Europe are strong favourites to regain their crown, but there is a compelling argument to suggest that the US will capture the prize. Brian Barry discusses five reasons why Team USA will be victorious this year.
To put it simply, Mickelson is the most accomplished golfer this weekend. With five majors under his belt, the 44-year-old is facing into his tenth Ryder Cup, in pursuit of a third triumph.
The experienced left-hander stirred things up today, stating “we can play together, and we also don’t litigate against each other.’
Mickelson is wily enough to get inside the heads of Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell. A lot of the talk is about Rickie Fowler, but Phil is the main man on team USA.
2. Europe’s top player?
Tom Watson paid Ian Poulter a massive compliment, describing him as Europe’s top Ryder Cup player. His record speaks for itself, but there are several justified questions surrounding the Englishman’s form entering the weekend.
Poulter has had a dour year to date, but Paul McGinley will still be optimistic that his man can help deliver the Ryder Cup for a fourth time in five attempts.
3. Watson in Scotland
5 British Opens. His record this side of the pond speaks for itself. Although Gleneagles isn’t the kind of links course upon which he captured his crowns, Watson is well equipped, and won’t be fazed by the trip to Scotland.
His experience will have a positive impact on his side, and may well be a decisive factor.
4. Stephen Gallacher
McGinley’s captaincy will live or die from the success of Gallacher. Despite huge pressure from the media to include the Scotsman, he is nonetheless a massive risk.
A form player admittedly, but the 39 year-old has not done enough on the big stage to merit a place. He was tied for 15th at The Open, but this was his best ever finish at a major championship.
There is a big question mark surrounding Gallacher. Does he have the temperament for the big stage?
5. Magic of the Ryder Cup
The Ryder Cup is one of those world renowned sporting events with the x-factor. Anything can happen. Few are giving Tom Watson’s charges a prayer of defeating their European counterparts at Gleneagles, but never say never.
Granted, it may not hit the heights of two years ago, but never say never. This tournament has thrown up shocks in the past, and don’t be surprised if ‘Old Glory’ is raised in celebration on Sunday evening.
Brian Barry, Pundit Arena.