Ryder Cup 2012: Golfers Who Will Secure European Victory

Mary O'ConnorCorrespondent ISeptember 28, 2012

MEDINAH, IL - SEPTEMBER 28:  Lee Westwood and Nicolas Colsaerts of Europe celebrate Colsaerts birdie putt on the 17th green during the Afternoon Four-Ball Matches for The 39th Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Club on September 28, 2012 in Medinah, Illinois.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Europe has won six of the last eight Ryder Cups—a remarkable tally which they will want to build upon.

This year, the American team is hungry for success, and as always, they have an impressive roster including Tiger Woods and Jim Furyk. Although the Europeans have historically been a stronger force in the team events, they will have to stay on top of their game in order to take home the cup for the second time running.

The last time the U.S. won the cup was in 2008 when the tournament was played on home soil. This year, the cup is being played in Medinah Country Club in Illinois, giving the European golfers another reason to polish their swing.

Rory Mcllroy and Graeme McDowell will be key to Europe’s success in this year’s Ryder Cup. The Northern Irish duo seems like the perfect balancing act. McIlroy, the world No. 1, will lead by example on the course, while McDowell will use his experience to keep the young McIlroy focused throughout the cup.

McIlroy has only played in two previous Ryder Cups, while McDowell is far more experienced. The duo started out strongly, narrowly beating Jim Furyk and Brandt Snedeker, but ended up lagging behind Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley, with McDowell fading badly on the 17th hole.

Although the duo set in motion a positive beginning to the cup, they will be disappointed with the outcome against Mickelson and Bradley.

Nicolas Colsaerts could not have asked for a better debut performance at the Ryder Cup today. Colsaerts, who was paired with Lee Westwood, sank eight birdies and an eagle to push aside Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker.

Westwood felt like a spectator rather than Colsaert’s partner and admitted to The Vancouver Sun:

“It was a pleasure and a joy to watch. You never know how people are going to react to the Ryder Cup. I think he took to it quite nicely. I didn’t really have a lot to do. He brought me in to read a putt on 15 and I panicked. I wondered why he even asked me because everything he looked at went in. It was a fantastic round of golf."

After today’s dramatic performance, the Belgian could be Europe’s secret weapon, and judging from his counterpart’s meager performances, he will be counted on to help even the likes of McIlroy and McDowell to pull up their socks.