Experts' Ryder Cup predictions

BY foxsports • September 26, 2012

We are less than 48 hours from the first tee ball being hit at Medinah Country Club, and there are plenty of opinions in the room about who has the advantage in the Ryder Cup.

Does the Americans' length off the tee make them the favorites? Or do the Europeans just want this more? Our staff of experts took a few moments to offer their predictions.

Jeff Babineau: U.S. 15, Europe 13

Take away Justin Leonard's Hail Mary putt at Brookline in 1999, and we're looking at Europe winning seven of the past eight Ryder Cups, which is startling when one considers how closely matched in talent these teams appear to be. Not a single player on the U.S. team has a winning record in this competition, but U.S. players seem to be in good form, a handful are putting quite well, and the modern-day tradition of losing begins to reverse at Medinah. Expect the 13th man (home crowd) to play a significant role.

Jim McCabe: Europe 15, U.S. 13

This is their show, their lifeblood, their everything. They're good at it — very, very good at it — they live for it and their immense love for their captain is real and genuine and stretches forever, not just for this one week because they have to. They will pour their hearts out for Jose Maria Olazabal. Having the best player in the world doesn't hurt, nor does having a few guys who not only excel at foursomes, but they also enjoy the format.

Jeff Rude: U.S. 15, Europe 13

More American players seem to be in form. Medinah is a bomber's paradise, and the Yanks have more bombers. And it helps playing on home soil. What's more, Tiger Woods hasn't been on a winning Ryder team since the 1990s. You might say he's due.

Sean Martin: U.S. 15, Europe 13

I like the parallels between this and Valhalla. We're in Middle America, on a course set up for plenty of birdies. Yes, we lost in 2010 and are only 2-5 after 1999, but the tide seems to be turning since the dismal years of 2002-06, when the United States lost by a combined, 52.5-31.5. The Americans won in 2008 and lost by just a point last time in Wales, in an event whose schedule was drastically impacted by weather.

Nick Masuda: U.S. 15, Europe 13

Call me a homer, but I think the U.S. has the firepower — and deadly putters — to pull this one off and keep the Ryder Cup here in the U.S. for a couple of years. Bubba Watson, Tiger Woods and Dustin Johnson give the U.S. a gigantic edge off the tee at Medinah, which rewards the longball. I think the U.S. will make a big move on Friday and Saturday, giving the Americans a three-point lead and allowing them to relax just a bit come Sunday singles, when every man must putt for himself.

Alistair Tait: Europe 14.5, U.S. 13.5

You'd expect me to say that, given I'm European. However, like the last match, this one will be close, too. In fact, so close it could just as easily be the other way around. British bookmaker William Hill is offering odds of 10-1 on a tie, and that looks pretty attractive. I'm stumping for Europe to edge it, though. I think they want it just that little bit more than the U.S. players, and that might make the difference.

Adam Schupak: U.S. 14.5, Europe 13.5

This time the American team has enough magic on the greens to silence the cheers of "Ole! Ole! Ole!" Steve Stricker, Zach Johnson and Brandt Snedeker will make their share of clutch putts. Captain Davis Love III has set up Medinah for bashers such as Dustin Johnson, Bubba Watson and Tiger Woods to blast away at will. Matt Kuchar and Webb Simpson will kill them with kindness, and Jason Dufner will prove to be the silent assassin. Jim Furyk will attempt to match his unblemished record at last year’s Presidents Cup while Keegan Bradley will bring youthful exuberance. What will Phil do next? Mickelson and his U.S. teammates will hoist the Cup come Sunday.


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