The 4-0 sweep in Foursomes to open the event and the 3-1 win Saturday afternoon when it seemed like Europe and taken back the momentum shows just how different this team is than recent years. This is a young team with a new vision for the future.