Ryder Cup – Who Will Be America’s Top Points Scorer?
Having assessed the chances of Europe’s potential Top-Points Scorer yesterday, it’s time to assess the scoring potential of America’s players as we build-up to this weekend’s 2016 Ryder Cup.
Matches 7, won 4, lost 3, halved 0
Foursomes: 0-1-0, Four-balls: 2-2-0, Singles: 2-0-0
This will be DJ’s third Ryder Cup and, after losing his first 3 matches, he’s won his last 4. He’s also a much better player than when last seen in 2012, and it will be a surprise if he doesn’t feature in all 5 matches in his current form.
Matches 4, won 2, lost 1, halved 1
Foursomes: 0-0-1, Four-balls: 2-0-0, Singles: 0-1-0
Spieth looks likely to be paired with Patrick Reed after the two players combined to score 2½ points from 3 matches at the 2014 Ryder Cup, although he also struck up a good partnership with DJ at the last Presidents Cup. His weakness seems to be the singles matches though, as he’s 0 from 3 in team matches (including the Presidents Cup), and his current form isn’t that strong.
Matches 41, won 16, lost 19, halved 6
Foursomes: 4-6-4, Four-balls: 7-8-2, Singles: 5-5-0
Phil The Thrill will no doubt thrill the crowds once more, but his overall return of less than half the points he could have won is not that impressive. However, despite not being that impressive this season, he showed in the Open that the big occasion can still bring out the best in him. Looks sure to be paired with a consistent sort such as Zach Johnson, and will definitely be up for the fight.
Matches 4, won 3, lost 0, halved 1
Foursomes: 0-0-1, Four-balls: 2-0-0, Singles: 1-0-0
His attitude at the 2014 Ryder Cup marked him out as a player who thrives under the most intense pressure, and he remained undefeated as his team-mates generally failed to deliver at Gleneagles. In great form before a typically poor performance at the Tour Championship, he looks sure to play a major role, and will be a tough opponent for anyone.
Matches 5, won 1, lost 1, halved 3
Foursomes: 0-1-1, Four-balls: 0-0-2, Singles: 1-0-0
Played well in his first Ryder Cup at Gleneagles, and he was perhaps unlucky to be paired with an out-of-form Rickie Fowler. Won his singles match though, but had a poor Presidents Cup. Major winner this year, but form has been in and out.
This big-hitter looks sure to be suited to both the demands of the Ryder Cup and the course, and he showed his matchplay class when winning his first 3 matches in the WGC matchplay this season, before being beaten by an inform Jason Day.
Matches played 3, won 1, lost 2, halved 0
Foursomes: 1-1-0, Four-balls: 0-0-0, Singles: 0-1-0
Boasts a victory over Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell, and could be a handful for anyone if his lethal putter gets hot. Hammered in his singles matches on both his Ryder Cup debut and Presidents Cup debut, however.
Matches 14, won 6, lost 6, halved 2
Foursomes: 3-4-1, Four-balls: 1-1-0, Singles: 2-1-1
Looks an ideal to one of the more power-packed players, and a partnership with Mickleson could produce some tasty results. Not been at his best this season though, and unlikely to feature in all 5 matches unless making a great start.
Matches 8, won 0, lost 3, halved 5
Foursomes: 0-1-2, Four-balls: 0-1-2, Singles: 0-1-1
The case for Fowler, who has yet to win a Ryder Cup match, is that this is his first big match on home soil – where the crowds are sure to bolster his confidence. He may have only halved 5 of his 8 matches, but he did win all 4 of his Walker Cup matches in America. The way McIlroy battered him in the singles at Gleneagles though may have left its scars, though.
Matches 3, won 2, lost 0, halved 1
Foursomes: 0-0-0, Four-balls: 1-0-1, Singles: 1-0-0
JB may not have played since 2008, but he’s yet to be defeated in a Ryder Cup match. Whether that’s enough for him to be used prominently is another matter, even though he’s noticeably played well at the majors this year. Aggressive style will be more suited to four-balls, and may be a better betting proposition in individual matches.
Matches 11, won 4, lost 5, halved 2
Foursomes: 1-2-0, Four-balls: 2-1-2, Singles: 1-2-0
Yet to be on a winning Ryder Cup side, Kuchar has at least collected 5 Points from a possible 11. His steady style should be better suited to foursomes, though he has a better four-ball record. However, around this big course, his lack of power may be a negative.
Moore had an excellent amateur record, and his recent form has been as good as anyone’s. However, as he wasn’t picked until the last moment, this rookie hasn’t had time to forge a partnership with anyone – and therefore may only make limited appearances.
Dustin Johnson and Patrick Reed are young enough to play all 5 matches, and DJ will surely be tough to beat whoever he plays in his current form. Meanwhile, forgive Reed his performance in the Tour Championship, where he has never played well, and it’s easy to see him doing well in the heat of a battle he’s already proved he relishes.
Dustin Johnson @ 4/1
Patrick Reed @ 7/1