With the Molinari brothers finally winning their first points of the 2010 Ryder Cup, the European team enjoys a healthy lead going into the Monday individual matches of the event.
Team USA has a hill to climb in order to retain the Ryder Cup tomorrow.
Let’s take a look at the individual matches and see how the Ryder Cup will be decided.
Steve Stricker vs. Lee Westwood 9:05AM
Perhaps the tastiest of all matches on Monday, Westwood and Stricker could be one of the best current playing non-major winners.
Both have two wins during the weekend and both have the opportunity to get their team off to a running start on Monday.
Westwood hasn’t shown much evidence of his calf injury but Stricker should prevail, as Westwood has shown little evidence as a pressure player this season.
Americans will get closer and get to seven and a half points.
Stuart Cink vs. Rory McIlroy 9:17AM
McIlroy will go out early for the Europeans and will be left out of a few other matchups that could be made for television.
Cink has shown this week to be a steady performer and McIlroy has shown the maturity it takes to become a champion on tour.
Both should play well and this match could easily come down to the wire; McIlroy should get the European team toward their goal of 14 and-a-half points with a halved match.
Europe will stand at 10, Americans to eight.
Jim Furyk vs. Luke Donald 9:29AM
Donald as a captain’s pick has won two points, while Furyk has yet to earn a full point during the team events.
However, Furyk has played great golf the past few weeks en route to capturing the Fed Ex Cup. Furyk should prevail solo during his match and get the Americans to nine points.
Dustin Johnson vs. Martin Kaymer 9:41 AM
Johnson gets another shot at PGA Champion Kaymer after the 72nd hole debacle at Whistling Straits.
Will Johnson finally show he has what it takes to win on the big stage?
It might not be enough, as Kaymer has two wins during the event and Johnson is 0-3.
Kaymer wins with a few holes to remain and the Europeans can taste it at 11 points.
Matt Kuchar vs. Ian Poulter 9:53AM
Kuchar has also finished the season strong with a good showing in the Fed Ex Cup tournaments.
However, he has shown little during the Ryder Cup this year and Poulter should cruise to a victory to get the Team Europe to 12 points.
Jeff Overton vs. Ross Fisher 10:05AM
The 2010 Ryder Cup looks to be where Ross Fisher introduces himself to American golf fans.
He has two wins so far and will keep the momentum going and win easily on Monday. Europeans at 13.
Bubba Watson vs. Miguel Angel Jimenez 10:17AM
Another flavorful matchup between two players who have played well during the matches.
Watson has shown flashes of brilliance during the season, while Jimenez played a usually strong British Open.
This match could be decided on the short par four 15th hole as a make or break for Watson.
Watson should come through this time around and get Team USA to double digits at 10 points.
Tiger Woods vs. Francesco Molinari 10:29AM
Monty throws Francesco to the wolves tomorrow, as Tiger looks to prove his somewhat lost elite status.
Tiger should have very little trouble during this match and get USA to 11.
Rickie Fowler vs. Eduardo Molinari 10:41AM
Eduardo gets to look forward at the match between his brother and Tiger—and also gets to watch Rickie Fowler play the round of his life. USA to 12.
Phil Mickelson vs. Peter Hanson 10:53AM
With the Americans starting to become encourage, Peter Hanson gets the Europeans to the edge with a near upset over Lefty.
Mickelson has been invisible from late Sunday television cameras since the Masters and the final day of the Ryder Cup should follow trend. Europe to 14.
Zach Johnson vs. Padraig Harrington 11:05AM
Monty’s captain’s pick should be able to clinch against the struggling Johnson.
Europe will clinch with Padraig as the two-time British Open champion recaptures some of the spotlight he has lost during the season. Europe clinches with this match at 15 points.
Hunter Mahan vs. Graeme McDowell 11:17AM
McDowell finishes up a major-winning season with the final victory for Team Europe.
With the victory already guaranteed by the team, McDowell’s academic match is over early leaving the Europeans victorious and able to regain the Ryder Cup.
The American team deserves credit. They have battled during the matches and all of the controversy of the captain’s picks by Corey Pavin has proven themselves at one point or another.
Tiger has shown he might be able to become what he was next season, Stuart Cink has shown he belongs on the A-List of tour players, and Rickie Fowler has shown of maturity during the weekend.
However, what was the sheer favorite in the Europeans—barring a major collapse—should have no trouble carrying a comfortable lead and prevailing on Monday.
Team Europe will confirm what we have all suspected and viewed during three-out-of-the-four major tournaments this season.
That the best golf is currently being played overseas, and Americans will have to wait for 2012 at Medinah in the Windy City to get another crack at the Cup.