2014 Ryder Cup: Morning Four-Ball Preview & Predictions


2:35 AM ET: Bubba Watson-Webb Simpson vs Justin Rose-Henrik Stenson

What an electric first match to kick off the 2014 Ryder Cup. The dynamic duo of Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson kick things off for the Americans, while Europe counters with two of the best ball strikers in the world in Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson.

This match up is a real x-factor. Watson and Simpson could come out with their hair on fire like they did in 2012. Or things could get ugly for the wild Watson and inconsistent Webb Simpson.

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It’ll be an interesting match, but one in which I favor Rose and Stenson. It’s more of a trust factor here. I know what Rose and Stenson will bring to the table. Rose and Stenson should have birdie opportunities consistently on each and every hole.

Prediction: Justin Rose-Henrik Stenson 2 & 1 Bubba Watson-Webb Simpson

2:50 AM ET: Rickie Fowler-Jimmy Walker vs Thomas Bjorn-Martin Kaymer

This is a match that the Americans need to win and I believe they will. In fact, I think they will win this match in a big way. I love the Rickie Fowler and J-Walk pairing and believe that they will be big contributors for the Americans. I’ve got the potential buzz saw in Rickie Fowler and Jimmy Walker defeating  Thomas Bjorn and Martin Kaymer.

Prediction: Rickie Fowler-Jimmy Walker 5 & 4  Thomas Bjorn-Martin Kaymer

3:05 AM ET: Jordan Spieth-Patrick Reed vs Stephen Gallacher-Ian Poulter

When previewing the potential pairings for the Americans, I mentioned Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed as a potential duo. I thought it was a team that should happen, but probably wouldn’t. Low and behold though, Spieth and Reed are paired together. A huge risk pairing two Ryder Cup rookies together, but one that I think is a risk worth taking.

On the Europe side, there’s a lot of pressure here. I believe the consensus is that the hometown hero, Stephen Gallacher, and the Ryder Cup legend, Ian Poulter, will mow down these two young bucks, but I’m not quite convinced. I think this is a result that may cause some eyebrows to raise.

Spieth and Reed have had a successful background under match play conditions, they both are from Texas; windy conditions won’t be a problem for them. Plus, when looking at Gallacher/Poulter they aren’t in the best of form of late. Poulter has struggled all year long, and Gallacher is coming off a missed cut at the Wales Open and he has to deal with the pressure of being in the spotlight. I’ve got the upset in this one.

Prediction: Jordan Spieth-Patrick Reed 2 & 1 Stephen Gallacher-Ian Poulter

3:20 AM ET: Keegan Bradley-Phil Mickelson vs Sergio Garcia-Rory McIlroy

Oh man, buckle up for this one because this will be intense. This will be such a pivotal match heading into the afternoon. You have Keegan Bradley and Phil Mickelson who were absolutely unstoppable in 2012 and on the other side you have the number 1 and number 3 golfers in the world in Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia. Oh my word.

It’s a tough one to call, but I’ve got McIlroy and Garcia in this one. Bradley and Mickelson is a dynamic team, but they haven’t been in the best of form of late. While McIlroy is at the top of his game and Garcia hasn’t been bad himself.

Plus, it would be in typical Europe fashion to win the final match of the session and gain some momentum heading into the afternoon.

Prediction: Sergio Garcia-Rory McIlroy 3 & 2 Keegan Bradley-Phil Mickelson

Session 1: Europe 2, United States 2

All in all, I have the morning match ups ending up in a 2-2 tie. If that happens, I believe Tom Watson and the Americans will be satisfied. In the afternoon they’ll feature Jim Furyk, Zach Johnson, Matt Kuchar, and Hunter Mahan who are four veterans, four golfers that you know what you are getting with.

While the Europeans sitting out the morning session are Jamie Donaldson, Victor Dubuisson, Graeme McDowell, and Lee Westwood.