Who knew Minnesota was good for more than just botched field goals and fake Canadians? The two-year long wait has finally arrived, and it’s time for Europe and America to battle it off once again on the isolated uproar that is a golf course. Other than the fact that America pretty much already won when they made Tiger Woods one of this year’s vice captains, the 2016 Ryder Cup is still worth analyzing.
As cliché as it sounds, this looks like a great matchup. 7 out of the top 10 golfers in the world are competing in Chaska this weekend and both teams have a wealth of experience on their sides. For America, as much as it pains me to type this out, Phil Mickelson is going to be one of the biggest factors in leading America to a victory. When he tees off Friday morning, he will be making his eleventh straight appearance representing the stars and stripes: a stretch of consistency even a diehard Phil-hater like me appreciates. Not to mention that the Americans also have Dustin Johnson, Matt Kuchar, and Zach Johnson to help carry the load. Most of the Americans have had at least a taste of Ryder Cup play, which is more I can say for the European squad.
6 out of the 12 players representing Europe this year have yet to compete for the cup, which you have to think will have a decent impact on the team’s overall performance considering they will be getting thrown into the lion’s den on America’s home turf.
One asset Europe is packing this year is the help of proven winners such as Sergio Garcia and Justin Rose. Pair one of them with any of the newcomers, and the rooks will have a shot of confidence out of the gate. It also doesn’t hurt that the red-hot Rory McIlroy will be lacing it up in the navy and yellow.
The early matchups are looking promising, but again we need to consider what the Americans have on their side. They legitimately got the physical Tiger Woods to take time off of his delicate recovery to help these wannabes try to garner the same fame he accrued over his glorious career. The man exudes a winning attitude. Yes, I am aware of his slightly feeble Ryder Cup record (13-14-2), but I am also aware of his 79 PGA Tour wins. The man is going to show up bright and early at 5:00 a.m. and give his inferiors a confidence-raising slap on the back so they might be able to dream about being half as good as Tiger Woods in his prime. You think I am overestimating how much of an impact a measly vice-captain can have on a Ryder Cup? If that’s the case, you are not aware of the power a bi-racial God can have on the game of golf, and you can go root for Europe.