Ryder Cup: Your (alternative) Sunday singles guide
With no further ado, let’s get straight into our Sunday singles guide. Can Europe really pull this off?
Ryder Cup Sunday singles guide Match 1:
Patrick Reed v Rory McIlroy
No subtlety here. And no leeway for Europe. The sight of red at the top of the leaderboard will have the rest of the team reaching for the smelling salts. Reed’s brilliant, and made for matchplay. McIlroy’s better, and this week he’s equally pumped up.
Prediction: Europe win
Ryder Cup Sunday singles guide Match 2:
Jordan Spieth v Henrik Stenson
It will be interesting to see how Spieth gets on without his big mate Reed beside him. He has struggled at times this week if you looked carefully. Stenson’s long game has been strong if not quite at its very best. But he hasn’t holed much. He should still have too much for Spieth though based on current form. Unless Spieth holes everything he looks at, which often happens.
Prediction: Europe add a second point
Ryder Cup Sunday singles guide Match 3:
JB Holmes v Thomas Pieters
Interesting. Is there any sign of the Belgian running out of gas? JB oscillates between looking like someone slightly out of his depth and appearing frighteningly possessed. You’d really like to think Pieters has too much class so let’s go with that.
Prediction: Europe win and we all start getting a bit giddy
Ryder Cup Sunday singles guide Match 4:
Rickie Fowler v Justin Rose
The early matches have fallen nicely for Europe. Rickie is not currently the same player we saw in 2015. In his odd foursomes pairing, he hasn’t been as wild as Phil but nor has be produced as much with his wedges and putter to make up for a sub-standard long game. You have to think Rose will be too steady for him.
Prediction: Europe win and we dare to dream
Ryder Cup Sunday singles guide Match 5:
Jimmy Walker v Rafa Cabrera-Bello
Another promising looking match-up for Europe. It’s almost as though Captain Clarke has come up with a strategy of putting all his best/in-form men out first. Then again, the Spaniard is playing against a reigning Major champion. Calm down everyone
Ryder Cup Sunday singles guide Match 6:
Phil Mickelson v Sergio Garcia
Strange – Mickelson normally gets Rose in the singles. This is hard to call. One is ridiculously unpredictable and the other just churns out pars in the main. Phil might have destiny on his side, though, and Sergio’s singles record is patchy.
Prediction: The USA finally get a point on the board
Ryder Cup Sunday singles guide Match 7:
Ryan Moore v Lee Westwood
Poor Lee. How do you recover from that end to the Saturday fourballs? If he’d holed a couple of short putts on the last two greens then the score now would be 8 1/2- 7 1/2. It’s nothing new: his putting has been an issue for years now. Let’s be fair to the veteran though – he doesn’t lack for courage. Moore was virtually a passenger in their match, so don’t rule Westwood out. Let’s also remember, the Englishman hit some quality shots down the stretch.
Prediction: Some redemption for Westwood
Ryder Cup Sunday singles guide Match 8:
Brandt Snedeker v Andy Sullivan
Sneds has been a man possessed on the greens, posting two wins out of two alongside Koepka. It’s hard to know about Sullivan, not least because it seems years ago that we saw him play last, on Friday morning. On that basis, you have to favour the American.
Prediction: Another point for the home team
Ryder Cup Sunday singles guide Match 9:
Dustin Johnson v Chris Wood
“We’ll just sneak you in at No 9, Chris,” said Darren. Oh, you’re up against DJ. Wood was excellent in his Saturday foursomes and really ought to have got at least one more game. However, he’s not beating the US Open champion on his own turf, is he?
Prediction: Must be another win for America
Ryder Cup Sunday singles guide Match 10:
Brooks Koepka v Danny Willett
Koepka has been brilliant at times but also chucks in a few wild swings. So would you if you went at it that hard all the time. Willett has deserved something from his two games. I think the Masters champion will stick a point on the board here.
Prediction: Europe nick one back
Ryder Cup Sunday singles guide Match 11:
Matt Kuchar v Martin Kaymer
It would be fitting if these two played their match in Milton Keynes to continue the theme of initials. Kaymer has been so poor this week – unreliable off the tee, chipping poorly and can’t seem to set a putt off on the right line – that this has to be a third win out of four for the grinning assassin that is Kuch.
Prediction: America win
Ryder Cup Sunday singles guide Match 12:
Zach Johnson v Matt Fitzpatrick
This should be a decent match up. If the overall result is long decided I can see Fitzpatrick earning his first Ryder Cup point of many. However, if it does somehow go the distance, the ever-steady Zach is a great man to have to grind out whatever is needed, in this case a half. Or they will basically agree a half on the 14th so they can go and join their team-mates if it’s all wrapped up early.
Prediction: Half. Always go for a half in the last game.
Singles result: USA 5 – 7 Europe
Overall result: USA 14 1/2 – Europe 13 1/2