You Oughta Know: Inside the Sunday singles

By Golf Channel DigitalSeptember 30, 2012, 3:00 am

MEDINAH, Ill. – Twelve points are up for grabs Sunday at the Ryder Cup and Europe needs eight of them to retain the hardware. The odds are stacked against the Europeans, but the Americans came back from the same 10-6 deficit to win the Ryder Cup in 1999 at Brookline. Our experts at Medinah broke down each of the 12 singles matches. Here are some things you oughta know.

12:03PM ET: Bubba Watson vs. Luke Donald

Talk about a contrast in styles. Watson bombs it and shapes it; Donald hits it straight and is incredibly consistent. Should make for a great opening match that can dictate the day’s momentum.

12:14PM ET: Webb Simpson vs. Ian Poulter

Poulter is 3-0 and it’s difficult to imagine that he won’t find a way to be 4-0. This is a must-have match for Europe, as Poulter is its pulse.

12:25PM ET: Keegan Bradley vs. Rory McIlroy

Hands down the match of the day. Bradley is 3-0 and the high-energy player the Americans need out early. McIlroy has not played particularly well and needs this match to salvage a decent week.

12:36PM ET: Phil Mickelson vs. Justin Rose

Paired with Bradley, Lefty has been unstoppable, posting his best Ryder Cup showing (3-0) since his rookie campaign in 1995 and should have plenty in the tank after asking to sit out Friday’s fourball session. Still, Rose clipped Mickelson in singles in 2008 (3 and 2) and has been solid.

12:47PM ET: Brandt Snedeker vs. Paul Lawrie

The rookie Snedeker had played inspired golf this week (1-1) and is fresh off an $11.4 million haul last week at the Tour Championship, while Lawrie (0-2) hasn’t looked sharp. This could be a big point for the U.S.

12:58PM ET: Dustin Johnson vs. Nicolas Colsaerts

It may not be the day’s most pivotal match – although at sixth in the lineup and the U.S. side 4 1/2 points from victory it certainly could be – but it will be the most entertaining. DJ is fourth on Tour in driving distance and the Muscles from Brussels is first on the Euro Tour in distance. Bombs away.

1:09PM ET: Zach Johnson vs. Graeme McDowell

There will be a whole lot of grinding in this one. Johnson (2-1) has a better record this week than GMac (1-2), but singles is an entirely different story. McDowell has never lost in singles, and one of those wins was a pressure-packed, cup-clinching victory over Hunter Mahan.

1:20PM ET: Jim Furyk vs. Sergio Garcia

His record in team play may be spotty (5-14-3) but Furyk is actually 4-2-1 in singles. Unfortunately he’s also 1-5-1 lifetime against El Nino.

1:31PM ET: Jason Dufner vs. Peter Hanson

Dufner has acquitted himself well in his first Ryder Cup, going 2-1 in team sessions. He could end up making quick work of Hanson, too, as the Swede had played only one session (a Friday fourball loss) this week.

1:42PM ET: Matt Kuchar vs. Lee Westwood

Kuchar is 2-0 in this Ryder Cup but has lost his two singles matches in Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup play. Poulter waxed him, 5 and 4, in Wales two years ago. While Westwood is normally tough in the Ryder Cup, he’s off his form. He’s also just 2-5 in Ryder Cup singles. 

1:53PM ET: Steve Stricker vs. Martin Kaymer

Confidence might be the issue in this match. Stricker can’t be feeling good going 0-3 this week or missing that 6-foot putt at the 18th Saturday that would have won a half-point for him and Woods. Still, in Kaymer, he gets a man who has slumped this summer and lost the only match he has played this week.

2:04PM ET: Tiger Woods vs. Francesco Molinari

It’s peculiar Woods was put in the anchor match, where his outcome isn’t likely to matter. But Woods is a Tale of Two Tigers this week. Davis Love III can’t be quite sure what he’ll get from him. No matter, Molinari better get off to a fast start. Woods has been awful on the front nine at Medinah this week and spectacular on the back nine.

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Rory: Phil said RC task force just copied Europe

By Randall MellFebruary 21, 2018, 7:21 pm

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Playing the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am two weeks ago, Rory McIlroy quizzed Phil Mickelson about what the Americans got out of the U.S. Ryder Cup task force’s overhaul.

McIlroy and Mickelson were paired together at Pebble Beach.

“Basically, all they are doing is copying what the Europeans have done,” McIlroy said.  “That's what he said.”

The Europeans claimed their sixth of seven Ryder Cups with their victory at Gleneagles in 2014. That brought about a sea change in the way the United States approached the Ryder Cup. Mickelson called out the tactics in Gleneagles of captain Tom Watson, who was outmaneuvered by European captain Paul McGinley.


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The Americans defeated Europe at Hazeltine two years ago with that new European model.

“He said the first thing they did in that task force was Phil played a video, a 12-minute video of Paul McGinley to all of them,” McIlroy said. “So, they are copying what we do, and it's working for them. It's more cohesive, and the team and the core of that team are more in control of what they are doing, instead of the PGA of America recruiting and someone telling them what to do.”

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Tiger Tracker: Honda Classic

By Tiger TrackerFebruary 21, 2018, 7:00 pm

Tiger Woods is making his third start of the year at the Honda Classic. We're tracking him at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.


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Woods happy to help Furyk at Ryder Cup

By Ryan LavnerFebruary 21, 2018, 6:58 pm

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Tiger Woods didn't hesitate when Jim Furyk asked him to become a vice captain at the upcoming Ryder Cup.

Woods said Wednesday that Furyk asked he and Steve Stricker “a while ago” whether they were interested in being assistants in Paris as the Americans try to win a Ryder Cup on foreign soil for the first time in 25 years.

“He’s one of my best friends,” Woods said of Furyk, “and whatever he wants, whatever he needs, I’m there to help him. We’re worked well the last couple of years in the cups together.”


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Though Woods has said that he wants to be a playing vice captain, he has been an assistant at each of the past two international team competitions.

Furyk, Woods and Stricker were all assistants at Hazeltine, where the U.S. won in a rout.

“Jim is very detailed, very smart, very analytical, and he’s just a fantastic leader,” Woods said. “For him to ask Stricks and I together, it will be special for both of us.”

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Woods to hit '4 or 5' drivers each day at Honda

By Ryan LavnerFebruary 21, 2018, 6:25 pm

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Those hoping Tiger Woods will wield the driver early and often this week at PGA National likely will be disappointed.

Depending on wind direction, he said he will only hit “four or five” drivers each round.

During Wednesday’s pro-am, Woods hit driver on six holes. He found two fairways with the big stick and found the right rough four times, though a few of those misses were only a few yards off the fairway.


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In two starts this year, Woods has struggled mightily with every club off the tee, but driver has been especially troublesome. He has found only 36 percent of the fairways so far (30 of 84).

The Champion Course here is a par 70, with water and bunkers often lining the fairways. Putting the ball in play off the tee will be at a premium, and so Woods opted for a low, penetrating 2-iron six times in the pro-am.

Woods said he did not make any equipment changes following the missed cut at Riviera.