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Expert Picks: European Man of Match
The PGATOUR.COM experts take their stab at picking who will end the weekend as the shining star for the Europeans in the 37th Ryder Cup.
PGATOUR.COM Interactive Producer
Pick: Graeme McDowell
He's got seven top-10 finishes on the European Tour in 2008, including two wins. He's one of four rookies on the European side and appears to be the kind of guy that gets along with everyone. That's a huge asset to possess when it comes to team competition. The Europeans have mastered that in recent years.
PGATOUR.COM Editorial Coordinator
Pick: Ian Poulter
No one is more shrouded in controversy entering this Ryder Cup than Ian Poulter. First he caught flak for choosing to play in the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup over playing in Europe to likely earn a spot on Nick Faldo's team. Then -- and, granted, this wasn't entirely his fault -- he was chosen as a Captain's pick over fan favorites and Ryder Cup veterans Darren Clarke and Colin Montgomerie. Poulter was runner-up at the British Open earlier this year and the flamboyant Englishman also has Ryder Cup experience to boot. He won once and lost once in 2004 but relished the opportunity to represent Europe then and is equally as excited this time around. If he can use the controversy as motivation, he'll do very well at Valhalla.
Pick: Padraig Harrington
For the Europeans, I like Paddy, who always rises to the moment, Lee Westwood who will set the tone -- he's really funny, in case you didn't know, as is Paul Casey -- and Sergio, who may be the next Mr. Ryder Cup. (Monty, of course, holds that title emeritus).
Pick: Justin Rose
Rose will be pumped to show he belongs on the side. I think the rookie's game is made for the format.
Pick: Oliver Wilson
On the European side I think that Oliver Wilson will be the biggest surprise. I didn't even know that Luke and Owen had a brother playing on the European Tour but I sure do like their movies. I wonder who they will be rooting for. Oh, I just heard that Oliver Wilson was not related to the movie star Wilsons. Then I suppose the biggest surprise of the matches is that he is on the team.
Host, PGA TOUR Today
Pick: Graeme McDowell
McDowell won twice this summer on the European Tour and had an impressive week at the British Open (T19) the week after his win at the Barclays Scottish Open. He also finished tied for 15th at the PGA Championship in August. This Ryder Cup rookie is a star to watch. Plus, he's got his fellow Irishman Padrig Harrington with him.
The Fantasy Insider
Pick: Ian Poulter
I'm expecting Poulter to play superbly on the other side. His British Open run builds confidence, as does his selection to the European Team by Nick Faldo.
PGATOUR.COM Chief of Correspondents
Pick: Paul Casey
Padraig Harrington and Sergio Garcia are the obvious choices and I expect big things from both of them. Harrington thrives under pressure and Garcia has made the Ryder Cup his passion, as Seve Ballesteros and Colin Montgomerie before him. The intent here, though, is to choose someone you might not expect, and my vote goes to Paul Casey. I think the Englishman is playing well right now, and his 3-1-2 record in two previous Ryder Cups is more than steady.
PGATOUR.COM Senior Correspondent
Pick: Miguel Jimenez
Jimenez, aka "the mechanic," is an ace in the hole who won't wilt under the pressure.
PGA TOUR Productions Fantasy Insider
Pick: Henrik Stenson
The icy, emotionless Swede has the ideal temperament to withstand the crucible of the Ryder Cup; a quiet assassin who delivers his best performances in the biggest events against the strongest competition. Check out Stenson's tie for fourth at the PGA Championship and the tie for third at the Open Championship. You probably didn't even remember that he was in the hunt at both majors. Stenson's third place finish at the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship earlier this year was in defense of his title in 2007, confirming his penchant for eyeball to eyeball match play. You think caddie Fanny Sunesson might have a few inspirational Nick Faldo Ryder Cup pearls to impart?