Ryder Cup – Who’ll Be Europe’s Top Points Scorer?
Like many jingoistic fans, you may be thinking about having a bet on who might be Europe’s Top Points Scorer at the Ryder Cup – so we thought we’d put together a profile of each member of Europe’s 2016 Ryder Cup Team to help you.
Matches 14, Won 6, Lost 4, Halved 4
Foursomes: 3-2-1, Four-balls: 1-2-2, Singles: 2-0-1
McIlroy may not have had as good a year as he had hoped for, but the lack of major success was somewhat eclipsed by Fedex Cup Victory on US soil, hopefully paving the way for more Ryder Cup success. 8-Points from 14 matches is perhaps a disappointing return for a player of his quality, and it will be interesting to see who he is partnered with. He has previously partnered Garcia, but may be asked to partner the rookies this year.
Matches 11, won 5, lost 4, halved 2
Foursomes: 2-1-1, Four-balls: 2-1-1, Singles: 1-2-0
This year’s Open Champion has been taking it easy of late due to injury, but he’ll hopefully hook-up again with Justin Rose with whom he won his first 3 matches at Gleneagles in 2014. Unlikely to play all four pairs matches though at the age of 40, and has lost 2 of his 3 singles matches.
Matches 32, won 18, lost 9, halved 5
Foursomes: 9-2-2, Four-balls: 6-3-3, Singles: 3-4-0
Europe’s second most experienced player looks sure to play at least 3 of the 4 pairs matches. He has partnered both McIlroy and Westwood in the past, but his partnership with McIlroy wasn’t particularly fruitful, and he would surely relish playing the leading role alongside fellow Spaniard and rookie Cabrera-Bello at some point.
Matches 14, won 9, lost 3, halved 2
Foursomes: 4-1-1, Four-balls: 3-2-0, Singles: 2-0-1
Played all 10 matches at the last 2 Ryder Cups, claiming 7 points. Looks sure to partner Stenson for as many games as the Swede can manage, and his record speaks for itself.
Matches 41, won 20, lost 15, halved 6
Foursomes: 9-4-4, Four-balls: 8-5-2, Singles: 3-6-0
Tee-to-green game is ideal for the pairs comps, though he’s certainly not as good as he was. Couldn’t be left out by best friend Darren Clarke, and his experience looks sure to be put to good use alongside one or more of the rookies, with Thomas Pieters an exciting attacking option.
Matches 10, won 4, lost 3, halved 3
Foursomes: 0-0-2, Four-balls: 2-2-1, Singles: 2-1-0
Disappointing season for a player of his ability, and even more disappointing that he needed a captain’s pick to get in the side. However, is another whose experience looks sure to be put to good use alongside a rookie, but which one is anyone’s guess.
The Masters Champion has improved greatly since he failed to notch a single point at the 2007 Walker Cup, and had a decent WGC-Dell Match Play last year. Interesting to see whether he is treated as a rookie having won a major, or whether he’s seen as one of the stronger players, in which case he could be paired with fellow Yorkshireman Fitzpatrick.
Owes his place to his victory in the BMW PGA Championship. Missed the Open due to injury, but looked to have fully recovered from that when performing well at the recent Italian Open. Has a decent record in the Seve Trophy and Eur-asia Trophy, but doubtful whether he’ll feature highly in Darren Clarke’s plans.
The Spaniard may be a rookie, but he’s already proven his matchplay abilities with a third in the WGC-Dell Match Play earlier this season, where he beat Ryan Moore, Hideki Matsuyama, Kevin Kisner, Byeong-Hun An and Rory McIlroy. Not at his best of late, but may see plenty of action if he plays alongside Garcia.
Had a brilliant 2015, but not so hot this year. Has Walker Cup experience where he won both foursome matches before losing a singles match to Jordan Spieth, and also won all 5 matches at this year’s EurAsia Cup.
3 points from a possible 4 at the Walker Cup, and 2 from 3 in the EurAsia Cup, highlights his matchplay credentials, and looks a likely partner for Willett, though his steady approach would also suit someone like McIlroy. This looks sure to be the first of many Ryder Cup appearances – and big things are expected.
The young Belgian has power to die for, and Darren Clarke knows he could be a brilliant asset in the four-balls, if not the foursomes as well. Arguably the form player on the European Tour over the last couple of months, and only the fact that Clarke is unlikely to overburden him puts me off a bet at a big price.
It’s hard to put anyone off Justin Rose each-way at 6/1, as the Englishman looks sure to play all 5 games if it. However, Fitzpatrick may be over-priced at 16/1, as he could be a perfect foil for either McIlroy or Willett.