Ryder Team Analysis: The Europeans - NBC Chicago

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Ryder Team Analysis: The Europeans



    Ryder Team Analysis: The Europeans

    For the first time in what seems like forever, the European side will have the current best player in the world on their side. And no, that doesn't mean Luke Donald, who has taken his turn as the No. 1 ranked player at various times, becuase no one cares about those rankings. This isn't tennis.

    Rory McIlroy is the current world's top golfer, and also carries that title in the minds of golf fans. He backed up his absolute destruction of the US Open field at Congressional last year by doing the same thing at the PGA Championship this year. He had three other victories on the PGA Tour to go with it. He's young, good looking, and he dates a sharp, blonde, top-10 tennis player in Caroline Wozniacki. Yes, you should envy him.

    Speaking of Donald, this is something of a homecoming for him as he attended Northwestern University. He's won a couple tournaments this year, but is an absolute crusher in this competition with a record of 8-2-1 from the three times he's partaken.

    In fact, a lot of these guys come in with glittering Ryder Cup records even though their impact on the PGA tour has been minimal. Sergio Garcia is 14-6-4 even though he's an expert heart-breaker in the majors. Graeme McDowell is 4-2-2. Ian Poulter is 8-3, even though you'd think his colorful pants would distract him. Lee Westwood is 16-11-6, and he makes choking away a major an art form.

    As usual, the European side isn't quite as deep as the US one. But it's deeper than it has been in years past Nicolas Colsaerts is making his debut, and may be shielded the first two days. Francesco Molinari makes his second appearance, but he's a name you might not readily recognize. He only garnered a half-point in three attempts in the last Cup, and got skulled by Tiger Woods in the singles. 

    Something just happens to the European team during this competition, and they all seem to play above their heads. But it's no secret formula. They simply make putts. And that's what this comes down to. It's not about the rough or how big the US can drive it or how you pair your team up and who goes with who. There's no secret strategy. You have to make putts. You have make birdies to put the other guys on edge. You have to save holes when facing a loss. That's it. Whoever does that wins.