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Who has the Ryder Cup advantage?

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By Greg Moore

GolfWRX Staff 

Medinah Country Club is the host site of the 39th Ryder Cup and will be played at the famed No. 3 course Sept. 28-30.

The course has been the venue for three U.S. Opens (1949 — Cary Middlecoff); 1975 — Lou Graham and 1990 — Hale Irwin), two PGA Championships (1999 and 2006, both won by Tiger Woods), as well as a U.S. Senior Open in 1988 (Gary Player).

Tom Bendlow originally designed No. 3, with Roger Packard making substantial changes to the course in 1986. Rees Jones reworked the course in 2006, extending the yardage to 7,561, which made it the longest golf course in major championship history at the time.

The 39th Ryder Cup marks the first time the match has been contested in the state of Illinois, as well as the first time since 1971 that the event will be played on U.S. soil outside the Eastern Time Zone. With the late September dates it will be interesting to see if weather plays any part in the final outcome.

Historical says the daytime highs generally run in the high 60s to low 70s, with the nighttime lows averaging in the mid to high 40s. Perfect football golf weather and really better than the hot, humid weather that the players endured during the summer.

Does this weather favor either team or any particular player(s)? I think not. With as much golf as these world-class players have played in their globe-trotting careers, they will be ready for whatever Mother Nature throws at them (and yes, the U.S. Team’s rain suits have been thoroughly tested). I think most every player will welcome the cooler temps.

Which team should be considered the odds on favorite? Based on World Rankings, the Euros on paper might seem to have the slight edge once again but looking at the current standings, the U.S. players have narrowed that chasm. Also when you consider how the European team seems to gel a bit better in the team competition, along with their record since 1985 (the European team is 8-4-1), Jose Maria Olazabal’s team might be worth putting a few Dollars, Pounds or Euros on (where gambling is legal, of course). Olazabal’s captain’s picks only add strength to his team. Ian Poulter adds veteran experience and energy to an already seasoned and passionate squad, and Nicolas Colsaerts, although a rookie, provides the driving distance and ball striking skills that could impact a match.

But hold on just one second — Captain Love’s squad has a very strong list of players who have automatically qualified. Tiger leads the way with three wins, Bubba with a win at The Masters, Webb Simpson winning the U.S. Open, Keegan Bradley with a win at WGC Bridgestone the week before the PGA Championship (and then a strong defense at Kiawah of his PGA win from 2011) and Jason Dufner with two wins. In fact, all eight automatic qualifiers have at least one win.

What is going to be tough for DL III is making that phone call to tell a couple of players they have been left off the team. With Davis still playing against his potential team members out on the PGA Tour, he will have a very good idea as to who is ready and who is not.

I’m not sure how some guys will take being left off the U.S. Team and then teeing up with Davis at a Fall series event!

Davis’ choices run so deep down the standings, he might be going as far down the list as the 15th, 16th or 17th place for one of his picks, based on how a player is playing at the time (though it sure would make his decision more palatable, if guys in the 9th through 12th-and-13th places were to win during the FedEx Cup events). Nick Watney certainly has given Captain Love reason to consider him with his win of The Barclays at the brutal setup of Bethpage Black.

All in all, this 39th Ryder Cup is showing all signs of being a very exciting event. Will it be one where some of the old guard is left off the U.S. roster in favor of getting some of the new blood playing experience? Or will the roster be loaded with veteran’s being given one last opportunity to shine?

Only a few more weeks until we all will know. Below are the current Ryder Cup team standings as of The Barclays.

Click here for more discussion in the “Tour Talk” forum. 

1 Tiger Woods 6,014.184
2 Bubba Watson 5,815.054
3 Jason Dufner 5,697.302
4 Keegan Bradley 5,551.206
5 Webb Simpson 4,635.500
6 Zach Johnson 4,491.544
7 Matt Kuchar 4,448.942
8 Phil Mickelson 4,233.108
9 Hunter Mahan 4,082.228
10 Steve Stricker 4,015.069
11 Jim Furyk 3,369.616
12 Rickie Fowler 3,313.338
13 Brandt Snedeker 3,176.787
14 Bo Van Pelt 3,152.315
15 Dustin Johnson 3,040.020
16 Robert Garrigus 2,604.580
17 Bill Haas 2,546.017
18 Ben Curtis 2,457.284
19 Scott Piercy 2,416.346
20 Kyle Stanley 2,341.219

 

 *Bold denotes players already qualified

 

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Greg, a member of the PGA of America for 30 years, travels around the U.S. taking photos for GolfWRX.com on the PGA Tour, Champions Tour, Web.com Tour, LPGA Tour and Symetra Tour. He also covers collegiate and amateur golf, and is a contributing writer for GolfWRX.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. James Lythgoe

    Aug 28, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    The Americans have the home field advantage in that they will have the fans supporting them. But, typically, Ryder Cup is simply a hard won battle between two groups of very talented golfers who are fiercely loyal to their cause. In the end, the spectator benefits because such a foundation from which to base the competition makes for some of the best theatre we will see in sport this year.

    All I can say, I prefer not to armchair quarterback the outcome, I prefer to watch every minute and enjoy the TV telecast.

    The Medinah Country Club is a wonderful golf course and will view very well on TV.

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Tour Photo Galleries

WRX Retrospective: Interesting photos from the 2019 Masters

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As of now, we know the 2020 Masters is going to have to wait until November. The tournament will be as exciting as it will be interesting since it will be the first modern glimpse into Augusta National beyond April.

It has also given us the great opportunity to look back with hindsight 20/20 (that was very much an unintended pun) at our pictures from 2019 to showcase some of the most noteworthy and interesting, including some potential foreshadowing of the week that was to come.

2007 Masters champion Zach Johnson isn’t one to change putters too often, but he must have been searching for something last year when testing out this TaylorMade Spider.

This was Viktor Hovland’s last Masters as an amateur. He won low amateur honors and went on to capture the same distinction at the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach.

TaylorMade always does a wonderful job with major-themed accessories and bags. 2019 was no exception.

Little did we know at the time this was taken, this man would be leading heading into Sunday’s final round. How the tables turned so quickly.

Callaway’s collab with Seamus Golf lead to these flower-themed headcovers.

We can’t forget that Tuesday practice day was rained out and the course was closed at 10 a.m. to both players and spectators. It wasn’t the warm spring kickoff many had hoped for!

Although it was short-lived, it was a rainy Tuesday for all, including caddies.

The weather broke on Wednesday and the view up the 10th hole never gets old.

Did you realize two-time Masters champ Bubba Watson’s Flightscope has a custom pink paint job?

Inexpensive snacks and beverages are always a highlight of any Master’s visit.

The 2019 Masters featured pre-bulked Bryson, who also happened to have a custom FlightScope X3. He looks like a veritable stick!

They say a picture says 1,000 words, but in the case of Tiger Woods, we had no idea how many words would be written come Sunday.

A peek into the bag of Gary Woodland, who would go on to become the U.S. Open Champion only a few months later.

Special shoutout to Gary Woodland’s caddy Brennan Little, who hails from St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada, and is obviously a big Toronto Blue Jays fan. He was also on the bag for Mike Wier’s win in 2003.

Although the relationship was short-lived, Sergio used some very cool custom Toulon putters while on staff with Callaway Golf.

The eighth green is one of the most interesting and mounded on the course, there’s not a bunker to be found but danger lurks everywhere.

Undulations at No. 1 are a sight to be seen at ground level.

The iconic, understated clubhouse of ANGC.

The tucked-away first tee spike cleaner is something every course should have.

And of course, the iconic 12th, where so much would be decided come Sunday.

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Tour Photo Galleries

10 interesting photos from the 2020 Players Championship

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GolfWRX is live this week from the 2020 Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.

The field this week featured the best golfers in the world, including Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, Rickie Fowler, and more.

Rory McIlroy enters the tournament as the defending champion, looking hoist the crystal again.

Check out all our galleries below, along with highlights from TPC Sawgrass.

General Galleries

Special Galleries

Bettinardi’s St. Patrick’s Day covers  

Brand-new Srixon 745 in Keegan’s bag

Roger Sloan’s custom Cameron

Mizuno JPX 919 Hot Metal irons spotted in Nick Watney’s bag 

Joel Dahmen with a battle-worn hybrid

Fresh eggs for Patrick Reed…

Justin Rose continues to tweak his equipment

Carlos Ortiz looks to be picking up some supplies to mark the end of his driveway…

Jordan Spieth with a Vokey WedgeWorks Proto 60T in the bag

Kiradech Aphibarnrat with lead tape and stamping on cavity-back irons. Solid! 

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Tour News

GolfWRX Spotted: Justin Rose with mixed bag at Arnold Palmer Invitational

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It’s not very often we get breaking equipment news this time of year on the PGA Tour schedule, but this week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, one of the highest-profile players on tour, Justin Rose, was spotted testing multiple brands of clubs throughout his entire bag.

It started last week at the Honda Classic when Rose put a TaylorMade SIM driver with Mitsubishi Kuro Kage in play. As of today’s first round at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Rose has a mixed set including TaylorMade, Cobra, and Titleist clubs, along with an Axis1 putter.

Here are the details of Rose’s equipment:

Driver: TaylorMade SIM (10.5 degrees @ 8.5)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Kuro Kage XTS 70 TX

3-wood: TaylorMade SIM Max (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Kuro Kage XTS 80 TX

5-wood: Cobra SpeedZone Tour (16.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ 80 X

Irons: TaylorMade P730 (4-PW)
Shafts: Project X 6.5

Wedges: TaylorMade MG2 (52, 56 degrees), Titleist Vokey Design Prototype K Grind (60 degrees)
Shafts: Project X 6.5 (52, 56), Proto Hi-Rev 135X (60)

Putter: Axis1 Rose
Grip: Flat Cat Svelte

Ball: TaylorMade TP5 ‘19 (No. 1)

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