As the team was being picked, United States Ryder Cup Captain Davis Love III was keenly aware of the stranglehold the Europeans have on the Ryder Cup. He knew the team had to have individuals steady enough to face any situation.
The second important element was who to
pair with who in the match play segments. Heading into Sunday’s singles action, then Americans lead by 3, led by the pairing of Patrick Reed/Jordan Spieth. Speith has a reputation as cool and calculating, while Reed adds an element of boyish enthusiasm, complete with fist pumps and High Fives.
Now comes Sunday and singles action at Hazleton National Country Club in Minnesota. While a lead of 3 going into Sunday would seem insurmountable, given what has transpired on Sunday on the PGA Tour in 2016, nothing is impossible.
The headline match on Sunday will be the first ones to tee off, as Patrick Reed opposes Rory McIlroy. A little later, two other pivotal matchups will be Speith against Henrik Stinson and fan favorite Phil Mickelson taking on Sergio Garcia.
Only one thing is certain. At the conclusion of play Sunday, we will know who made the best choices of personnel and strategic moves in the “chess match” that is the Ryder Cup, Darren Clarke of Europe or Davis Love III of the U.S.A.
Whether the Europeans take the cherished trophy home where they feel it rightfully resides or it stays in the States for the foreseeable future will depend on it.