Even though 2011 is a non-Ryder Cup year, this season will have two exciting team events where American players will fight for their nation's honor. So who will prevail in the Presidents and Solheim Cups? Jay Coffin and Randall Mell chime in with their opinions.
By JAY COFFIN
The Americans will sweep both Cups this year.
The Solheim Cup will be another rout in a long line of routs and the Presidents Cup will be a close match, but the U.S. will sneak out victory late and take down Greg Norman for the second consecutive time, this time on his home turf.
The Solheim Cup is in dire need of a European victory or, sadly, the matches will become irrelevant. Europe has only won three of the 11 matches and hasn’t won since 2003 in Sweden. If they lose this year in Ireland they’ll be guaranteed to be winless for at least a 10-year stretch.
But the American’s have too much firepower, too much depth and it likely won’t be close, just like the last three consecutive times when the U.S. has rolled.
The Presidents Cup has a chance to be intriguing, although it’s contested late in the year (mid-November) in Australia when U.S. golf fans become more interested in football. Still, a Fred Couples-Norman captain matchup should be fun and the Shark will no doubt have the Aussie galleries fired up.
Right now there are 17 Americans in the top 50 of the world ranking and 16 Internationals, but the Americans are top heavy.
If the combination of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk and Steve Stricker play well, they’ll win.
By RANDALL MELL
Give me the Americans at the Solheim Cup, the Internationals at the Presidents Cup and somebody please give me some intriguing storylines to put some sparks into the buildup of these events.
The Solheim Cup and Presidents Cup are entertaining affairs when you actually get to them, but there isn’t enough sizzle in the anticipation.
They’re both burdened living in the shadow of the Ryder Cup.
The United States is just pounding the Europeans in the women’s game. The Americans will be going for their fourth straight Solheim Cup victory when they travel to Killeen Castle in Ireland in September. Michelle Wie’s awakening at Rich Harvest Farms in ’09 was good theater. So were Paula Creamer’s knockouts. The Americans will take another young, dynamic team overseas against a Euro squad with the talented Suzann Pettersen and not enough other star power. The Euros aren’t even making it close. They need to win this one to make the competition relevant.
The American men will also be going for their fourth straight victory when captain Fred Couples leads them to the Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne in Australia in November. With Aussie great Greg Norman returning home as the International captain, there will be passion Down Under. Norman’s team will win with more lots more motivation and a home-field advantage.