Thursday, September 25, 2014

The 40th Ryder Cup kicks off from Gleneagles in Scotland on Friday featuring 4 foursome matches and 4 fourball matches. Perhaps, the most anticipated match will feature the world's top ranked golfer Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia squaring off against Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley, who went undefeated as a team at Medinah.

Here are the pairings for the Friday Morning Fourballs (all times Eastern):

2:35 a.m., Match 1: Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson, United States, vs. Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson, Europe

2:50 a.m., Match 2: Rickie Fowler and Jimmy Walker, United States vs. Thomas Bjorn and Martin Kaymer, Europe

3:05 a.m., Match 3: Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed, United States vs. Stephen Gallacher and Ian Poulter, Europe

3:20 a.m., Match 4: Keegan Bradley and Phil Mickelson, United States vs. Sergio Garcia and Rory McIlroy, Europe

TV schedule:
Friday: 2:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. EDT | Golf Channel
Saturday: 3 a.m. to 1 p.m. EDT | NBC
Sunday: 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. EDT | NBC

Livestream: NBC Sports Live Extra

Writers from Sports Illustrated and Golf Magazine give their predictions for the 2014 Ryder Cup.

Alan Shipnuck, senior writer, Sports Illustrated (@AlanShipnuck): U.S. 14.5-13.5. It's a risk-reward course and the U.S. side collectively is significantly longer and in better form. I think Watson will out-captain McGinley. And playing at home as heavy favorites adds another layer of pressure for Europe.

Joe Passov, senior editor, Golf Magazine (@joepassov): The U.S is going to pull off the upset, thanks to a long, roomy, American-style course that plays into U.S. hands and also due to the law of averages. The U.S. would have won on a similar-type course at Medinah in 2012 if Europe hadn't drained a series of the most improbable putts in Ryder Cup history. I don't think Poulter or Rose will putt as well this time, and I think with the pressure off the U.S., being that they're the decided underdogs, they will come through. A "changed," charged-up Bubba Watson will make the difference in the 14.5 to 13.5 victory.

Jeff Ritter, senior editor, Sports Illustrated Golf Group (@Jeff_Ritter): The U.S is set up as a scrappy underdog, which could galvanize the group. But the Euros just have more proven strength at the top of their lineup (Rory, Sergio, GMac, Rose, Poulter). My patriotic heart would love to call the U.S. upset, but this pick comes straight from my wallet, and the billfold sees a football Sunday filled with Oles! Europe by a touchdown, 17-11.

Gary Van Sickle, senior writer, Sports Illustrated (@GaryVanSickle): You have to like Europe's top five -- Rory, Rose, Kaymer, Stenson and McDowell -- over America's top five. Who is America's top five? I'm not even sure. That said, the Ryder Cup is effectively a putting contest, and if Webb Simpson and Phil Mickelson and two other players arrive with their A Games, the U.S. could win. Forced to pick, I'll take Europe, 15.5-12.5.

Eamon Lynch, managing editor, Golf.com (@eamonlynch): Of the nine Cups played since Tom Watson was last captain in 1993, Europe has won seven. With a lot of its players in form this year, call it eight of 10, but not by a wide margin, 15-13.

Josh Sens, contributing writer, Golf Magazine (@JoshSens): The U.S. If you look closely, they're not badly overmatched on paper. But Vegas has Europe as two-to-one favorites and the underdog narrative has swelled to such a point that it can only help the American side. U.S. wins 14.5-13.5.

Mark Godich, senior editor, Sports Illustrated (@MarkGodich): Europe wins, 15–13. The home team is just stronger at the top. It will be tight going into singles, but McGinley will front-load his lineup and the Oles! will begin early.

Cameron Morfit, senior writer, Golf Magazine (@CameronMorfit): I think the U.S. is somehow going to pull this out, but the more I'm asked to restate this prediction, the less sense it makes. I don't know if it's Europe looking strong as much as Team USA looking slightly bereft, i.e. no Horschel, no Tiger, no D.J., no A.K., no Dufner. Fowler and Spieth and Reed are intriguing, though, in that they seem young and fearless. And there's no telling what Jimmy Walker is likely to make of this event. I'll say the U.S. wins 15-13.

David DeNunzio, senior editor, Golf Magazine (@daviddenunzio): It was going to be tough from the get-go for the American side, what with the Europeans fielding the No. 1 (McIlroy), No. 3 (Sergio), No. 4 (Stenson) and No. 6 (Rose) ranked players in the world. And that was before losing Tiger Woods and Dustin Johnson, as well as failing to sign the second-hottest golfer on the planet, Billy Horschel, to team Stars and Stripes. And don’t discount the home-field advantage. It’s over early Sunday. The other guys win.

Michael Bamberger, senior writer, Sports Illustrated: U.S. in a landslide. Any other prediction is un-American.

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