The pairings are set, the tee times announced, team play over and the stage set. Team USA, down to Team Europe 10-6, will enter play with an approximate 16 percent chance of retaining the Ryder Cup. This percentage is equivalent to rolling a 7 with a pair of dice.
The Americans have an uphill battle in front of them. USA headed into this Ryder Cup as the favorites, featuring 6 of the World Golf Rankings Top-10, and 11 of the Top-20. Europe countered this with only 6 of the Top-20 ranked in the world.
However golf is not played on paper as an American squad has not won a Ryder Cup on foreign soil in 25 years. This years Ryder Cup is being held in Paris, or to Americans, a place they haven’t won in a quarter of a century.
The Americans took an early 3-1 lead after the four balls morning session Friday. The afternoon session foursomes were swept by Team Europe, the score now 5-3.
The Europeans carried their momentum into Saturday morning four balls, taking 3 points. The score 8-4. In a much needed quality performance, the men from USA would split 2-2 with Europe to bring the score to 10-6.
Next is the singles matches held Sunday. The question, can the United States comeback and win? There is a small precedent for this.
This feat can be achieved, it has been done twice since the creation of the Ryder Cup. The European squad came back from the four-point deficit in 2012, known as the “Miracle at Medinah”, and the Americans completed the unthinkable at the “Battle of Brookline” in 1999.
Ben Crenshaw captained his men to an astounding victory in 1999. The Americans won the first 6 matches of the day, secured two more victories from Steve Pate and current captain Jim Furyk. The Americans would secure a victory after Justin Leonard drained a 45-foot birdie putt and his counter part Jose Maria Olazabal missing his 22-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole. The final score at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass. 14-1/2 to 13-1/2.
2012 would be Team Europe’s chance to complete the unthinkable comeback. Olazabal, the man who would miss the birdie putt in 1999, captained the boys in blue, who won 8 and tied one match of the 12 contested. It would be major-winner Martin Kaymer, who defeated Steve Stricker, that got Europe’s score to 14-13. Europe would win the contest outright after Tiger Woods missed a putt and conceded the hole to Francesco Molinari, halving the final point.
So there is a chance that the unthinkable can happen. Team USA needs to start strong and win their first 6 matches to really give them a shot.
2018 Singles Matches Predictions
Match 1: Justin Thomas (USA) vs. Rory McIlroy (Euro) Prediction: Justin Thomas
Europe: 10 USA: 7
Match 2: Brooks Koepka (USA) vs. Paul Casey (Euro) Prediction: Brooks Koepka
Europe: 10 USA: 8
Match 3: Webb Simpson (USA) vs. Justin Rose (Euro) Prediction: Justin Rose
Europe: 11 USA: 8
Match 4: Tiger Woods (USA) vs. Jon Rahm (Euro) Prediction: Tiger Woods
Europe: 11 USA: 9
Match 5: Tony Finau (USA) vs. Tommy Fleetwood (Euro) Prediction: Tommy Fleetwood
Europe: 12 USA: 9
Match 6: Dustin Johnson (USA) vs. Ian Poulter (Euro) Prediction: Dustin Johnson
Europe: 12 USA: 10
Match 7: Jordan Spieth (USA) vs. Thorbjorn Olesen (Euro) Prediction: Jordan Spieth
Europe: 12 USA: 11
Match 8: Rickie Fowler (USA) vs. Sergio Garcia (Euro) Prediction: Rickie Fowler
Europe: 12 USA: 12
Match 9: Phil Mickelson (USA) vs. Francesco Molinari (Euro) Prediction: Francesco Molinari
Europe: 13 USA: 12
Match 10: Patrick Reed (USA) vs. Tyrell Hatton (Euro) Prediction: Patrick Reed
Europe: 13 USA: 13
Match 11: Bubba Watson (USA) vs. Henrik Stenson (Euro) Prediction: Henrik Stenson
Europe: 14 USA: 13
Match 12: Bryson DeChambeau (USA) vs. Alex Noren (USA) Prediction: Alex Noren
Europe: 15 USA: 13
Team Europe Wins: 15-13
The Europeans continue their hot streak of winning on their soil. It will be a valiant effort by the United States and they will make a strong comeback but the play of the final four has been suspect and it is ultimately the difference.
Three Matches That Could Draw
There are a few matches that could draw because the competition is so equal.
Match 1: Justin Thomas (USA) vs. Rory McIlroy (Euro)
Match 6: Dustin Johnson (USA) vs. Ian Poulter (Euro)
Match 8: Rickie Fowler (USA) vs. Sergio Garcia (Euro)
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