2016 Ryder Cup: Predicting the Sunday singles

After two full days of play the U.S. holds a 9.5-6.5 lead over Europe at the 2016 Ryder Cup heading into Sunday singles. The U.S. has not won a Ryder Cup since 2008 and is hoping an intensified focus on correcting mistakes and bringing back pod play.

To some, this edition of the Ryder Cup has been overshadowed by unruly fans, one of which was kicked out after various remarks made to Rory McIlroy.

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Regardless of what has gotten each team to Sunday singles, there are plenty of points on the board. It is worth making an educated prediction on who will take each match.

11:04 a.m.: Patrick Reed vs. Rory McIlroy

This is a match up of the two most in form players in the Ryder Cup. Both led the FedEx Cup with Patrick Reed leading after the first two events of the playoff season and McIlroy capturing the trophy at season’s end. McIlroy has been public enemy number one from the fans but has embraced playing the villian while elevating his play. Reed is used to playing the villian role himself and got his wish, he will play in all five sessions. McIlroy 2 & 1.
11:15 a.m.: Jordan Spieth vs. Henrik Stenson

Spieth showed signs of wear both during the Saturday morning and afternoon sessions. Remember it was Patrick Reed who made the 5-foot putt to ensure a halve against Sergio Garcia and Rafa Cabrera-Bello. Stenson has been battling a leg injury for some time now. It is hard to pick a winner in this one. Spieth has not yet won a Ryder or Presidents Cup singles match. Match will be halved
11:26 a.m.: J.B. Holmes vs. Thomas Pieters

Holmes has made a few putts which comes as a mild surprise. Pieters has been a shining star all week and he helped bring out the best in Rory McIlroy. Now Pieters will have to do it alone and I think he has learned a lot this week. Pieters 3 & 1
11:37 a.m.: Rickie Fowler vs. Justin Rose

It is no secret that Fowler has not been in form and playing Rose who has never lost a Ryder Cup singles match is certainly not a good sign for the US. Fowler has not gotten the needed reps and if the Englishman can show any sign of good play should take this one. Rose 4 & 3
11:48 a.m.: Jimmy Walker vs. Rafa Cabrera-Bello

Cabrera-Bello has held his own this week and his third place finish at the WGC-Dell Match Play makes me a believer that he can pull off clutch shots under the most pressure he will experience to date in his career. Walker’s play in limited duty has not been spectacular. Cabrera-Bello 2 UP
11:59 a.m.: Phil Mickelson vs. Sergio Garcia

Mickelson insisted on being in the Saturday afternoon pairing after sitting out both Saturday sessions in 2014. Make no mistake about it, there was specific intent to him playing both sessions. The question is whether he will pay the price for it. Garcia has made some big putts and had special shots this week but at 2-4 in Ryder Cup singles matches that is concerning. One of those victories was a 3 & 2 win in the 2004 event against Mickelson. Garcia 1 UP
12:10 p.m.: Ryan Moore vs. Lee Westwood

Westwood cannot be feeling great after missing a nearly three foot putt to secure a half. His game is not in a great place and he asked to not play in the Saturday morning session. Moore beat Westwood with both in a Saturday afternoon fourball session and Moore may be in better form right now given his performance at the TOUR Championship. Moore 4&3
12:21 p.m.: Brandt Snedeker vs. Andy Sullivan

Sullivan has not played since the Friday morning foursomes and lost that match 1 UP with Rory McIlroy. Snedeker was benched in the Saturday afternoon session which is somewhat baffling, especially considering how well he had Hazeltine’s greens figured out. I really like Andy Sullivan as a golfer and think he is someone who will become more known in America but he has been set up to fail in this match. Snedeker 5 & 4
12:32 p.m.: Dustin Johnson vs. Chris Wood

Only one golfer may be in better form than Dustin Johnson and they is because of a couple of not so great weekend rounds. They may not be a better driver of the golf ball than Johnson who has gone with more iron practice on the driving range because of the above fact. Wood’s name has been called by European captain Darren Clarke just once and it was in Saturday foursomes when he teamed with Justin Rose to beat Jimmy Walker and Zach Johnson 1 UP. Johnson 2 UP
12:43 p.m.: Brooks Koepka vs. Danny Willett

As bad of a week as Lee Westwood has had, Danny Willett’s may be worse. McIlroy has been a villain because of his excellent play, Willett has been villainized because of remarks about Americans made by his brother. Koepka teamed well with Brandt Snedeker winning both matches before the pair was broken up for Saturday afternoon four balls. Koepka joined a bomber’s paradise group with Dustin Johnson and both lost 3 & 1 to Rory McIlroy and Thomas Pieters. This seems more like Koepka’s time and Willett will still hear it from the fans. Koepka 3 & 1
12:54 p.m.: Matt Kuchar vs. Martin Kaymer

Kuchar thrives at match play and Kaymer is not in form and 0-3-0 this week. Kuchar is 2-1-0 on the week although that shimmy dance is unforgiveable. Still poor play is way more unforgiveable on Ryder Cup Sunday. Kuchar 6& 4
1:05 p.m.: Zach Johnson vs. Matthew Fitzpatrick

At this point the outcome will already be determined so this likely will be meaningless. Match will be Halved

 

Final US 15.5. Europe 12.5

For the first time since 2008, the United States will win the Ryder Cup. The task force name has been made fun of but its mission will not be. Hopefully this Ryder Cup is remembered for its play and not the few unruly fans.

 

Author: Zac Weiss

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