Ryder Cup set for an explosive start – American top gun Snedeker vs. Europe’s favorite son McIlroy
The United States have identified Rory McIlroy as the No. 1 threat to their success at the 39th Ryder Cup. However, it was the Northern Irishman who sounded like the apex predator following the announcement of the opening matches on Thursday.
The World No. 1 has been paired up with compatriot Graeme McDowell in the foursomes on Friday. Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell will be up against Brandt Snedeker and Jim Furyk on Friday.
“I just can't wait, I am so excited right now,” Rory McIlroy said in an interview after the announcement of the game schedules. Leading the side off in the Ryder Cup, we are going to go out there and get the blue on the board early.”
It’s been a tense buildup for the biennial face-off between United States and Europe at the Ryder Cup. Therefore, an explosive start can be expected, especially when fate has pitted two of golf’s best players against each other – Rory McIlroy and Brandt Snedeker.
Rory McIlroy and Brandt Snedeker have dominated the leading tournaments to the Ryder Cup. As a matter of fact, the Northern Irishman and the American have won four of the five PGA Tour events before the Ryder Cup. Rightfully, both men have been named captains as well.
There was only one name in Europe that truly deserved to be the captain and that was Rory McIlroy. The 23-year-old can boast about three victories from his last five starts, which includes a PGA Championship. Also, his partnership with Graeme McDowell produced one-and-a-half points from a possible two at the Celtic Manor two years ago. Therefore, the Europeans best hope to defend their title will be with Rory McIlroy leading the charge.
Brandt Snedeker might be older than Rory McIlroy, but he has yet to reach the upper echelons of fame. Nonetheless, the 31-year-old rookie displayed nerves of steel as he stared down the world’s best players to win the season-ending Tour Championship. Brandt Snedeker also proved his worth at the FedEx Cup by winning the tournament and the $10 million bonus with it.
“To be honest, they are not the opponents we were expecting,” Rory McIlroy said. “We know that their team is strong all the way through but it was a little surprising to see a rookie in their first group.”
Meanwhile, Brandt Snedeker will lean on to the Ryder Cup veteran Jim Furyk for support in the tournament. Jim Furyk is appearing in his eighth event.
“Jim is playing great, a great guy to lean on, he's got so much experience,” Brandt Snedeker said. “It will be a tough match, they are two of the best players in the world, they have a close relationship and they are going to come out swinging the first match of the day.”
“But I think my game stacks up against anybody right now and I think Jim's does too so we are going to give them a hard match tomorrow.”