The Ryder Cup is half Super Bowl, half Kasparov vs. Karpov. The actual matchups are almost as much fun as imagining what they could be. Here's my idea of Ryder Cup heaven:
This team best-ball format demands birdies.
Bubba Watson & Dustin Johnson vs. Nicolas Colsaerts & Rory McIlroy.
Might as well put the four longest hitters together and enjoy the caveman golf.
Zach Johnson & Steve Stricker vs. Luke Donald & Graeme McDowell.
These short-hitting grinders would offer a lesson on the art of scoring.
Tiger Woods & Phil Mickelson vs. Sergio Garcia & Ian Poulter.
This would be the ultimate chemistry experiment, to see if the U.S.'s biggest stars could redeem their Oakland Hills debacle while trying to put up with Europe's two most obnoxious players.
Jason Dufner & Keegan Bradley vs. Lee Westwood & Francesco Molinari.
I want these U.S. rookies playing as much as possible, and they'd get a heckuva game vs. the Euros' ballstriking jessies.
Alternate-shot exposes weaknesses physical and mental.
Tiger Woods & Bubba Watson vs. Rory McIlory & Lee Westwood.
With their cartoonish shotmaking, this American duo would be fascinating to watch. So, too, would the chemistry between the Euros, onetime pals who have become rivals.
Phil Mickelson & Dustin Johnson vs. Sergio Garcia& Luke Donald.
The Yanks are practice round homeys; they'd figure to win big or lose bigger against a battle-tested duo.
Webb Simpson & Jason Dufner vs. Ian Poulter & Graeme McDowell.
The U.S.'s steady Eddies would have their hands full against this emotive duo.
Keegan Bradley & Brandt Snedeker vs. Justin Rose& Francesco Molinari.
None of these guys are flashy, but they get it done.
There's a simple formula for the singles lineup: Put some of your best players out early to generate momentum; stash the question marks in the middle; and save a few studs at the back-end in case they have to decide the Cup.
1. Keegan Bradley vs. Ian Poulter. Gotta have feistiness going out first.
2. Phil Mickelson vs. Sergio Garcia. Big personalities, big games. Would be wildly unpredictable.
3. Brandt Snedeker vs. Luke Donald. Maybe the two best putters in golf, head-to-head.
4. Bubba Watson vs. Lee Westwood. Wild and crazy vs. cool and calculating.
5. Jason Dufner vs. Francesco Molinari. First one to miss a green in regulation loses.
6. Dustin Johnson vs. Nicolas Colsaerts. Bash brothers.
7. Jim Furyk vs. Martin Kaymer. Two wounded warriors with a lot to prove.
8. Matt Kuchar vs. Peter Hanson. Nice guys, nice games, but does either have the necessary killer instinct?
9. Steve Stricker vs. Justin Rose. These classy champions would certainly set the standard for comportment.
10. Zach Johnson vs. Paul Lawrie. Very different games but both have a ton of grit.
11. Webb Simpson vs. Graeme McDowell. An Olympic rematch…with more pressure.
12. Tiger Woods vs. Rory McIlroy. In this very evenly matched Cup it could easily come down to the very last match. A man can dream, right?