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Making The Case For The Yanks

Prepare to be overwhelmed by hype. So much so that by the time the Ryder Cup matches begin Friday in Scotland the paralysis by analysis will be positively stultifying.

Prepare to be convinced that the American side has no chance against the Europeans, who have dominated the Ryder Cup in this century and bring four of the top six ranked golfers in the world to Gleneagles.

Now prepare to hear the case, player-by-European-player, why the quiet confidence of the overwhelming favorites just might be misplaced.

What follows are a 20-words-or-less capsules on each member of the European squad (with their career Ryder Cup records in parentheses) explaining, in brief, why we shouldn’t be surprised if they underperform this week:

Rory McIlroy (4-3-2) – World No. 1 admitted he was tired during FedEx Cup playoffs.

Sergio García (16-8-4) – World No. 3 will always face doubts over important 6-footers.

Henrik Stenson (2-3-2) – Losing Ryder Cup career record for Swede who peaked in 2013 and then went off the boil.

Justin Rose (6-3-0) – Has played much of his best golf in America, not Europe.

Ian Poulter (12-3-0) – All the putts can’t fall all the time for a guy who had a disappointing 2014.

Lee Westwood (18-13-6) – Short game still suspect. Needed captain’s pick to make the team.

Jamie Donaldson (0-0-0) – His next Ryder Cup full point will be his first.

Stephen Gallacher (0-0-0) – See Donaldson Ryder Cup record above. Missed cut last week in Wales.

Victor Dubuisson (0-0-0) – Questions abound about whether Frenchman can even find team room much less fit into it.

Graeme McDowell (5-5-2) – For all of his likability this media darling has lost as many Ryder points as he has won.

Thomas Björn (3-2-1) – Deep down the moody Dane thinks he should be captaining, not playing, in this Ryder Cup.

Martin Kaymer (3-2-1) – Never fully regained form after wins at Players and U.S. Open.

So there you have it America: Reason for faith, hope and – with a little charity thrown in, with a good bounce or two at the right time – there may even be a little drama still percolating late Sunday.

Don’t count on it. Don’t bet on it.

But don’t dismiss it.


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