Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Sunday pairings -- how they came to be

There's no great science that goes into setting the singles pairing for Sunday at the Ryder Cup.
   Or, if there is, it's strictly classified.
   U.S. captain Davis Love III said he and his four assistant captains sat down on the porch at Medinah early Saturday evening and put 12 guys in order after getting input from the seven or eight who hadn't already returned to the team hotel.
   Look at the American lineup and it makes sense.
   Bubba Watson then Webb Simpson then Keegan Bradley and Phil Mickelson.
   Bubba likes to play fast. Webb likes to be near Bubba. Bradley has been brilliant and Mickelson has too.
   Steve Stricker goes 11th and Tiger Woods goes last in case it comes down to that, which is almost certainly won't. Love said he wanted stability at the back of the lineup. Tiger against Francesco Molinari looks pretty stable.
   On the other side, Europe's Jose Maria Olazabal did the only thing he could do -- he front-loaded his lineup. Luke Donald, Ian Poulter, Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose got out first. If Europe doesn't win early, it has no chance to win at all. That's what captain Ben Crenshaw taught everyone at Brookline, Mass., 13 years ago.
   The early matches look intriguing. Watson and Donald couldn't be more different personalities. Simpson gets Poulter's fire. Bradley and McIlroy has become the match we thought Woods-McIlroy would be when the week began.
   If the Americans continue to play as they have, they'll win the Ryder Cup comfortably. That's what I expect will happen Sunday.
  12:03 p.m.: Bubba Watson-Luke Donald
  12:14: Webb Simpson-Ian Poulter
  12:25: Keegan Bradley-Rory McIlroy
  12:36: Phil Mickelson-Justin Rose
  12:47: Brandt Snedeker-Paul Lawrie
  12:58: Dustin Johnson-Nicolas Colsaerts
   1:09: Zach Johnson-Graeme McDowell
   1:20: Jim Furyk-Sergio Garcia
   1:31: Jason Dufner-Peter Hanson
   1:42: Matt Kuchar-Lee Westwood
   1:53: Steve Stricker-Martin Kaymer
   2:04: Tiger Woods-Francesco Molinari


Anonymous said...

Im not a huge golf fan, but this has been some great golf to watch.