How the Ryder Cup Can Be Won or Lost

Peter HughesSenior Analyst ISeptember 14, 2008

The acid test will be on the first two days of Foursomes and Fourballs. The overall score at that time will probably give a clear indication whether the trophy will be retained or regained.

History indicates if either team has a substantial lead going into the final day's singles, inevitably, it wins the most coveted honour in world golf.

Both captains, therefore, must give specific attention to the pairings they select and how they position them in the draw.

Foursomes and Fourballs, seldom, if ever, are played on the professional tours in world golf, although both, in particular the latter, dominate with club golfers throughout the year.

The two modes require players of differing temperaments, with Foursomes demanding most from any pairing. It is so easy to lose if one partner does not have complete empathy with his partner throughout the match.

This is an element which has been extremely strong in the European camp in recent years. Paul Azinger must study it closely before next Thursday.

Nick Faldo would do well to cogitate upon his failings in 1971 at Kiawah Island, when paired with David Gilford, a rookie, whom he ignored from the first tee. Consequently they were hammered 7&6 by Paul Azinger and Mark O'Meara.

So how may the teams line up on Thursday?

The United States could select any four from five:

Mickelson/Kim.  Furyk/Curtis.  Cink/Stricker.  Leonard/Mahan.  Perry/Holmes.

 

Europe's partnerships:

Harrington/Westwood.  Karlssonn/Stenson. Casey/Poulter. Jimenez/Garcia. Rose/Hansen.

 

With the same order on the draw sheet (excluding one pairing)

 

Forecast :         Anybody's guess !!!

Related

    Bidder Wins Tiger Woods Caddie Job for $50K

    Golf logo
    Golf

    Bidder Wins Tiger Woods Caddie Job for $50K

    Golf.com
    via Golf.com

    Report: New Global Golf Tour Would Feature $20M Purses

    Golf logo
    Golf

    Report: New Global Golf Tour Would Feature $20M Purses

    Golf.com
    via Golf.com

    Can Spieth Get Rolling Again at Colonial?

    Golf logo
    Golf

    Can Spieth Get Rolling Again at Colonial?

    Alex Myers
    via Golf Digest

    Woods, Mickelson Crack Top 10 in ESPN 'World Fame 100'

    Golf logo
    Golf

    Woods, Mickelson Crack Top 10 in ESPN 'World Fame 100'

    Bill Speros
    via Golfweek