Grading the week's studs and duds at the 2010 Ryder Cup

Grading the week’s studs and duds at the 2010 Ryder Cup

Lee Westwood, right, and Rory McIlroy helped carry the Europeans to victory.
Robert Beck/SI


Graeme McDowell (2-1-1)
Winning the U.S. Open was nice, but when the Ryder Cup is on your shoulders and you kick butt and execute critical shots, you’re unquestionably the man. He’s a superstar now.
Grade: A+

Lee Westwood (2-1-1)
The man of the match for Europe the first three rounds, and his takedown of Tiger Woods (with Luke Donald) in alternate shot set the tone for the near-sweep in the third session that keyed the European victory.

Grade: A

Luke Donald (3-1)
Clutch putting, precise iron play, brilliant from the bunkers. Apparently, Luke used The Force. This was his finest hour. P.S. How has he not won a major championship?
Grade: A

Ian Poulter (3-1)

The loud Englishman has been missing in action since winning the Match Play Championship in February, but he rose to the occasion and played his best golf of the year. And in remarkably tame pants!
Grade: A-

Martin Kaymer (2-1-1)
The PGA champion didn’t play all that well. He made only two birdies in the last two matches but escaped with a stellar record because he road Westwood’s coattails early.
Grade: B-

Rory McIlroy (1-1-2)
The young phenom clearly loved his first Ryder Cup, contrary to his pre-tourney comments. He had his moments, notching two points, but also had his game slightly exposed, twice botching 18.
Grade: B-

Miguel Angel Jimenez (2-1)
The Mechanic had two of the most clutch finishes of the week, saving a win on the 18th, and taking down Bubba Watson in a crucial singles match.
Grade: B+

Ross Fisher (2-2)
Showed stretches of brilliance but also some weakness with the putter. Played his best when paired with the veteran Harrington, who helped him on the greens and boosted his confidence. Lost a lead and a key singles match.

Grade: C+

Padraig Harrington (2-2)
The popular Irishman played poorly and tanked in his singles match against Zach Johnson. Still, he did eke out a couple of team wins thanks to some strong partners, and his presence and leadership may have been worth a point.

Grade: C

Peter Hanson (1-2)
The Swede showed off some solid ballstriking skills and proved he was worthy. He pasted a pair of 7s in his singles match with Mickelson, though, and lost to an opponent who previously had been winless.
Grade: C-

Edoardo Molinari (0-1-2)
Made a lot of birdies and did a great job of getting the crowd involved. He’s an exciting player, and he and his brother came through for a key halve. On the flip side, he had Fowler 4-down on the back nine and let him scratch out a huge halve.
Grade: C-

Francesco Molinari (0-2-1)
The brothers scored an important halve in Sunday’s fourball matches and, as it turned out, every half point counted. His ballstriking was impressive, but his putting, especially his short putting, is a serious weakness. Played Tiger tough … for nine holes.
Grade: C-


Steve Stricker (3-1)
The Americans’ Most Valuable Player, he carried Woods to two team matches when Woods was struggling. Sent out first against Europe’s best singles player, Westwood, Stricker scored the biggest win of the day for the U.S.
Grade: A+

Stewart Cink (1-0-3)
Came up big early when the U.S. needed him and played McIlroy to a draw in singles. Draining some early putts gave the team momentum.
Grade: A

Rickie Fowler (0-1-2)
All Fowler did was make a clutch putt to save a half point on the 18th … twice. The second one, in singles, had the Cup riding on it. Forget how he played in the team matches, he came through when it was all on the line. The kid’s got stones.
Grade: A-

Zach Johnson (2-1)
Too bad the rainout cost the Iowan a match. Pavin would’ve loved to send him out a fourth time. He played well in the crucial 11th slot in singles, racking up seven birdies against Harrington.
Grade: A-

Tiger Woods (3-1)
Tiger has played better in past Ryder Cups and had worse records. He didn’t find his form this week until singles, when he starting slinging birdies and eagles at Francesco Molinari. Never mind how it looked, three wins is three wins.
Grade: A-

Jeff Overton (2-2)
The Indiana alum enjoyed his star turn and his “Boom, baby!” moment, showing what a great clutch putter he is. He and Watson’s surprise opening win kept the U.S. close through two sessions. A real find.
Grade: B+

Jim Furyk (0-2-1)
Doesn’t have much to show for his efforts but he put on a whale of a show in singles against Donald, despite dumping his final crucial approach shot into a bunker at the 18th. Birdied five of the last 10 holes-but only won one of them against the hot Donald.
Grade: C+

Matt Kuchar (1-1-2)
Didn’t play his best but didn’t play poorly either, and made a good teammate for Cink. Kooch got drummed in singles, though.
Grade: C+

Hunter Mahan (1-2)
Played one strong match and made a bit of a comeback against McDowell with the Ryder Cup on the line. Under intense pressure, missed the tee shot on the final hole and then duffed a chip. A tough way to finish.
Grade: C-

Bubba Watson (1-3)
Watson’s power game was negated by wet, sloppy conditions and thick rough. He didn’t make a lot of birdies-just one in singles, where he was schooled by Jimenez. His pairing with Overton, another emotional player, was sheer fun.
Grade: C-

Dustin Johnson (1-3)
A no-show the first three days and was ineffective in a pairing with Mickelson. His putting was way off early but he atoned a bit with a big win in singles, although his opponent, Kaymer, shot over par.
Grade: D+

Phil Mickelson (1-3)
Finally made some birdies after three straight dismal performances. The U.S. team could’ve used him sooner. Coincidence that he started playing better after he heard that Johnny Miller criticized him on TV? It was Phil’s first singles win since 1999.
Grade: D+