Europeans Are Loose, Americans Are Focused. Let's Tee It Up.
The Ryder Cup Opening Ceremonies have concluded and with that the Friday morning foursome match pairings were announced.
For those not familiar with the Ryder Cup or team golf, "Foursome" is when teammates alternate shots and whichever teams gets the ball into the hole in the fewest shots wins that hole. A great deal of pressure, especially on the drives. But this is golf, and there's always pressure on the tee box.
Alright here we go with the Friday morning pairings and my quick predictions:
Match 1 (8:05 am ET)
(EUR) Padraig Harrington/Robert Karlsson vs. (USA) Phil Mickelson/Anthony Kim
No one has played as well as Padraig Harrington in big events lately, but I love the combo of Mickelson and Kim to kick off the United States attempt to regain the Ryder Cup. Mickelson has been terrible in the last two Ryder Cups and with Tiger watching from home, the US needs Lefty more than ever. Kim has some serious moxie and won't be intimidated
Pick: USA 1 UP
Match 2 (8:20 am ET)
(EUR) Henrik Stenson/Paul Casey vs. (USA) Justin Leonard/Hunter Mahan
Captain Paul Azinger said he picked Leonard and Mahan because they were the same height. He was joking, of course, but honestly the two Texans are freakishly similar. Leonard is one of the more consistent drivers on the US Team and Mahan is great from the fairway. With that said, Henrik Stenson is playing exceptionally well and putts as well as anyone.
Pick: Europe 4 UP
Match 3 (8:35 am ET)
(EUR) Ian Poulter/Justin Rose vs. (USA) Steward Cink/Chad Campbell
Cink didn't get a single win in the 2006 Ryder Cup, but he's a veteran and shouldn't be fazed by the pressure a Ryder Cup can impose on a rookie.
This is the match where the US could steal a point, as Cink and Campbell compliment each other well in my opinion, but again, Poulter and Rose are playing better golf right now.
Pick: Europe 3 UP
Match 4 (8:50 am ET)
(EUR) Lee Westwood/Sergio Garcia vs. (USA) Jim Furyk/Kenny Perry
Garcia is 8-0 is Ryder Cup Foursomes. Lee Westwood is nearly as successful. This would seem like a near lock for an early point for Europe. If somehow Furyk and Perry could pull this upset, that would send a message for the rest of the week, but I don't think it'll happen.
Pick: Europe UP 3
The afternoon "best ball" pairings will be announced before the end of these matches in the morning. We'll have a live thread up early. Matches start at 8 am ET.
What are your morning predictions?