Although Team USA has the largest lead in a Ryder Cup 2020 since 1975, Butch Harmon is fearful of a recurrence of the Miracle at Medinah and will not dismiss Europe’s prospects of a spectacular comeback.
I made a tremendous error before the start of the singles matches in Medinah when I declared there was no way the Europeans could come back from four points down, and I will never make that mistake again.
So I’m not going to go out on a limb and predict who will win, but I will say that this one is far from finished. Team Europe will prioritise its singles lineup and send their strongest players out first in an attempt to make something happen. And, as we all know, it’s a sport, it’s golf, and it’s never finished until it’s over.
Apart from the score after two days, one of the major contrasts from Medinah this week is that Team USA has six rookies who have never lost a Ryder Cup. They have no idea what it’s like to have scar tissue from being on a losing team.
That’s what I believe the Americans will have to go for them on Sunday, and I’m confident these kids will continue to play well and aggressively. If they can go out and score points in the first few games, the rest of it will be meaningless.
It’s easy to say, but it won’t be easy to do.
This is one of the best Ryder Cup 2020 teams we’ve ever seen, which is unbelievable given how young they are. Yes, half of the team is made up of rookies, but one of those rookies has already won two big championships.
Five of those rookies have won on the PGA Tour, and Patrick Cantlay has just won the FedExCup, so Ryder Cup rookies are a different breed in this day and age. Scottie Scheffler is the only man without a victory, but he’s been playing fantastic golf this week.
This is a young team, the American team’s new breed. The old guard has departed, with Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson now on the sidelines, and they have been replaced by young players who are hungry and ready, and who are accustomed to winning.
A six-point lead can lead to complacency, but I can assure you that there will be no complacency in the American team room. They understand that this is their last chance to reclaim the Ryder Cup and begin a trend of positive performances for Team USA.
They’ve lost nine of their last twelve games, but Captain Stricker is a very cheerful and proud man, and he’s instilled those qualities in his team this week. His guys all look up to him, believe in him, and have proven how excellent they are this week.
It will definitely take a lot for Europe to come back and win this thing, but nothing is impossible, and I will never, ever say they don’t have a chance. If they can pull it off, it will be the greatest comeback in sports history, not just the Ryder Cup.
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