We asked our experts from Sports Illustrated, GOLF Magazine and GOLF.com to pick who they think will win the 2010 Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor. Here’s what they had to say.
John Garrity, contributing writer, Sports Illustrated: Nobody. The European rout that some people expect isn’t going to happen. These are two very evenly matched teams. The young Americans will play well, the stars will struggle but have their moments . . . and it’ll be a draw. So America retains the Cup.
Michael Bamberger, senior writer, Sports Illustrated: I guess the Americans will win because all logic tells you they shouldn’t and this thing is often counterintuitive. I’ll take the Americans by a field goal.
Alan Shipnuck, senior writer, Sports Illustrated: Look, the best European Ryder Cuppers of the last decade are García, Westwood and Harrington. One isn’t on the team, one is coming off an injury and the other is in the toilet. They have six rookies and a captain who could possibly make some bonehead moves. One of the players the Europeans are counting on heavily, Martin Kaymer, is playing his first Ryder Cup. No doubt he’s a great player, but the Ryder Cup is a completely different animal. I’m taking the U.S., 14 1/2-13 1/2.
Gary Van Sickle, senior writer, Sports Illustrated: I was picking the Europeans a month ago without giving it a second thought. Now I’m coming over to your side. It’s funny how fast things can change in 30 days. Ultimately, the team with the best putters wins a close match. That’s the U.S.
Damon Hack, senior writer, Sports Illustrated: I don’t know. Beating Europe over there is like trying to beat Bird, McHale and Parish at Boston Garden. I think the U.S. will show grit and heart, but Europe wins by two points unless Pavin brings Magic, Kareem and James Worthy.
David Dusek, deputy editor, Golf.com: Europe.
Mark Godich, senior editor, Sports Illustrated: In a year when there is no clear-cut favorite for POY, the Ryder Cup will end in a tie, and the debate will start on why there is no playoff at the Ryder Cup.
Van Sickle: Nothing wrong with a tie, in golf or in football. Never heard anyone come up with a remotely plausible plan for a Ryder Cup playoff. Ties are OK.
Ryan Reiterman, senior producer, Golf.com: I’m sticking with the Euros. I think in a close Cup, the home crowd is worth an extra point.
Mike Walker, senior editor, Golf Magazine: Europe. The home field will count for a lot. Plus, I know the captain stuff gets overplayed, but Monty will have the Europeans playing as a true team. That loony Captain Ahab stuff, like sound-proofing the team room, is going to work.
Farrell Evans, writer-reporter, Sports Illustrated: Europe wins because it’s on their home turf, despite Tiger’s going 5-0 in the matches.
Jim Herre, managing editor, SI Golf Group: I’m sticking with my original pick, Europe, not that I’m happy about it. There’s something about Cap’n Corey that gives me pause. And the best Americans have been in and out all year. I look at the Europeans and see more consistency. Of course, Gary is right — it always comes down to the putting. (What golf tournament doesn’t?) I hope it’s a tight match, and would love to see an upset. But I’d take a tie, for sure.
Jeff Ritter, senior producer, Golf.com: I’ll take the Euros by a point. In other words, it’ll be slightly less dramatic than the recent SI Golf/Golf Magazine match play event, but with more television coverage.
Rick Lipsey, writer-reporter, Sports Illustrated: USA, thanks to Tiger’s dramatic play in team and singles matches. After a year of blah, it will end back where it was before the fire hydrant crash.