The singles: James Corrigan's predictions
Monday 04 October 2010
1 Lee Westwood v Steve Stricker
Pavin has resisted putting out Woods first, probably because the Englishman has the Ryder Cup Indian Sign over the world No 1. Stricker will provide sterner opposition for Westwood and, if the US are to have a chance, surely the world No 4 must win.
Prediction: Westwood 2&1.
2 Rory McIlroy v Stewart Cink
The Irishman likes to go off early but is not in-form enough to be entrusted with the lead role. Of course, McIlroy has the talent to turn it on but Cink has proved this week what a redoubtable competitor he was. Cink's putting touch is in and the 2009 Open champion is fancied.
Prediction: Cink 1 hole.
3 Luke Donald v Jim Furyk
Last Sunday these two finished first and second in the Tour Championship in Atlanta and once again the contest should come down to the odd shot. Donald may exact a measure of revenge as he looked in good nick in assisting Westwood yesterday.
Prediction: Donald 2&1.
4 Martin Kaymer v Dustin Johnson
In truth, neither have justified their reputations here. Johnson, in particular, has been awful and Kaymer should realise if he keeps it in play he has a better than even chance of prevailing. But his putter is misfiring and Johnson may sneak through. There will be better games.
Prediction: Johnson 2&1.
5 Ian Poulter v Matt Kuchar
A good match, which will see the combustible Poulter taken on the ultra-calm Kuchar. Poulter feeds off the crowd and, as the World Match Play champion, he must be the favourite to see off a player who must be tired after his FedEx Cup exertions. However, Kuchar is no mug.
Prediction: Poulter 2&1.
6 Ross Fisher v Jeff Overton
Both of these have enjoyed their debut and this should be a highly charged, high-quality encounter. Fisher has impressed these last two days, helping Padraig Harrington to two wins. But Overton is a gutsy competitor who may just manage to keep tabs on the Englishman.
7 Miguel Angel Jimenez v Bubba Watson
Two of the most individual performers in the match and whatever this game may lack in pure technique will more than be made up for in flair and character. Bubba will out-drive the veteran Spaniard by more than 50 yards and that may just be key. If Bubba can keep it straight, that is.
Prediction: Watson 2&1.
8 Francesco Molinari v Tiger Woods
An indication of how far Woods has fallen is that he is hidden way down in eighth place. The opportunity is there for the younger Molinari to emulate his countryman Costantino Rocca who took Woods down in 1997. But Francesco's putting is too big a minus to tip him.
Prediction: Woods 3&2.
9 Edoardo Molinari v Rickie Fowler
The Italian is a fine putter and will be fancied to lower the 21-year-old. Fowler, however, has performed impressively over these past two days and outshone Mickelson in their defeat yesterday. Molinari is favoured to see off his fellow wild card, simply because of his display on the greens.
Prediction: Molinari 2&1.
10 Peter Hanson v Phil Mickelson
Could the Swedish rookie possibly do a Phil Price and bring down the world No 2? No doubt he has a solid enough game and Mickelson is playing erratically enough to make this more than an outside possibility. Hanson can make his name today and deserves to do so.
Prediction: Hanson 3&2.
11 Padraig Harrington v Zach Johnson
The Irishman has recovered from his wobbles in the opening fourballs with tremendous courage. In winning his first matches since the 2004 Cup, he has reminded of his former self. Johnson is a great putter and will pose stiff opposition. Yet the Dubliner has that glint in his eye.
Prediction: Harrington 1hole.
12 Graeme McDowell v Hunter Mahan
The US Open champion is the perfect anchorman in the fact that he will be up for it whatever the scoreboard reads. Should it come down to the final match then McDowell's major experience may prove invaluable. Mahan's display in Valhalla, however, must be kept in mind.
Prediction: McDowell 2&1.
Match score: Europe 16, US 12
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