Anything You Can Do...
Which is the stronger Ryder Cup team? That depends on what you're measuring
September 24, 2012
Ian Poulter is apparently building a Ferrari collection, but Tiger Woods could probably store all of them and still live comfortably on his 155-foot yacht (above). And then there's that dinosaur headPhil Mickelson owns. . . Edge: USA.
Unfortunately, only one of the "Golf Boys," Bubba Watson, made the squad -- and that was hardly an endorsement of the lefty's ability to carry a tune. Besides, belting out "Ole, ole, ole, ole," is a lot more melodic than chanting "USA! USA!" Edge: Europe.
Ian Poulter has his own line of clothing. So does Tiger Woods. And both sides have guys who are darlings (Graeme McDowell and Bubba Watson, for example) of our own "Mr. Style," Marty Hackel. In the end, it doesn't matter since players on both teams will have to wear whatever uniforms are handed to them this week. And yes, hopefully, those don't become a focal point of discussion like a certain set of rainsuits (left) two years ago in Wales. . .Edge: Even.
Keegan Bradley should be even more amped up than usual playing in his first Ryder Cup, making him the odds-on favorite to lead the Americans in high fives and fist pumps. But when it comes to getting under the other squad's skin, no one touches Sergio Garcia. Just look at how annoying and pesky he looked during the last Ryder Cup (left). And he wasn't even playing!Edge: Europe.
Slumping Past Major Winner
Jim Furyk's struggles to close out the U.S. Open and Bridgestone Invitational were painful to watch, but overall, he's had a solid year that includes the fourth-best scoring average on the PGA Tour. On the other hand, Martin Kaymer(left) has been a complete disaster in 2012. So much so, that it will be interesting to see whether captain Jose Maria Olazabal plays the 2010 PGA champ other than his required Sunday singles match.Edge: USA.
Davis Love III is well liked and respected, but it's tough to imagine him giving a rousing "win one for the Gipper"-type speech. In contrast, Jose Maria Olazabal (left), like his fellow countryman, the late Seve Ballesteros, plays with the type of fire that should translate to the team room. And speaking of Seve, Ollie should have no problem inspiring his players by telling tales of the duo's many Ryder Cup successes through the years.Edge: Europe.
If there are lengthy weather delays like at the last Ryder Cup in Wales, perhaps a big game of Texas Hold 'Em might be the best way to settle things -- or at least, pass the time. Wait, is Rory McIlroy even old enough to gamble? Regardless, Jason Dufner's never-changing expression gives his team the advantage if they decide to shuffle up and deal.Edge: USA.
Each team has a guy who has tried Twitter then quit because of negativity (Sergio Garcia and Webb Simpson), and each team has big-name stars with big-time followings (Ian Poulter, left, Tiger Woods, etc.). But while Tiger has engaged in a couple of (awkward) Google hangouts, he doesn't tweet on a consistent basis, and frankly, Dustin Johnson's tweets come across as rather canned. Then consider that geezers like Phil Mickelson and Jim Furyk aren't even hip enough to have their own Twitter accounts. Therefore, despite the occasional miscue on the social media network from a Euro star (ahem, Luke Donald and Rory McIlroy), we still appreciate the effort.Edge: Europe.
It's been a tremendous year for Paul Lawrie, who has won twice on the European Tour. The 43-year-old Scot returns to the Ryder Cup 13 years after his only other appearance and just seven years after falling to 346th in the Official World Golf Ranking. But Steve Stricker (left) knows what it's like to struggle as well. He, too, hit rock bottom in 2005 when he fell to 337th and failed to make it through Q School. But nine PGA Tour titles later, Stricker is one of the game's elite players, even at 45. How good was his return to form? He's the only player to win the tour's Comeback Player of the Year award in back-to-back seasons.Edge: USA.
Luke Donald's wife, Diane (above, right), always appears upbeat, even when following her husband around the golf course while pregnant. But c'mon, Amy Mickelson (above, left) is the gold standard when it comes to cheerful tour wives. Even in the rain, the former Phoenix Suns cheerleader never seems to stop smiling. Edge: USA.
Based on another big golf event that happened at Medinah, the 1999 PGA Championship, we all know Sergio Garcia (left) can do a mean scissor kick. And there aren't a lot of names on the U.S. squad that scream future contender on "Dancing With The Stars."Edge: Europe.
The Euros have an advantage in soccer (Sergio Garcia), while the Americans have a leg up in tennis (Matt Kuchar, left, won a national Mixed Doubles tournament alongside his wife). So we'll go to basketball as a tiebreaker. We worry about both teams' skills on the perimeter (who would run the point?), but what we do know is that Dustin Johnson can dunk. Barefoot. Imagine how intimidated the Europeans would be if they saw that in layup lines before the game?Edge: USA.