Our team member Pat takes us through his most memorable Ryder Cup moments, what he is looking forward to this time around and his prediction for the final score.
First Ryder Cup Experience – Sam Torrance starting the European dominance at The Belfry, 2002 Ryder Cup
My first Ryder Cup memory comes on the singles day at the Belfry in 2002. With the scores level at 8-8, this was going to be a really great final day. I remember Euro captain Sam Torrance front-loading his team, with Monty, Darren Clarke, Langer, Padraig Harrington and Thomas Bjorn being in 4 out of the first 5 matches. It was just a sea of blue, as point after point came in. Monty winning 5&4, Langer 4&3 and Harrington 5&4 as well. Everyone was praising Torrance’s captaincy, and I vividly remember his celebration on the 18th when Paul McGinley’s putt went in to half his match with Jim Furyk; pencil behind the ear, both hands raised aloof as his head tilted skyward. I was instantly hooked.
Best Ryder Cup Memory – Justin Rose vs Phil Mickelson, 17th hole at Medinah, 2012 Ryder Cup
On a day where everything needed to go Europe’s way in the final Sunday of the 2012 Ryder Cup, it was after the 17th par-3 hole that I really felt the cup was coming home. To set the scene, Rose was 1 down and basically needed a full point from his match. Both players didn’t get close with their tee shots; Phil going long and having a stupidly tricky downhill chip from the rough, and Rose facing a monster 50-foot putt with a huge left-to-right break. Phil, in classic Phil style, took the pin out, and his chip was sensational; just missing the hole. But then it happened. Rose, standing over his putt, nerves of steel – drains it. Cue wild celebrations, and Rose going on to win the 18th and the match 1 up.
Dream Ryder Cup Match for 2018 – Patrick Reed & Tiger Woods vs Francesco Molinari & Rory McIlroy, Fourballs
Might seem a bit of a left field pick this one (with Reed always playing with Speith), but I would love to see McIlroy be given another chance at the US talisman. Throw Tiger into that mix and you have the two players everyone wants to see from team USA. It’s been written that Woods is insanely difficult to pair with in Ryder Cups (and his record kind of proves that), but if anyone can, Reed is surely the guy to fix that hoodoo? Chances are Furyk isn’t going to risk pairing these two together, but I can dream. On the European side, McIlory (who basically carried the team at Hazeltine in 2016) will be the guy going for absolutely everything. And in the fourball format, with Molinari (a seriously underrated contender in this year’s competition), he’ll have a steady playing partner – the guy just doesn’t make mistakes. It has all the ingredients for a great match – I somehow just need to let Mr Bjorn and Mr Furyk know.
Score Predictor – Europe 13.5 – 14.5 USA