When it comes down to it, the old guys will prevail. They may not win all of their individual contests, but they will lead in a fashion that will spark a win for the U.S. over the Euros in the Ryder Cup.
I do not come by this prediction lightly. The U.S. is the perfect blend of youth and vets, machismo and poise, 340 yard drives and 15 foot one-putts.
And, it is not just about how solid the Americans are, but how tremulous the Euros may be.
When Colin Montgomerie declined to select Paul Casey, the number two or three (depending upon which poll you read) player in the world, he put his team in a difficult position.
He then went on to shun Justin Rose, another stalwart having a solid year, and instead chose Padraig Harrington, surely one of golf's greats, but having a dismal season on the links. Casey and Rose have more experience against the Americans than just about anyone and for that reason alone they should be on the team.
Then there is Montgomerie himself. Would you have faith in such a guy? Would you want this notorious snob who could never rustle up the nerve and obvious talent to win a big one on U.S. soil to lead you?
Ultimately, I just love the U.S. team. You have some of the straightest shooters in the game - Furyk, Stricker, Cink and Zach Johnson - blended with the most powerful group of hitters ever on one team (think Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Barry Bonds and Albert Puljos) with Dustin Johnson, Bubba Watson, Hunter Mahan and Rickie Fowler, all primed and ready to pummel.
You gotta love the American young guns who at the drop of a tee will pull out a driver and aim over the trees, beyond the bunkers to patch of fairway beyond the scope of common men and then swagger over to their ball and knock it close.
The Euros are not without their big hitters and I cannot wait to see the Molinari brothers match up against Johnson and Watson for a longest drive contest. But, until one of those Euros puts some chaw in his mouth and sports a soul patch, they ain't got nothin'.
The Americans also have Golf's Player of the Year (or at least he will be) in Matt Kuchar who has put together one of the most brilliant seasons of any golfer in quite some time and who is playing so solidly and with so much confidence that his ability to win is hard to deny.
Then there is Mr. Woods.
Tiger may not be playing like a ferocious cat, but he still has some sharp claws. I don't necessarily see him dominating play but he does represent something powerful to his team. In a very weird way, I believe the Americans will want to win one for Tiger as much as for themselves. They know what he has done for the game, forthem, and their sport.
Moreso, they must admire his grit and desire to resurrect himself on the course and that will be an incentive for all.
Phil Mickelson is playing as well, the perennial Number two who is battling a difficult physical malady. It is hard to know which Phil will show up but do you honestly think that Martin Kaymer, Grahame McDowell or Peter Hanson wants to square up against Lefty?
When all is said and done, true golfing professionals like Jim Furyk, Steve Stricker and Stewert Cink will get the job done. They have a history of steady golf, of not wilting under pressure, of staring down long putts and knocking balls straighter and more consistently than any threesome out there.
It will be their calm, consistency and experience that will lead their team to victory.
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