NEWPORT, Wales – European golf was brimming with confidence based on its team’s huge lead on the eve of the singles finale at the Ryder Cup.
You get more than a little sense of the bravado felt going into Monday's finish reading British newspapers. American audiences might find it irksome, but former Great Britain & Ireland Walker Cup captain Peter McEvoy spells it out here in an article he penned for the Telegraph:
Corey Pavin, the American captain, must be in despair. He has put perhaps his top two players of this Ryder Cup – Steve Stricker and Stewart Cink – at the top of the order in the hope of getting something going, but I cannot see it happening.
And what is Dustin Johnson doing coming in at No 4? He would be lucky to be 13th man. America used to be a big, proud golfing nation who would come back at you if they were behind. On Sunday they were shocking.
The nation of Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus was leaving putts short. Where have their leaders gone? Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson should be fronting the team, but they are shadows of themselves. Pavin has hidden Tiger in the middle of his order in the hope of salvaging a point.
Has it really come to that for the world No 1? If you were putting together a combined team of Europe and America, there might well be 10 Europeans in the side.
Some of the American kids have done their best, but they must feel like abandoned schoolchildren. It is very hard to see anything other than a big European victory.
Hard to find anyone on this side of the pond who is not expecting the same.