Tiger Woods will go off first for Team USA on Sunday at Oakland Hills Country Club. (Photo: Getty Images)
Sunday pairings an orderly list for Team USA
Hal Sutton's team will take to the first tee Sunday in the order that they qualified for the team, from No. 1 points winner Tiger Woods through captain's pick Stewart Cink.
Don Jozwiak, PGA.com Contributor
September 18, 2004
BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. -- Team USA Captain Hal Sutton told his team they had a chance to make history at the 35th Ryder Cup Matches. If they don't turn in a singles performance for the ages on Sunday, the Cup will return to Europe on Monday with Team Europe.
Sutton's team faces a record 11-5 deficit after two days of four-ball and foursome matches. Team USA has a history of winning big in the singles matches. But Team Europe can win small -- just three points of the 12 available on Sunday -- and still retain the Ryder Cup.
Sutton's team will take to the first tee at Oakland Hills Country Club in the order that they qualified for the team, from No. 1 points winner Tiger Woods through captain's pick Stewart Cink. Woods will tee off against European rookie Paul Casey at Noon ET in Sunday's first singles match, while Cink will anchor the team in the final match against Paul McGinley -- who struck the putt that clinched the Ryder Cup for Europe in 2002.
Making his lineup according to points ranking allowed Sutton to front-load Team USA's pairing sheet with its three top players: Woods, Phil Mickelson and Davis Love III. None have played consistently well this week, but Sutton needs to get points in a hurry on Sunday to keep his slim hopes for a victory alive.
Team Europe Captain Bernhard Langer has spread his top players throughout his lineup.
Here's a look at each singles match (all times EDT):
Noon: Tiger Woods vs. Paul Casey
Woods has a legendary reputation in singles match play, including his amazing amateur career and his consecutive victories in the World Match Play Championship. But he's only 1-1-1 in three Ryder Cup singles matches. Casey also had a stellar match-play record as an amateur, and he looked solid in his Ryder Cup debut on Saturday. Woods needs to win this match to energize the U.S. galleries and pump up his teammates. If Casey wins, Team Europe can start the team plane and pack up the Cup.
12:11 p.m.: Phil Mickelson vs. Sergio Garcia
Mickelson is 3-1-0 in Ryder Cup singles play, but that one loss was a stunner to Phillip Price at the Belfry in 2002. Garcia has looked very strong this week, while Mickelson has been far from the form that helped him finish 1-2-3 in the first three majors of the year.
12:22 p.m.: Davis Love III vs. Darren Clarke
Clarke has never won a Ryder Cup singles match, but he did win the World Match Play Championship in 2000. Love is 3-1-1 in Ryder Cup singles play, but he has been more down than up this week. Team USA needs Love to step up and play the way he did during practice rounds, when he was hitting the ball with authority.
12:33 p.m.: Jim Furyk vs. David Howell
Furyk is undefeated in Ryder Cup singles matches, but he has been very inconsistent since his return from wrist surgery earlier this year. He's a grinder who won't give up on a match even if he falls behind early. Howell is another fearless Ryder Cup rookie with a wealth of match play experience as an amateur. He has little experience playing in the U.S., so this match will test his mettle.
12:44 p.m.: Kenny Perry vs. Lee Westwood
An intriguing matchup. 44-year-old rookie Perry is a birdie machine when he's on his game. But he's been struggling of late and has only played one match this week. Westwood has looked good all week, but he has yet to win a Ryder Cup singles match in three tries. This is a good chance for him to break that streak.
12:55 p.m.: David Toms vs. Colin Montgomerie
Toms is a determined competitor who outlasted Garcia in a Ryder Cup singles match in 2002. He looked good playing with Mickelson on Saturday. Montgomerie was the star of the first day of the Matches, but faded badly on Saturday. His 4-0-2 Ryder Cup singles record speaks for itself. If Monty's making putts, he's tough to beat.
1:06 p.m.: Chad Campbell vs. Luke Donald
Two rookies who are having vastly different Ryder Cup initiations. Campbell has looked lost on the course at times this week, while Donald has played like an old pro. Sutton hopes singles play suits Campbell better than team play, but Donald's won twice this summer and is a heavy favorite in this matchup.
1:17 p.m.: Chris DiMarco vs. Miguel Angel Jimenez
DiMarco provided a spark for Team USA on Friday, but couldn't repeat the feat on Saturday. His intensity makes him an excellent candidate to win a point despite being a Ryder Cup rookie. Jimenez lost his only previous Ryder Cup singles match, but his unassuming game has few weaknesses.
1:28 p.m.: Fred Funk vs. Thomas Levet
If Team USA still has a chance when this match hits the course, Funk may whip the crowd into a frenzy. He doesn't have a stellar match play record, but he grinds on every single hole and puts pressure on his opponents with relentlessly accurate driving. Levet has struggled this week, missing several short putts on Saturday. Both players are Ryder Cup rookies.
1:39 p.m.: Chris Riley vs. Ian Poulter
Another battle of Ryder Cup freshmen. Poulter made it to the quarterfinals of this year's World Match Play Championship, beating Riley in the first round. Riley is playing well this week, though, and his wife -- who gave birth to their first child just weeks ago -- is flying in to watch this match. Never go against the family.
1:50 p.m.: Jay Haas vs. Padraig Harrington
Sutton would be thrilled if this match is meaningful. Haas is 0-2-0 in Ryder Cup singles, including a memorable 1-up loss to Phillip Walton in 1995 at Oak Hill. At 50, this will be his fourth match in three days, and he faded on Saturday. Harrington is 2-0-0 in Ryder Cup singles and is on top of his game. Haas is a heavy underdog here.
2:01 p.m. Stewart Cink vs. Paul McGinley
McGinley closed out Team USA in 2002 by halving his singles match with Furyk. He's played well this week, but he may not need to. Team Europe's large lead means that Team USA needs a miracle to get to this match without having lost three points over the previous 11 pairings. But if it does come down to Cink needing to win for his team, he's as good a choice as any. He's the only member of Team USA to win a PGA Tour event since May, having won the WCG-NEC Invitational. If Team USA is still afloat, Cink could the man that fulfills Sutton's desire to make history.