We’re very close to tee-ff at Celtic Manor and I’m here to bring you NG Nation’s official update. I’m sure that everyone is over-whlemed with Ryder Cup news, analysis and over-analysis. I’m usually a big fan of stats, but I’m going to try and leave it out in this preview and just go with my heart, since that should be a big factor in the 2010 Ryder Cup. I’m going to do a player breakdown, talk about the 3 Nike Golfers and analyze the matchups.
I’m going to break this down player by player, by team. However, I’m going to keep it short and sweet. Anyone can predict how players will play and describe their player style, but I’m going to do it with nicknames and give a sentence or two describing why.
Stewart “Mr. Consistent” Cink :: He’s been smooth, consistent and thrown up Top 25’s for years. He’s veteran and should be a reliable part of the US Team.
Rickie “Orange Crush” Fowler :: He’s going to be lost without his ridiculous Puma orange banana outfit. He should be in way over his head and will see the least playing time of the Americans.
Jim “Dougie” Furyk :: I don’t care that he’s fresh off of a huge paycheque, the dude can play and he’s fresh. I just wish he did the Dougie after he turned his hat backwards.
Dustin “DJ Hero” Johnson :: He’s made a lot of mixtapes this year but only cashed in one of them. He should put out a few hits this weekend and should be a key part to the US team.
Zach “This isn’t 2009” Johnson :: I think ZJ got in solely on his 2009 performance and previous years, he had a win this year, but one of his lowest money finishes of his career. I’m not expecting much.
Matt “The Secret” Kuchar :: Kuchar is money and you’d think that’s how he cashed in this year, with his secretive, confident grin. He’s a champion and by far the best golfer this year from America.
Hunter “The Hunter” Mahan :: Mahan and Poulter are the two most similar players here. He’s on target, he’s a gamer, he’s a baller and he’s hunting for the kill. He’s here to win and could be the star of the US team.
Phil “Jagged Little Pill” Mickelson :: I heard someone on a radio show this week say Phil was one of the best in the world because of he’s Masters win. What?! He can’t play in Europe and failed to make even come close to a number 1 ranking when he had at least 5 events to become the best golfer in the world. I’ve got no love for Phil.
Jeff “Autumn” Overton :: He’s Autumn because he’s changing colours like the leave. Jeff was warming up in the Spring and was hot in the Summer, but what a weak playoffs. He had a bunch of Top 10’s and that’s it.
Steve “The Tower” Stricker :: Stricks should be the most intimidating golfer to the European squad. He plays great golf, no matter what continent and can perform under pressure.
Bubba “Double Trouble” Watson :: He could be the biggest flop on the team. He’s never really been tested. Bubba finished 2nd at the PGA, but didn’t even qualify for the Masters or US Open this year, never even making a cut (EVER) at The Open.
Tiger “Sunday Single” Woods :: He must be hating the plethora of WAGs at this event. He’s alone and he’s probably hungry for some lovin’. Hopefully some golf will feed his appetite.
Luke “Radar” Donald :: He’s been right up there all year dialing it in from everyone on the course. He’s one of the best and most accurate players on the planet and it’s time to show the world.
Ross “Ahi Tuna” Fisher :: Ahi Tuna is amazing, but can be a little boring. Always the same and you can get sick of it, but it’s always delicious and amazing. Just like Ross Fisher.
Peter “I should be Paul Casey” Hanson :: I hate to say that he shouldn’t be on this team, but a few guys could be more worthy of this spot. He qualified, so kudos to him, but don’t expect much.
Padraig “Adam Scott” Harrington :: I think this could be Paddy’s chance to get his game back, a la Adam Scott at The 2009 President’s Cup.
Miguel “The Mechanic” Angel Jiminez :: He’s a great veteran and he’s the mechanic. He’s very chill and should be a lot of fun, workin all sorts of stuff out.
Martin “The Executive” Kaymer :: Kaymer is a young kid, who has been playing amazing golf for two years. He steps into the office, puts in work and cash cheques.
Graeme “La-Z Boy” McDowell :: He’s easily one of the the most relaxed guys on the team. However, he’s awesome, like a La-Z Boy.
Rory “The Kid” McIlroy :: The kid is just pure fire. There’s not better venue for him to step up to the world and put his foot down. I really hope the media attention for the Tiger comments don’t mess him up.
Edoardo “Luigi” Molinari :: He’s the Luigi of the Super Molinari Bros. They power up, they fly and they like mushrooms.
Francesco “Mario” Molinari :: He’s a little bigger, therefore he’s Mario. But these guys are unstoppable and will stop any and all Bob-ombs.
Ian “The Animal” Poulter :: He’s a wild man who lives for these events. He’s got the game, he’s got the heart and he’ll try and eat you alive.
Lee “The King” Westwood :: He’s a professional, a leader, a winner and will be the King of England/Europe.
Has a very good chance to test his game and be a centerpiece for the US Team. Cink’s a social guy who can be the glue that holds this team together. With a group of rookies and stiff guys, I think a US win would rest on the shoulders of Cink’s ability to lead.
Definitely has the chance to have the best record of all the Nike athletes thanks to his brother. He’s a great player and has proved himself all year on Tour and in the Majors.
My heart is with Tiger. Is this the time he turns it on en route to his domination of the 2011 Season? All eyes will be on him this week. I think it would have been better for him if the media didn’t completely blow up a Rory McIlroy/Tiger showdown, but maybe Tiger will thrive in the challenge, as he’s done in the past.
Friday Morning FourBalls
P.Mickelson/D.Johnson vs. L.Westwood/M.Kaymer
This could be a trainwreck. Westwood and Kaymer are arguably the two best players in the world right now. The only question is Westwood’s health, but I wouldn’t worry because he’s a trooper. I’d be more worried about Phil’s inability to deliver this year and also DJ’s poor showing at The TOUR Championship. Team Europe +1.
R.McIlroy/G.McDowell vs. S.Cink/M.Kuchar
This is a tough one for the Americans. McIlroy/McDowell are basically brothers. While Kuchar and Cink are fun guys with similar demeanors, they can’t compete with the North Ireland Power Couple. Team Europe +2.
T.Woods/S.Stricker vs. I.Poulter/R.Fisher
Fisher and Poulter are a good team. I know people will throw this right to Woods and Stricker because they’re pros. But Fisher is great in Match Play and could be the perfect team to test where Woods and Stricker are at. I think this will come down to the last hole, but I really think this will be halved. Team Europe +2.5.
J.Overton/B.Watson vs. L.Donald/P.Harrington
I don’t know what’s going on here. I know Donald and Harrington may not have the best chemistry, but they are serious, proven golfers who are playing very well right now. Overton and Watson need to find something special as the odds are stacked against them, based on recent play, experience and level of competition. Europe +3.5
I think Europe will win, as I said in our NG Nation Staff picks. I think it should be a blowout, but I’m going to give the US some more credit and give it to Europe 15-13.
Should be one heck of a weekend. Keep it locked on NG Nation throughout the Ryder Cup!