Ryder Cup 2012 Scores: Golfers Who Will Make or Break the US Team on Sunday

Mike MoraitisAnalyst ISeptember 30, 2012

MEDINAH, IL - SEPTEMBER 29:  Steve Stricker and Tiger Woods of the USA walk off the 16th green during day two of the Afternoon Four-Ball Matches for The 39th Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Club on September 29, 2012 in Medinah, Illinois.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The United States team is just 4.5 points away from victory over Europe in the 2012 Ryder Cup, but not every golfer on the U.S. squad will be an asset on Sunday.

While some golfers on the U.S. side have flourished during this event, others have faltered mightily and could lead the Americans to a huge collapse if they can't step it up.

Let's take a look at the golfers who will either help or hurt the Americans' chances of winning the Ryder Cup.



Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker

After losing their first two matches on Friday, Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker proved they weren't ready to play at a high level. Even though Woods looked better in the afternoon session on Friday, it still wasn't enough.

Fast forward to Saturday morning when both Stricker and Woods were left off the squad. Captain Davis Love III attributed the benching to needed rest, but one can't help but wonder if it had anything to do with both golfers' poor play.

Saturday afternoon was a chance at redemption for Stricker and Woods, but the pair were unable to do so. Instead, they were bested by Luke Donald and Sergio Garcia, pushing their overall record to 0-3 this weekend.

Clearly Stricker and Woods are playing at their worst in this event and if it comes down to either of them on Sunday, the U.S. could be in big trouble.



Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley

Coming off tying the largest margin of victory by a team in Ryder Cup history, both Keegan Bradley and Phil Mickelson have the hot hand right now.

Mickelson is unbeaten thus far in the event and that wasn't without the help of Bradley.

On their last hole on Saturday, Mickelson had a terrible drive that landed to the right of the fairway. Bradley would go on to make an impressive shot to get Mickelson out of trouble and Lefty would then go on to drop a putt 20 feet from the hole that rolled all the way to the cup, nearly going in.

Together, Bradley and Mickelson didn't drop a single hole on Saturday and have been the strongest golfers for the U.S. thus far.

High pressure shots like the ones Bradley and Mickelson made are exactly what the U.S. will need to put Europe away for good. Both have proven to have the guts to make those kinds of shots and they should be vital to the Americans' ultimate victory.