Ryder Cup 2012: Partners to Look for in Fourball and Foursome Pairings
Ham and eggs. Toast and coffee. Batman and Robin. Ketchup and mustard. Beauty and the Beast. Lone Ranger and Tonto. Brooks and Dunn.
Okay, some things are meant to be paired for success. And there is no other sporting event that is more founded on the chemistry of partners than in the Ryder Cup. And, on the eve of the Friday matches, both captains, Davis Love III and Jose Maria Olazabal, have shared glimpses of some pairings that will likely emerge as the matches begin.
Let's take a look.
Holy Rollers: Webb Simpson and Bubba Watson
There is a certain faith that the current U.S. Open Champion and the current Masters Champion will walk down the fairway together in one of the matches on Friday. They played successfully together at the 2011 President's Cup and seem in tune with sharing their faith, even though their games are different.
Watson offers a bit of a grip it and rip it, find it and hit it again philosophy.
Simpson, a cerebral player, likes to find the fairway and manage the course.
Because of these characteristics, Love III is likely to play them in the foursomes.
Charger and Patriot: Keegan Bradley and Phil Mickelson
Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley both have a passion for NFL football.
A New Englander, Bradley will be pulling for his Patriots on Sunday. Mickelson can recite the San Diego Chargers roster like its the alphabet.
None of this really matters this week, as both need to be patriots for the American team so they do not get clobbered in the foursomes and fourball.
It would seem to be a pairing of the teacher, Mickelson, and the student, Bradley. They have similar games and personalities.
Will the pressure on the student be too much in this group. Mickelson might have to hold this one together or Love III might have to re-connect these two with option B.
Cheez-Wiz Pairing: Steve Stricker and Tiger Woods
Nothing can be more American than the Wizard of American golf and the All-American standard of professionalism.
Stricker, from cheese country, and Woods, from the Wizard of Westwood country, have had success. Together, the Cheez-Wiz paring has been impressive. A 2-1-0 mark in Ryder Cup play and 4-1-0 in President's Cup action make this tandem one to watch.
Davis Love III is counting on Cheez-Wiz to be an anchor for the U.S. early. Expect them to take on the team of Luke Donald and Sergio Garcia.
Euro Power Point: Luke Donald and Sergio Garcia
Sergio Garcia and Luke Donald share a lot in common. Both players have the burden of being labeled can't miss. And both have evolved, if not emerged, in the sport to continue to play with banners of "almost" and "awesome."
They understand what team golf is about and their 4-0-0 record does not hurt their chances of getting back together in Chicago.
The players that know how to play the ball in wind, may make the Windy City a home away from home. Wait a second, didn't Luke Donald go to Northwestern? Who is hosting this championship?
Long, Lean and Ready for Action: Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar
If they can't beat the Euros on the golf course, this duo can take anyone on in basketball—this side of Derrick Rose and Co.
This is one of the U.S. pairings that has some questions.
There is not a lot of experience ebbing from this twosome. If they don't score a point early, they may see the pine and watch the action.
If they get thrust into the competition, Davis Love III will be hoping they don't get Garcia and Donald or McDowell and Mcllroy.
Northern Ireland & Guts: Rory and the Master
This pairing is destiny.
Both the young lad, Rory Mcllroy, and the old lad, Graeme McDowell, have shared the spotlight on the world stage.
Both have the guts to take down any American grouping. Jose Maria Olazabal will send this twosome off early and often. And, why not?
Music City Miracle and the Steel Curtain: Sneds and Furyk
Not long ago, there was a young player on the PGA Tour that was very polite, competitive and could putt the rock like Billy Casper. That was Jim Furyk.
The new Furyk is Tennessee native, Brandt Snedeker. If Furyk and Snedeker get thrust into foursomes or fourball competition, it is likely to be an interesting match.
Snedeker and Furyk, Nashville and Pittsburgh, the Music City and the Steel Curtain. Will their be a blocking sled at the first tee?
Ian and Justin: Poulter and Rose
There is no player that wants to win the matches more than Ian Poulter. He tweets, he smirks, he has an excellent iron game and he is ready.
His partner will likely be Justin Rose. This twosome has played well together in the past and like Mcllroy and McDowell, has a history of success on their side.