2012 European Ryder Cup Team: Golfers That Need to Step Up

Jeremy Fuchs@@jaf78Correspondent IIISeptember 29, 2012

MEDINAH, IL - SEPTEMBER 29:  Justin Rose and Ian Poulter of Europe shake hands on a green during day two of the Morning Foursome Matches for The 39th Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Club on September 29, 2012 in Medinah, Illinois.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The U.S. team is currently up on the European team 7-4 at the 2012 Ryder Cup Championships.

The European team is a talented bunch, but they've fallen behind. They're going to need some good performances to get back in it.

Which golfers need to step up? Read on to find out.


Ian Poulter and Justin Rose

Poulter and Rose have been the one consistent force for the European team. They won this morning two-up, beating Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson. They also beat Tiger Woods yesterday.

It's a bit surprising that Poulter and Rose have been this consistent, but the Europeans will surely take that.

With the Americans winning, Poulter and Rose have to continue their strong play. They've helped to keep the Europeans in the game, and will need to keep doing so.

Poulter did not play in the Friday afternoon session, a mistake that has called captain Jose Maria Olazabal's decision making into question. 

Look for Poulter to be a mainstay in the lineup the rest of the way.


Rory McIlroy

McIlroy is the best golfer in the world. And so far, he's golfed just okay. He lost to Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley, but did beat Jim Furyk and Brandt Snedeker. So far this morning, he's in another battle against Jim Furyk, and he plays Zach Johnson and Jason Dufner in the afternoon session.

For the Europeans to come back, McIlroy is going to have to lead the way. The only way for the Europeans to come out on top is if McIlroy plays like he's capable of playing.

As I said, he's the best golfer in the world, and he's had an incredible 2012. Now is not the time for him to falter. If anything, now is the time for him to have his best tournament yet. Beating the Americans on their home turf is no small accomplishment. 


Luke Donald and Lee Westwood

Donald and Westwood lost in a close match to Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley. Despite the loss, it was a good performance in a match against arguably the best American pair.

Westwood has been a historically good Ryder Cup performer. He and Donald will have to build off the loss and look for a win in the afternoon session.