Let the real Ryder Cup begin

When Samuel Ryder first sponsored the competition that bears his name in 1927, it’s unlikely that he would have predicted the emergence of WAGs, Park & Ride, blogs, airport-style security and triple-decker corporate boxes. But it’s certain he would have welcomed the heavyweight battle that starts the 36th tournament tomorrow at 8am.

Colin Montgomerie’s performances in recent Ryder Cups have been so impressive that his impact on the US team will be no less than Tiger’s influence on the Europeans. There may be golfers in better form on the European side but Montgomerie was the logical choice to lead his team’s defence of the old trophy. He has partnered local favourite Padraig Harrington successfully in the past and that pairing are guaranteed a raucous and passionate support on every tee, fairway and green. But despite all of that, the in-form Tiger and his successful President’s Cup partner Jim Furyk will take a lot of beating and Tom Lehman will be really confident of landing the first blow.

The other heavyweight contest is in the fourth match where the tried and trusted combination of Clarke & Westwood take on another President’s Cup success story in Mickelson & DiMarco. The Americans should be favourites on the basis of recent form but local experience and a long-standing relationship between Clarke & Westwood will ensure they bring the match all the way to the closing holes.

Europe’s most likely success should be with the Spanish partnership of Garcia & Olazabal in the third match against David Toms and debutant Brett Wetterich. Many Americans are confident that Wetterich’s long hitting could be a huge advantage in the soggy conditions but he will have to perform in an environment way beyond anything he will have experienced before.

Two rookies face each other in the second match where in-form Paul Casey will partner Robert Karlsson against JJ Henry and Lehman’s wild card Stewart Cink. If Casey can reproduce the form which saw him win last week, then he should win enough holes to post a point for the Europeans.

In recent history, European dominance of the fourballs & foursomes has underpinned their overall success but on this occasion the home team will have to be at their very best to take an early advantage over this US team with their two ‘awesome’ pairings.

Technorati tags ryder cup, golf

One Response to “Let the real Ryder Cup begin”

  1. Where do I apply for accreditation for Ryder Cup in Wales in 2010.

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