Ryder Cup: The bunkered team's predictions

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It's time.

The 43rd Ryder Cup is almost ready to go, with Whistling Straits on the shore of Lake Michigan in Wisconsin playing host.

Europe, led by Padraig Harrington, is looking for its tenth victory in the last 13 editions of the biennial clash.

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Steve Stricker's Americans, meantime, are bidding to win on home soil for the fourth time in the last six matches.

It's shaping up to be a truly spectacular week - but who's going to win? Which players are going to perform best? Which rookie is going to have a debut to remember?

Our guys have their say...

Bryce Ritchie 

To win: EUR 🇪🇺

“Steve Stricker. Jim Furyk. Davis Love III. From a European perspective, those three names are covered in Ryder Cup scar tissue, with only Love III having experienced some kind of redemption in 2016 when he was given the opportunity to win the cup back following the disaster of Medinah. Furyk must hate the Ryder Cup by now, surely. Quite simply, he was an awful captain in Paris. 

"I still believe this is an event the Americans can’t quite grasp, and the squabbling between Brooks and Bryson and (potentially) Reed and Everyone Else isn’t going to make Stricker’s job any easier. Since 1999, the US have won twice, so the odds are that they will start to pick up wins – but it’s not that straightforward. Having six wild cards will mean someone will miss out, and the US traditionally go with their rankings for picks. I see another US disaster.” 

MVP Jordan Spieth 

Top rookie Scottie Scheffler

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Michael McEwan 

To win: USA 🇺🇸

“For all that is made of Europe’s record in the Ryder Cup over the last 40 years, not enough is made of the fact that the US remain formidable opponents on home turf. They’ve won three of the last five contests staged Stateside and, but for a ‘miracle’ in 2012, it would have been four. Maybe even five if Hal Sutton hadn’t decided to use the biggest stage in golf to conduct perhaps the weirdest experiment in the game’s history. Even now, 17 years later, pairing Tiger and Phil seems like a borderline certifiable decision.

"But back to this year. Yes, Steve Stricker’s Ryder Cup record is awful but (a) he’s not playing, (b) he is a proven and popular captain, and (c) he’s captaining in his home state. Expect ridiculous fans - the ‘Cheeseheads’ are a seriously rowdy bunch at the best of times - as well as a three- or four-point winning margin and an inglorious swansong for Sergio, Poulter and other mainstays of Europe’s 21st century success. The guard might just be changing… 

MVP Justin Thomas 

Top rookie Xander Schauffele

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David Cunninghame 

To win: USA 🇺🇸 

‘USA! USA! USA!’ By the end of the three days in Wisconsin I’ll be sick to the back teeth of hearing fans bellow out this inane chant, with the Americans storming to victory. 

"Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau will set aside their petty and tiresome squabbling to get on in the team room, Collin Morikawa will flush his way to victories on all three days and the likes of Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, Xander Schauffele and Dustin Johnson will step up to the plate and deliver. Home advantage also seems to be playing a more influential role in recent years, and this is the main reason why I can’t see Europe retaining the cup. Stricker will do everything within his power to ensure a winning course set-up for his six qualifiers and six captain’s picks.”   

MVP Justin Thomas 

Top rookie Collin Morikawa

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Cameron Adam 

To win: USA 🇺🇸 

“The first words that come to mind when I look at the current American team are ‘murderers’ row’. Eight of the world’s top ten are flying the red, white and blue - not a statistic we want heading into a 12-man team event. On the plus side, we do have the current world No.1 in Jon Rahm, and a wealth of young and hungry talent ready to prove themselves on American soil. Regardless of rankings, if Harrington can get his pairings right, it will be a competitive match-up. Pair the veterans with the rookies (where possible). We’ll embrace being underdogs.” 

MVP Dustin Johnson 

Top rookie Patrick Cantlay

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