Ryder Cup 2016: Can The U.S. Team Win?

Ryder Cup 2016 Teams and Prospects

For those of us who really love to watch golf, match play golf is a special treat. I discovered match play golf long ago via the Skins Games, and came to love the extra pressure that sudden death brings. And the best match game, the Ryder Cup, is coming. Every other year, two dozen of the best professional golfers of the U.S. and Europe meet for match play competition. The European Team includes players from the U.K., Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Sweden.

This year, the 46th Ryder Cup will be held at the Hazelton National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota on September 30th. The Americans dominated the Ryder Cup for decades until the 90s. The Euros have been dominant since, and currently hold the cup and a three match winning streak. After the infamous collapse of the U.S. team on the final day in 2012 at Medinah, the pressure is really on for the U.S. to win on its own turf.

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photo credit – www.tourprogolfclubs.com

For the U.S. team, the top eight players in Ryder Cup Points will automatically be designated as team members following the BMW on August 28th. Then captain Davis Love III and his four vice captains, Tom Lehman, Jim Furyck, Stephen Stricker, and Tiger Woods, will have three weeks to select four more players.The top eight U.S. Ryder Cup Point players as of this week are Dustin Johnson (pictures above), Jordan Spieth, Phil Mickelson, Jimmy Walker, Brooks Koepka, Zach Johnson, J.B. Holmes, Patrick Reed, followed by Brandt Snedeker, Bubba Watson, Matt Kuchar, Rickie Fowler, Scott Piercy, Bill Haas, Daniel Berger, William McGirt, Kevin Chappell, and Jim Furyk. Berger and McGirt are rookies, so aren’t likely to be chosen. They’ll have to amass more points in 2018 to earn the spot.

The Euros have their own but similar qualification processes. Captain Darren Clarke and his vice captains Thomas Bjørn, Pádraig Harrington, Paul Lawrie Ian Poulter, and Sam Torrance will have their team finalized by August 29. Nine players will qualify and three more will be chosen.

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photo credit – www.tourprogolfclubs.com

The top nine at the moment are Danny Willett, Rory McIlroy, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Andy Sullivan, Henrik Stenson (shown above), Justin Rose, Rafa Cabrera-Bello, Sergio Garcia, and Thomas Pieters, five of whom will be Ryder Cup rookies. Rydercup.com predicts that the three to be chosen will be from among Martin Kaymer, Jamie Donaldson, Graeme McDowell, Chris Wood, Victor Dubuisson, Bernd Wiesberger and Ian Poulter.

Since the teams have not yet been picked, it is a bit early for prognostications. Still, with virtually all veterans on the U.S. side versus a Euro team with five rookies, wags would probably give the U.S. the edge. We won’t be able to begin to weigh individual matchups for about two weeks. Then we’ll have a better idea of how the U.S. team might fare this year.

Interestingly, the players receive no prize money. Until 1985, the Ryder Cup never even broke even, so there was no purse. Over the years, corporate sponsorship has been replaced by television contracts. The lion’s share of the receipts goes to the Ryder Cup operation, and the rest is split by the PGA and the European Tour.

by TheGolfCourseLocator

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