The wait is over and the United States team will be looking for redemption at the 2014 Ryder Cup. The teams are all decided, the course is ready and the North American and European continents will be watching as 24 players will be teeing it up for pride this time around. The players will be facing the Jack Nicklaus designed Centenary course which opened in 1993 and saw a retrofit in 2011 in preparation for this year’s Ryder Cup.
The United States leads the historical numbers in Ryder Cup completion with a 25 – 12 – 1 record but since the Ryder Cup expanded from Great Britain and Ireland to the whole continent, the European team leads 9 – 7 – 1. In the new millennium the European team has dominated the Ryder Cup. In fact, the only United States victory came at Valhalla in 2008.
|2004||Europe||Oakland Hills, USA|
|2006||Europe||K Club, Ireland|
|2010||Europe||Celtic Manor, UK|
Thursday September 25th – Sunday September 28th
Gleneagles GC, Perthshire, SCO
Asterisk denotes Marquee TV Time
*Friday – Golf Channel 2:30 AM – 1:00 PM EST*
Friday – Golf Channel 6:00 PM – 12:00 AM EST
*Saturday – NBC 3:00 AM – 1:00 PM EST*
Saturday – Golf Channel – 3:00 AM – 11:30 AM EST
Saturday – Golf Channel – 8:00 PM – 1:00 AM EST
*Sunday – NBC 7:00 AM – 1:00 PM EST*
Sunday – Golf Channel – 7:00 AM – 11:30 AM EST
Sunday – Golf Channel – 7:00 PM – 1:00 AM EST
Monday – Golf Channel – 12:00 PM – 6:00 PM EST
It isn’t about the money. This time it’s the pride of representing your nation. The PGA of America distributes $2.6 million to charities named by the captain and players on the US team.
The 2014 US team is returning seven players from the Medinah team. The United States Captain, Tom Watson, is preaching redemption to his team. That is the exact stance he should take with an emphasis of singles play. With the United States team poised for victory, the last edition of the Ryder Cup saw six of the seven returning players lose their singles matches on Sunday resulting in a dramatic comeback for team Europe. On paper, this time around the European team appears to be the deserving favorites. Rory McIlroy is playing to out of this world levels and Ian Poulter, the Ryder Cup killer, is returning. In fact, four of the top-6 players in the World Golf Rankings are on the European squad and many are coming in hot.
|Captain||Paul McGinley||Tom Watson|
|Vice Captain||Des Smyth||Andy North|
|Vice Captain||Sam Torrance||Raymond Floyd|
|Vice Captain||Padraig Harrington||Steve Stricker|
|Vice Captain||Jose Maria Olazabal|
|Vice Captain||Miguel Angel Jimenez|
|Europe||World Rank||USA||World Rank|
|Rory McIlroy||1||Jim Furyk||5|
|Sergio Garcia||3||Bubba Watson||7|
|Henrik Stenson||4||Matt Kuchar||9|
|Justin Rose||6||Rickie Fowler||10|
|Martin Kaymer||12||Phil Mickelson||11|
|Graeme McDowell||18||Jordan Speith||13|
|Victor Dubuisson||23||Zach Johnson||16|
|Jamie Donaldson||28||Jimmy Walker||19|
|Thomas Bjorn||30||Hunter Mahan||21|
|Stephen Gallacher||34||Keegan Bradley||26|
|Ian Poulter||37||Patrick Reed||27|
|Lee Westwood||41||Webb Simpson||33|
Predictions for the 2014 Ryder Cup
If past history is any indicator it appears the European team is set to once again take home the Ryder Cup and in the process, deny the United States team another opportunity to right the proverbial Ryder Cup ship. Last time around, heading into singles play, it appeared the United States team was going to win until the European team charged home in singles play ending in another title for the folks across the pond.
The year the depth of the European team cannot be discounted. Rory McIlroy is the best player in the world and he will be expected to produce. However, the unspoken anchor of the team comes in the form of Ian Poulter, who just seems to find a new gear each time the Ryder Cup is played. Add in Justin Rose, Graeme McDowell, Lee Westwood, Sergio Garcia and some talented rookies and that is a recipe for success.
The United States team enters this year’s event with two proven Ryder Cup veterans in the form of Jim Furyk and Phil Mickelson. Furyk is coming in primed and ready while Mickelson has been playing through a challenging season. I would expect both to step up. Nine of the 12 total players on the United States team have played in two or less Ryder Cup’s with three rookies on the squad. The United States chance will lie in the form of rookies Jordan Spieth, Patrick Reed and Jimmy Walker. If they are unfazed by the stage then this year’s event can be closer than many experts would think.
While I will be pulling for Team USA, I believe that this year the European team will once again reign supreme. However, I feel that the experienced gained by the United States rookies and second timers will result in a victory when the next edition of the Ryder Cup returns to US soil. If the US squad is unflappable then a victory for Team USA is not out of the question but the logical prediction is a victory by the European squad on their home soil in Gleneagles. It will be closer than many believe and there will be drama the final three matches on Sunday.
|Team||Total Points||Points Leader|
|Team Europe||14.5||Ian Poulter|
|Team USA||13.5||Matt Kuchar|