RotoWire Partners

Golf Barometer: Ready for Ryder Cup

David Ferris

David Ferris

Ferris covers the PGA Tour for RotoWire. He is an award-winning sports writer and a veteran fantasy columnist. He also is a scratch golfer.

It's all Ryder Cup, all the time as we get ready for one of the most underrated three days in sports.

UPGRADES


Jim Furyk:
He's fresh off the FedExCup money grab, and he's the ultimate grinder and steadying influence. Furyk is also a natural partner for Tiger Woods, an important point to underline given the bizarre world that golf has become in 2010.

Martin Kaymer:
He's got the game, the temperament and even some experience at Celtic Manor. Just 25, Kaymer might be the best player in the world at some point before the decade is through. You watch him play for a little bit and you think "I can do that;" you stick with him for the afternoon and then you conclude "wait, I could never do that." He's a Ryder Cup rookie, but Colin Montgomerie would be well served to use Kaymer liberally.

Rickie Fowler:
You never know what you're getting from his putter, and it's not like depending on a 21-year-old for anything is a history-backed strategy. But Fowler is too confident to be scared, and you need some nerve like that on your club. He should acquit himself well this weekend.

Rory McIlroy:
The yin to Rickie Fowler's yang, though McIlroy is slightly more experienced and probably has a higher upside. Kids today.

Dustin Johnson:
He's ridiculously long off the tee, underrated on the greens, and steady in the mind - he doesn't dwell over his mistakes or his Sunday crash-landings. I'll be surprised if he's not an asset to the US team.

Graeme McDowell
You know all about his U.S. Open win but don't forget that he won the Celtic Manor Wales Open, too. He carded a T3 at the Austrian Open last week. He's ready, and he's going to have a winning record.

Ian Poulter:
Match-play and international rivalry was made with this sort of player in mind: passionate, aggressive, the nerve of a burglar on the green. Poulter's star rose at the last Ryder Cup when he was a surprising but validated Captain's Pick; this time around, we all know he deserves to be on the stage.

DOWNGRADES


Stewart Cink:
He's been a regular Captain's Pick to this shindig, but what are you really getting? He recorded just one win in 2004 and 2006. Not your finest moment, Corey Pavin.

Jeff Overton:
He gave us a legitimate breakout year, but you'd like to see him showing some form late in the season. Overton hasn't contended since the second week of August, and he looked tired during the FedExCup cycle.

Paddy Harrington:
He got on this team because of his name-brand recognition, not from anything he's shown this year. I would have opted for Paul Casey or Justin Rose, but Monty didn't ring me before he made his picks.

THE GREAT UNKNOWN


Tiger Woods:
At the end of the day, Corey Pavin really had no choice - he had to pick Woods. But does Tiger want to be here? He's never been one to buy into the rah-rah camaraderie stuff, and Woods showed no interest in the last Ryder Cup when knee problems knocked him out. Honestly, this one could go either way.

PREDICTION

Europe wins. While the Yanks would certainly like to win this thing, you get the idea Europe has to have it. And while you don't want to make too much of the captains - they're not striking a single ball, after all - Colon Montgomerie's personality seems like a better fit for this sort of thing. He'll gladly be the lightning rod for the press, while his men can go out and focus on playing.