Down the years the US Ryder Cup team could usually pick 2 or maybe 3 teams that would rivals their counterparts from across the water in Europe. Nowadays, both teams are very equal with the Europeans potentially having a slight edge in terms of strength these days. Not so long ago Europe could boast around 6 top class players with the other 6 usually making up the numbers but now, however, the Captain for Team Europe very much has an embarrassment of riches as his disposal including a difficult choice coming up for his Wild Cards. With the margin of victory usually so tight the current state of Team USA in term of fitness could very well make the difference.
As it currently stands, Team USA are without potentially two of their best players in Dustin Johnson and Tiger Woods – both are voluntarily out of the picture. Add to this the possibility that Matt Kuchar and Jason Dufner could well be unavailable through injury could pose some serious problems for Captain Tom Watson, he may well need to change Steve Stricker’s role from Assistant Captain to Wild Card pick the way things are going.
Paul McGinley have a lot less problems at present – the vast majority of the European team have clicked right into form with Rory McIlroy being the standout of course having won 2 Majors and a World Golf Championship over the past month. Allied to this is the improved performances of Stenson, Justin Rose, Graeme McDowell and Sergio along with those chasing a place on the team such as Poulter, Westwood, Shane Lowry and Jamie Donaldson – it’s safe to say that the Europeans are currently in rude health in terms of form and fitness compared to some of their US counterparts.
5 weeks is a long time in golf as we know and things could be very much different come tee off in Gleneagles on Friday 26th September. No matter what 12 golfers take the plane to Scotland in late September they will be a formidable team to take on the Europeans but it is likely that Team USA will be a team short of some of the best golfers in the world at the moment. It could well be a case of the 12 fittest American golfers that take on Team Europe when the Ryder Cup begins.