Mark Rolfing - September 14, 2012


World #1 Rory McIlroy will be on the European team at Medinah and it will be interesting because he is well-liked by the American audience. When the Ryder Cup comes to major metropolitan areas, the pro-Europe crowds tend to be pretty big because those large cities have significant international populations. Team Europe will also be helped by the fact that Luke Donald calls Chicago home.

While Medinah Country Club has played tough during Major Championships, it will not play as difficult for the Ryder Cup and that is the decision of Captain Davis Love III. Rolfing said that he has been at the course all week and there is very little rough. The lack of rough plays to the advantage of the longer hitters on the U.S. team who will be able to bomb the ball. The fans like seeing long drives and lots of birdies and Love III hopes the conditions will invite those moments. If the U.S. can get the crowd on their side, it could prove to be very significant.

When the 2008 Ryder Cup was at Valhalla in Kentucky, the U.S. team had a big home field advantage in part because of the ability to hold a 13th man rally and the fact that local boys Kenny Perry and J.B. Holmes were on the team. It was easier to build support in Louisville because of the size of the city and it will be more difficult if not impossible to do the same thing in Chicago this year simply because the city is too big.

Graeme McDowell told Rolfing that he is really looking forward to the Ryder Cup and he is getting in shape for this big week. He also expects to be playing late on Sunday and McDowell added that he was disappointed that Mahan did not receive a Captain’s Pick. Mahan has had a great year and McDowell was well aware that Mahan wanted to have a chance to respond to the loss in the 2010 Singles.