The Ryder Cup teams as they stand and it’s not looking too good for Europe

  • The Ryder Cup kicks off in Hazeltine on the 27th September.
  • These are the projected teams that would qualify if the tournament was tomorrow.

 

There is no doubt in my mind, Europe will continue to have the upper hand in Ryder Cups if the culture on the PGA Tour does not change. There is nothing that can compensate for the entrenched hierarchical structure that exists within the American locker room, something that just doesn’t emerge on the European Tour.

Looking through the current Ryder Cup teams – I’ve included 1-12 players based on Ryder Cup points – it’s hard to deny America are looking strong. Just one rookie would join Team USA, the powerful hitting Brooks Koepka. Conversely, Europe’s team will be light on experience. A staggering six debutants could show up in Minnesota, something that will surely influence Darren Clarke’s wildcard selections.

I honestly believe this will be the best Ryder Cup for many years. Four Majors were split between two continents, with each coming from a first-time winner. Add a quiet season from golf’s “Big Four” with the team-based Olympic warm-up, and you have all the trimmings for a perfect October. The recent Twitter showdown between Team USA and Team Europe was just a taste of what’s to come!

Team USA

 

 (Source/TeamUSA.org).
(Source/TeamUSA.org).

World ranking and Ryder Cup win percentage (*rookie):

1. Dustin Johnson (2nd) 57.1%
2. Jordan Spieth (3rd) 62.5%
3. Phil Mickelson (13th) 46.3%
4. Jimmy Walker (15th) 50%
5. Brooks Koepka* (17th)
6. Zach Johnson (21st) 50%
7. J.B. Holmes (19th) 83%
8. Brandt Snedeker (22nd) 33.2%
9. Bubba Watson (6th) 27.2%
10. Patrick Reed (14th) 87.5%
11. Matt Kuchar (20th) 57%
12. Rickie Fowler (7th) 31%

On the edge: Jim Furyk, Scott Piercy, Bill Haas

My pick: Furyk for Kuchar

Team Europe

 

AUCHTERARDER, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 23: A general view showing the European team golf bags during the European team photocall ahead of the 2014 Ryder Cup on the PGA Centenary course at the Gleneagles Hotel on September 23, 2014 in Auchterarder, Scotland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
(Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

World ranking and Ryder Cup win percentage (*rookie):

1. Rory McIlroy (4th) 57.1%
2. Danny Willett* (9th)
3. Henrik Stenson (5th) 54.5%
4. Chris Wood* (25th)
5. Sergio Garcia (11th) 64%
6. Justin Rose (12th) 71.43%
7. Rafa Cabrera Bello* (28th)
8. Andy Sullivan* (36th)
9. Matthew Fitzpatrick* (45th)
10. Søren Kjeldsen* (43rd)
11. Tyrell Hatton* (52nd)
12. Lee Westwood (42nd) 56%

On the edge: Matrin Kaymer, Shane Lowry, Victor Dubuisson

My pick: Kaymer for Soren, Andrew “Beef” Johnston for Hatton

Average world ranking for each team

Screen Shot 2016-08-02 at 16.51.55

Average Ryder Cup winning percentage for each team

Screen Shot 2016-08-02 at 17.09.52

Number of Major Championships for each team

Screen Shot 2016-08-02 at 17.21.07

Europe has always thrived as the underdog, but this time it’s different. Once again America are the statistically stronger team, but they find themselves looking down the barrel of a third consecutive loss. The European team lacks experience. With no McDowell and no Poulter, they look to a hutch of rookies to bring it home. It’s one thing to win with rookies in the UK, but it’s a different challenge across the pond.

I will put my money on Europe because I haven’t seen a group culture emerge amongst the American players, yet. You never know, the Olympics could bring that hidden advantage.

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