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.