1. The US will win the Ryder Cup
I know, it’s not something any proud European fan should even think, far less predict, far less write. Even so, I just have this horrible hunch that the Americans will sneak it by the finest of margins. They have been written off so relentlessly in the build-up and, what’s more, they seem to be relishing it. They look and sound like a team that is enjoying their ‘underdog’ status, which, coupled with their no doubt in-built need to avenge what happened at Medinah, makes them formidable opposition. They don’t have the burden of expectation to contend with. That, in itself, is worth at least a half-point.
2. Rory and G-Mac won’t play together
And I doubt it will have much to do with the legal wranglings the pair are currently embroiled in. As McDowell himself confessed, Rory has outgrown him. As the undisputed world No.1 with four majors in the bag, he no longer needs a big brother figure to help get him round. Expect to see Rory play with Sergio Garcia and Martin Kaymer instead.
3. The PGA Centenary Course will exceed expectations
So much has been written about this year’s host venue, some of it unfavourable, some of it unfair. For what it’s worth, I think the changes that have been made to the course in preparation for the next three days are fantastic. More to the point, it has been prepared magnificently and diligently by Scott Fenwick, Steve Chappell and the team. I’ve been out there a fair bit the past few days and it is in immaculate condition. If I were Gleneagles chef Andrew Fairlie, I’d be preparing large helpings of Michelin-starred humble pie because a lot of people are going to need it.
4. A Monday finish won’t be required
Failing to get the job done on time has been a genuine concern ever since rain wreaked havoc at the 2010 Ryder Cup in Wales. An extra day was required there and many grey hairs have developed over the prospect of the same happening at Gleneagles. After all, Scotland, at the end of September? Still, the forecast looks promising. Fingers crossed…
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5. Tiger Woods won’t be missed
This perhaps harks back to point one. If, as I suspect, America regains the cup this weekend, it will, in part, be down to the absence of Tiger. An incredible thing to say about a man who has won 14 majors but his Ryder Cup record is abysmal. It has been suggested that, never mind his opponents, he intimidates his teammates. Not intentionally, of course, but just by being ‘Tiger Woods’. America will be a stronger team without him and, as for the spectators, put it this way: the Ryder Cup is one of very few golf events which has always – always – been bigger than any player.
Ryder Cup :: Your Predictions
Do you agree with Michael McEwan’s predictions ahead of the 2014 Ryder Cup? What are you expecting to see happen over the next three days? Leave your thoughts in our ‘Comments’ section below.