We’re only a couple days out from the start of the 2016 Ryder Cup, and everything has started to take shape. Here are three questions for each team as we get ready to watch Europe and the USA go head to head.
The best event in golf is finally back, as Team USA and Team Europe are at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Minnesota for the 2016 Ryder Cup. Here are ten predictions before the first ball is in the air on Friday morning.
Below, you’ll see records for all twenty-four players competing this week at the 2016 Ryder Cup. I’ve split out the records into five categories:
- Ryder Cup Singles: How each player has fared in the Sunday singles at the Ryder Cup
- Ryder Cup Team: Records for each player in both the fourball and foursome format at the Ryder Cup
- Overall Singles: Records across all competitions in singles play (ie. WGC-Match Play, Volvo Match Play, etc.)
- Overall Team: Fourball, foursome and greensome records in all team competitions
- Overall Match Play Record: Everything combined into one overall record.
As always, you can click on each player’s name to get a full record with exact details on the matches.
It goes without saying that the Ryder Cup is one of golf’s premier events, and there’s an argument to be made that it’s actually number one on that list. Being Canadian, I don’t have an actual rooting interest in who wins it every other year, but it’s so much fun that I can honestly say that even without my own national pride on the line, I think it’s actually the event that I look forward to more than any other.
We all know the reasons behind why it’s so good, but I think one of the underrated aspects of it is that we get to see newer faces each time out playing for their country and you really do get to see a whole different side to them that you don’t get to see on a weekly basis. There’s a passion for this event that is truly unrivalled in the game, probably best exemplified by players like Patrick Reed and Ian Poulter, who make it must watch TV. Now, while Davis Love has so far declined to introduce any new players to his roster (much to the chagrin of the entirety of Golf Twitter), Darren Clarke’s European side will feature six rookies in Danny Willett, Rafa Cabrera-Bello, Chris Wood, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Andy Sullivan and Thomas Pieters, with all but Pieters qualifying on their own via the two European points lists. If it feels like there’s a changing of the guard here, that’s probably accurate and not just for Europe. It’s very easy to see that the American side, despite players like Reed, Jordan Spieth and Brooks Koepka, is looking a little on the aged side.
One thing has become obvious over the past few weeks as it relates to the Ryder Cup captain’s picks for Davis Love III and Darren Clarke: they don’t really have it easy. In Clarke’s case, he had the good kind of problem where a bunch of players were playing well for his three final slots and he had to make a tough call, while Love seems to be dealing with the opposite. His four picks, three of which he made on Monday with one more coming after the Tour Championship, are coming from a pool of players who have underwhelmed for the vast majority of 2016.
Tiger Woods is back. Kinda.
In a statement released on his website on Wednesday, Tiger announced that his latest return to competitive golf would hopefully be later this year with three events tentatively pencilled in. Health permitting, those events are the Safeway Open in October on the PGA Tour, followed by November’s Turkish Airlines Open and his own event, the Hero World Challenge in December. The reaction, as I’m sure you can imagine, was one of pure insanity with all of Golf Twitter basically melting down simultaneously.
We’re just over a month away from the Ryder Cup, and I’m almost as excited as Paul Azinger is above. This will likely be the last Ryder Cup Forecasting post that I do before the event, as the qualification period ends after the Barclays on the PGA Tour and the Made in Denmark event on the European Tour.
Just two quick reminders: First, the Americans have four captain’s picks available, while Europe only has three and second, if you want to see full match play records for each of the players mentioned in this piece, you can click on their bolded names and see the results.
Rory McIlroy’s last major victory came at the PGA Championship two years ago. In the time since that win at Valhalla, Rory has played in 42 events worldwide, winning five times and placing inside the top-15 in 30 of those 42 starts. He’s got 8 top-5 finishes in fifteen starts this year alone. Admittedly, Rory most certainly does not qualify as “most players,” but for most players, that would be the definition of a fantastic run of golf. For Rory, this stretch has meant that according to some, he has fallen behind the pack.
In case you haven’t seen these previews before, I come at them from the standpoint of whether or not it’s worth your time to tune in based on a variety of factors. Field strength, TV schedule (North America) and the course are the three main factors at play when discussing the watchability of each event, along with whatever notes I can dig up that contributes to its quality. Each event is then given a Miller score (because Johnny Miller really is the best) out of ten. I usually only focus on the PGA and European Tours because that’s where my knowledge tends to sit.
This week: The RBC Canadian Open, the UL International Crown, the Senior Open Championship. Note that there is also the Web.com Tour event in Utah this week, but that won’t be covered in this post.