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Expert Picks: Who will win?
PGATOUR.COM Interactive Producer
The U.S. will finally win the Ryder Cup for the first time since 1999. At least I think that's what will happen. Why? There's some new blood. Most people think that a roster loaded with six rookies would be a detriment. But, when I look at those rookies I see experience -- Steve Stricker has been around for a long time; I see swagger -- Anthony Kim, J.B. Holmes and Hunter Mahan are three young guns with immense confidence; I see poise under pressure -- Ben Curtis might be one of the most underrated players of this generation; and I see Boo Weekley -- a fun-loving guy who's going to keep whomever he plays with loose. Add to those qualities the veteran leadership of Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk, Stewart Cink, Chad Campbell and hometown favorite Kenny Perry, along with Justin Leonard -- the architect of arguably the greatest shot in Ryder Cup history -- and the Americans finally end the drought.
PGATOUR.COM Editorial Coordinator
The U.S. will finally win for the first time since 1999. Why? The underdog factor. I'm not sure when the mindset actually changed, but they aren't expected to win this competition anymore -- and that will make all the difference. There's no Tiger, so they are even more "behind" from the start, but that will spur on this young team to defy expectations and step up to the plate. Besides, they have local favorite, veteran and one of the summer's hottest golfers in Kenny Perry who, in this case, might be more effective than even Tiger or Captain Paul Azinger at emotionally leading this squad.
Maybe it's that Ike is on the way to my neighborhood. Or I've spent too much time with Ben Crenshaw. I know it's not logic because, on paper, this is Europe's match to lose. Not a good place to be without Darren Clarke on the course and Sir Monty. So watch this U.S. team. If AK sets the tone and they can freewheel it like Justin hopes they will ... the Americans could go out and freewheel it, surprise the heck out of us and have a last-second Phelpsian, er, Brookline finish. Red-white-and-blue? Yes, but not because of that. Fate? Maybe. Law of averages? That too. Just time? There you go. If I'm wrong, then go for it.
Hard to understand why Europe is such a small favorite, given recent dominating history. Much will be made of the United States' inexperience with six Ryder Cup rookies and how they hold up to the must-win pressure should determine the outcome. But don't lose sight of the fact that Europe has four first-timers and two others -- Miguel Angel Jimenez and Robert Karlsson -- haven't exactly knocked the American dead. Still can't get away from the favorite in this spot. Europe, 16, United States 12.
Maybe, just maybe, the U.S. can pull out an upset. Who knew that a win in the 2008 Ryder Cup by the U.S. would be akin to the 1980 Miracle on Ice in terms of an upset. OK, perhaps that is a bit of an exaggeration. Maybe more like the Red Sox coming from three games down to win the ALCS against the Yankees a few years ago. Either way I think that this is the Stars and Stripes' time but it will be close, 15-13
Host, PGA TOUR Today
While Europe has four first-timers on their team, I am looking forward to watching America's six Ryder Cup rookies. Anthony Kim, JB Holmes, Boo Weekley, Ben Curtis, Hunter Mahan and Steve Stricker are all proven winners and exciting to watch when they get fired-up. I'm optimistic that back on American soil, and with the U.S. Team's strong ties to Kentucky, that the fans will play the 13th man and help propel the Americans to victory. It's time to roll the tide.
The Fantasy Insider
It's all about being the underdog in this battle. The U.S., on home soil and more relaxed now that they're not expected to win, will find a way to get it done.
PGATOUR.COM Chief of Correspondents
I would love to see the U.S. win -- it's been too long. But half the team hasn't played in a Ryder Cup team before, and as talented and entertaining as those six are, that's sure to be a factor. Two players playing on home soil will add pressure, too. And as much as we're talking about the U.S. being the underdog, the Europeans believe they are, too. They thrive on that mindset -- particularly in front of a partisan American crowd -- and I fear Nick Faldo's team will end up winning again, although I think it will be close.
PGATOUR.COM Senior Correspondent
The U.S. 15-13. We happen to think Captain Paul Azinger has pulled the right strings and Valhalla will prove to be a friendly American venue as it has been in the past. Plus, we have to believe that European Captain Nick Faldo might have squandered some leadership capital by bypassing the popular Darren Clarke as a wild card pick.
PGA TOUR Productions Fantasy Insider
Six Ryder Cup rookies. A dismal 19-37-17 record among the veterans on the team. Losers in five of the last six matches. Uninspired victims of 9 ½-point European thumpings in the last two matches. The world's best player is on the sidelines. For all those reasons, Zinger's boys are not expected to win, but gut defies logic in this spot. The emotional will of the underdog can be a powerful edge in professional sports. To borrow Ben Crenshaw's Saturday night premonition in 1999; "I've just got a feeling about this. And that's all I'm gonna say."