Pick, don't bet on U.S.
I'll pick the Stars and Stripes.
You can justify the pick like this: Even though the Americans have lost four straight on the road, they've won two of their last three in the land of the free. Plus Tiger Woods is to Chicago golf what pre-busted Lance Armstrong was to the Tour de France. Woods won the last two majors played at Medinah.
But the Europeans have the better putters (Luke Donald, Rory McIlroy, Ian Poulter) and the whole team unity thing that helps them in alternate shot and best ball.
So if you gave me $1 million and told me I had to throw it on the favored Americans (-150) or underdog Euros (+125), I'd say: Ole ole ole ole.
Snedeker lifts Yanks
Predicting Sunday's final score at Medinah might be easier than picking the winner. Let's call it 14 1/2 to 13 1/2, same as two years ago in Wales.
The underdog almost always plays above its rank in these matches — and with every golfer among the world's 35 best, there's no true underdog.
The result tilts on how America's young guns contend with Europe's established duos. Sergio Garcia and Luke Donald are 4-0 as a tandem; Ian Poulter/Justin Rose went 2-1 in Europe's loss at Valhalla. Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell are major champions.
But we'll go with the planet's hottest putter — Brandt Snedeker — and a loud lift from the home crowd. Put Team USA next to that winning number.
Yanks have more depth
The Europeans are 4-1 in the last five Ryder Cups. Sunday they'll be 4-2. This Ryder Cup isn't in Ireland or Spain. The Americans will be energized by the fans and spirit outside of Chicago.
The U.S. has the hottest player and best putter going in FedEx Cup champion Brandt Snedeker. The Euros do have the world's No. 1 player, Rory McIlroy.
Though the Euros barely won the last cup, the U.S. didn't have Tiger Woods. He's back and motivated. The U.S. has more depth and fewer question marks than the Euros.
Lee Westwood said, "At the end of the day, it's who holes the most putts."
That will be the Americans, who'll drink champagne Sunday.
Too much pressure on U.S.
Los Angeles Times
Europe will win the Ryder Cup because it isn't supposed to.
This event has become one that is all about pressure. The U.S., in a slump when it comes to winning this coveted little metal piece, is at home, at Medinah near Chicago, on U.S. Central Time, and with U.S. surroundings.
People who formally pick the outcomes of such things — as opposed to this informal chatter — have made the U.S. the favorite.
And come Sunday, when the expectations are called in, it will be only natural for the clubs to be gripped tighter and the muscles to be a bit more tense on those who play for the team that is supposed to win.
Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun