Imagine Golf Blogs

Excitement and anticipation builds

Fourballs announced for first morning of Ryder Cup

Posted Sep 30, 2010 by Jeff Dawson

Lee Westwood

So there we have it. We now know what the first pairings for the Ryder Cup are and boy, aren’t you excited?! The morning’s fourballs are fantastic. Make no mistake, these matches will be keenly contested and will definitely leave us viewers wanting more.
I’m so excited to be writing this on the eve of the biggest team competition in golf. The anticipation has been building steadily and we’re finally nearing the first tee off tomorrow morning, which pits Europeans Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer against Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson.
That first match says everything about this competition. World number 2, Mickelson, against world number 3, Westwood. USPGA champion Kaymer versus big-hitting Johnson. What more could we ask for?
Then we have Northern Irish duo Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell against Stewart Cink and Matt Kuchar followed by Ian Poulter and Ross Fisher versus Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker. In the final group Padraig Harrington and Luke Donald take on rookies Bubba Watson and Jeff Overton.
These pairings are full of excitement and anticipation from both sides of the pond. Many will feel that both captains have been brave in fielding so many rookies during the first morning’s play. Colin Montgomerie has chosen three first timers whilst Corey Pavin has gone with two.
These showdowns, hopefully in the early morning Welsh sunshine, will no doubt light up Celtic Manor and the crowd will be buzzing.
I feel that the team who starts strongest tomorrow will be the eventual winners. If one side can get a foothold then, with some many rookies, the pressure could be too much for the team who is trailing.
And after seeing these pairings, I’m happy to put my support behind the European team. I was worried before this afternoon’s announcement but I feel Monty has chosen his pairs brilliantly.
Westwood is chomping at the bit to lead from the front and he has got his wish. And his playing partner, Kaymer, is one of the coolest customers on the PGA.
With the pair from Northern Ireland going out next, you can guarantee they will be fired up and desperate to make a strong start.
We have seen several times just what Ian Poulter can offer in these situations and with the big-hitting Fisher by his side they will provide formidable opposition for Woods and Stricker. And with Woods struggling for form, this could easily be the game that is won first! Bold statement but we shall see.
And then finally, Harrington and Donald. Harrington has been firing in practice and looks like he’s keen to prove his worth to the team so I feel this desire plus the technical ability and form Donald has shown recently will blow away the American rookies.
I’m going to go for Europe to be 3-1 up by the end of the fourballs tomorrow morning. Then who knows what can happen! C’mon Europe!

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