The 2010 Ryder Cup is set for October 1-3 at Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, Wales. This will mark the 11th time the biennial competition will be played on European soil. The 38th edition of the team contest pits top American golfers against Europe’s elites. The U.S Ryder Cup team is captained by 1995 U.S. Open champion Corey Pavin; the European team is anchored by 8-time Order of Merit winner Colin Montgomerie. In this article, I will preview the 2010 Ryder Cup and offer predictions as well as schedule information.
For the first time in decades, the U.S. team is not the favorite to win the coveted Ryder Cup. On paper, USA should have been the overwhelming favorite since the team features the two top-ranked players in world in Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson. Unfortunately, both players have struggled mightily this year. Top-ranked Woods has not won a title in 2010, posting some of his worst competitive rounds ever. This is the first time in Tiger’s career that he failed to qualify outright, and had to rely on a captain’s pick to make the team. Phil Mickelson has also had his share of struggles. Since his inspirational victory at the Masters tournament in April, the lefty golfer has been suffering from poor form as a result of an arthritis condition.
Woods and Mickelson are not the only ones on the U.S. team who have not been playing well. Only 7 out of 12 U.S. team members have recorded a victory since April, compared to 9 for the European team. Jeff Overton, Stewart Cink, and Rickie Fowler joined Woods as not having won a title this year. Since current form is of high premium in competitive golf, retaining the Cup on foreign soil will be a daunting task for the American team.
The Ryder Cup competition has been contested 37 times, with the U.S. winning nearly 70% of the time. Europe will look to use its home advantage to break the dominant U.S. streak. This year’s European team is widely regarded as perhaps the best team the continent has ever been able to put together. The 12-player squad includes two reigning major champions and a host of in-form players. In fact, 10 members of the European team have won at least one title this year. Another big advantage for Europe is the fact that the venue for the competition will be a links golf course. Since the European Tour is mainly played on links courses, Europe-based players clearly have the edge over U.S.-based players who do not have the same opportunity.
My predictions for the 2010 Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, Wales: Europe takes the Cup with a 15.5-12.5 victory over the US; the two teams are likely to be even in points coming into Sunday’s singles matches. This year’s Ryder Cup is scheduled for October 1-3, with foursome and fourball matches to be played on Friday and Saturday. Singles matches will be played on Sunday, October 4. The event is to be broadcast in the U.S. by ESPN (Fri) and NBC Sports (Sat & Sun).
The U.S. Ryder Cup team includes Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Steve Stricker, Jim Furyk, Matt Kuchar, Dustin Johnson, Hunter Mahan, Steward Cink, Bubba Watson, and Rickie Fowler. The European Ryder Cup team includes Lee Westwood, Martin Kaymer, Rory McIlroy, Luke Donald, Ian Poulter, Graeme McDowell, Edoardo Molinari, Padraig Harrington, Miguel Jiménez, Ross Fisher, Francesco Molinari, and Peter Hanson.