Saturday on the Ryder Cup was downright bonkers. On day two of the US and Europe’s battle for golf’s most coveted group trophy, Whistling Straits handled golf followers to no scarcity of leisure. Controversy, stress, a soul-snatching horseshoe and an epic uppercut joined a number of the most entertaining golf we’ve seen all yr.
As Saturday afternoon’s fourball session concludes in an 11-5 American lead, we put together for the granddaddy of all Ryder Cup occasions: Sunday singles matches. Twelve factors are up for grabs when issues get underway shortly after midday ET, and if historical past is any information, it’s unlikely the fist pumps shall be stopping any time quickly.
However earlier than we get there, let’s take a fast take a look at 5 of the most important questions we are able to’t wait to see answered when play begins.
1. Can the People maintain on?
It’s the ONLY query of significance on the minds of each single individual concerned with the U.S. Ryder Cup group, and it additionally occurs to be the one query to which we are able to’t know the reply. Latest American Ryder Cup historical past is tortured by reminiscences of the Miracle at Medinah, when the Europeans used Sunday’s singles matches to mount an not possible comeback from a 10-6 Saturday deficit and retain the Cup.
Will this yr be completely different? There’s loads of cause for optimism, however anybody who tells you they know the way a younger and largely unproven U.S. aspect will reply to the stress of Sunday singles is a liar. Loads of different elements are at play right here (which we’ll handle in a second), however finally, it comes all the way down to the gamers.
It’s the most important storyline on Sunday — hell, it’s the most important storyline of the whole event. And tomorrow afternoon, we’re going to have a very clear reply.
2. Can ANYBODY cease Jon Rahm?
To name Jon Rahm “a buzz noticed” is to vastly overstate the lethality of buzz saws in every single place. Rahm has been an authorized KILLER for the Europeans — carrying the Euros to three.5 of their 5 total factors and largely dominating the sector of play.
There’s an argument to be made that he’s been the most effective participant in the whole event, which is a credit score to Rahm’s sport, as a result of he hasn’t touched his ceiling for a lot of the week. Irrespective, it’s laborious to check the World No. 1 as something aside from an auto-point for group Europe in singles. The rest could be very, excellent information for the People.
3. How will the singles technique play out?
Ryder Cup captains face their most important dose of technique on Saturday night of event week, which is the time once they submit their order for singles matches. The important thing resolution is when to ship your finest gamers out and the place to put the gamers which can be struggling probably the most.
It seems like each captains have opted for a technique of balancing their Sunday lineups. European stalwarts Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia will exit within the third and fourth matches of the day (towards Scottie Scheffler and Bryson DeChambeau). It appears that evidently European Captain Padraig Harrington is hoping to get some factors on the board early to assist the epic comeback that shall be mandatory for his group to win.
Xander Schauffele, probably the greatest People this week, will play within the opening match towards Rory McIlroy, who has struggled. Undefeated Dustin Johnson will exit within the sixth match towards Paul Casey. No matter occurs, there may be positive to be numerous second-guessing come Sunday night time.
4. How will the rookies fare?
The US, as you may need heard, has the youngest group ever assembled at this yr’s Ryder Cup — using six rookies (Collin Morikawa, Patrick Cantlay, Schauffele, Daniel Berger, Harris English and Scottie Scheffler) as a part of its 12-man group.
Now, these rookies have appeared rock-solid all through the early portion of play, and are an enormous cause why the People are nonetheless within the lead (notably Scottie Scheffler, whose epic birdie on the fifteenth Saturday night time sealed his fourball match for the U.S.).
However how will they fare come Sunday afternoon alone with nowhere to cover towards, in all probability, a battle-tested European opponent? Fielding this many rookies has at all times been an enormous danger for the People, and it’s evident nowhere greater than on Sunday. All Steve Stricker can do is pray.
5. Will there be extra concession controversy?
Ah sure, “the Nice Gimme Battle” of Saturday positive was enjoyable, the place gamers on each side felt the necessity to share with their opponents that their putt was, certainly, in a kick-in. “Within the leather-based,” as they are saying, and due to this fact deserving of being conceded. In actual fact, the non-concession controversy served up a number of the tensest moments of Saturday’s motion, begetting told-ya-so fist-pumps and, unsurprisingly, extra unconceded putts.
It could appear doubtless we’ll see extra of that heading into Sunday. In any case, opponents are sometimes much less doubtless to concede once they concern doing so may value their group the Ryder Cup.
Look, Ryder Cup Sundays include no scarcity of drama to start with. However c’mon, let’s ratchet it up only a little bit additional.