Ryder Cup Preview: Player History at Medinah
With the 2012 Ryder Cup starting in a couple of days, I thought I’d take a look at how each player has performed at Medinah throughout the years. I’ll have some more data up specifically relating to the Ryder Cup and other match play events later today.
The Medinah Country Club has played host to many events since the course opened in 1924, starting with the Medinah Open in 1930. For the guys playing in the Ryder Cup this year, there are three events of importance: The 1990 U.S. Open and the 1999 and 2006 PGA Championships.
Only Phil Mickelson played in the 1990 U.S. Open, doing so as an amateur. Interestingly, half of the players competing in the Ryder Cup this year have never played a professional round at Medinah, with seven first-time Americans, and five from the European squad. Naturally, the course has changed significantly over the years, and it has been lengthened once again for the Ryder Cup this year:
- 1990 U.S. Open: Par 72, 7,195 yards
- 1999 PGA Championship: Par 72, 7,401 yards
- 2006 PGA Championship: Par 72, 7,561 yards
- 2012 Ryder Cup: Par 72, 7,658 yards
- Seven players (Bradley, Dufner, Dustin Johnson, Kuchar, Simpson, Snedeker and Watson) have never played a professional round at Medinah.
- Of the ten events played by the US team at Medinah, there have been four top-10 finishes. One each by Jim Furyk and Steve Stricker, and two by Tiger Woods, who won both the 1999 and 2006 PGA Championships.
- The ten events played have given the US team a total score of -46.
- Total rounds under 70: 12
- Total rounds of 70+: 24
- Five players (Colsaerts, Hanson, Kaymer, McIlroy, and Molinari) have never played a professional round at Medinah.
- Of the nine events played by the European team at Medinah, there have been four top-10 finishes. Two by Sergio Garcia, and one each by Luke Donald and Ian Poulter.
- The nine events played have given the European players a total score of -38.
- Total rounds under 70: 11
- Total rounds of 70+: 21
Stray thoughts about the above data:
- It’s going to be interesting to see how the captains pair the players up with so many players who haven’t played the course before. You’d think that Love and Olazabal would try and put an experienced player with an inexperienced one, but you never know.
- The longevity of a golfer is always amazing to me. Mickelson played at Medinah 22 years ago, and while you never really consider Westwood or Lawrie older players, it says something that they played in the PGA Championship 13 years ago.
- I remember that 2006 PGA Championship as one of Tiger’s more impressive performances, completely dominating Luke Donald in their final round pairing.
- Of course, any mention of Medinah usually brings back memories of Sergio Garcia’s battle with Tiger in 1999. The video of his amazing shot next to the tree is embedded below.