Look at Saturday’s Fourball matches

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

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What to look for on Saturday

Most importantly Tom Watson has to make sure that these matches don’t get out of hand. 5-3 is not that bad but if the European teams does it again and wins Saturday’s matches 5-3, that means 10-6 going into the finals, very little chance of winning. Now the Europeans were 10-6 behind last year and made up on the singles, but nobody wants this to happen.

I have to think that on Saturday, we won’t see Phil Mickelson play in both sessions, that backfired on Friday. In looking at the fourball pairings for Saturday morning, Phil is sitting and a big surprise, Sergio Garcia is also sitting. Some very shocking news from Nick Faldo on Golf Channel today, he said that Sergio was “useless” in his contribution in the 2008 Ryder Cup. He also said Garcia had a bad attitude as the Spaniard lost twice and halve two matches in the European defeat. Sorry, Faldo really didn’t have to go there and drag up old battle scars.

So let’s look at the fourball matches for Saturday.

Match one has the winning combination of Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson against Bubba Watson and Matt Kuchar. Sorry but Watson is playing bad and Kuchar wasn’t much help today so I have to chalk this up as a easy win for the Europeans. In looking at Captain Watson’s pairings it seems he has put his two shaky teams on top and those that have played well on the bottom.

In match two, Watson has Jim Furyk and Hunter Mahan going against Jamie Donaldson and Lee Westwood. For Furyk he can get a bit of redemption as he was on the losing side in his foresomes match today against Westwood and Donaldson, but can he do it with Hunter Mahan who will be his 16th different partner in Ryder Cup play. Gosh, we still can’t find him a partner other than maybe Tiger who he was 2-2-0 with Jim. We have to be realistic and Furyk/Mahan has to be win tomorrow. Watson will lose that first match and he can’t lose any more. Donaldson and Westwood didn’t play like superstars on Friday, so I can see Furyk and Mahan slipping by them.

In match three things start looking a little brighter for Captain Watson. He puts Patrick Reed with Jordan Spieth out against Thomas Bjorn and Martin Kaymer. I thought that European pairing would be good but they halve their match with Rickie Fowler and Jimmy Walker so you have to think that Reed and Spieth could win this.

The same in the fourth match as Walker and Fowler will play Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter. This will be a great match and I can see it go down to 18. Who will win, this is a toss up but the advantage goes to Rory and Ian. Still many think this would be an important match for the Americans to win.

Despite the Europeans having a strong lead, nothing really matters after the first day. Still we want to see the Americans catch up and they could do it with their morning fourball pairings.

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