Last week, we witnessed some of the fiercest sporting rivalries, with Liverpool taking on Manchester United in the Barclays Premier League at Anfield, and India taking on Pakistan in Sri Lanka ahead of the T20 World Cup.
This week is going to be no different, as we prepare to glue our eyes to the TV as Europe and the United States of America fight it out for the Ryder Cup 2012. This year, the Ryder Cup will be hosted by the US at the picturesque and highly acclaimed Medinah Country Club, Medinah, Illinois, USA. The par 72 Medinah Golf Club has been host to the PGA Championship in the past.
The Ryder Cup has been a very hard-fought tournament between the two giants of golf – USA and Europe. The teams have been decided, the wild cards have been chosen, and it’s time for the showdown to begin. The team USA captain this year is Davis Love III, who has a formidable team this year with the likes of Tiger Woods and Brandt Snedker, who is in great form. Brendt Snedeker is coming off a huge victory after winning the Fedex Cup, where he bagged $11.4 million in prize money, and is raring to go.
Team Europe captain Jose Maria Olazabal has his work cut out, with most of the USA team finishing in the top 20 at the recently held Coca Cola Tour Championship, while only three of his own team members featured in that list. The crowd this year too is going to be no less hostile for the Europeans at Medinah. A large and patriotic US presence will be seen in Illinois from Friday, which is going to test the Europeans. For the past 3 years, we have seen the home team taking home the cup, so if Europeans take the cup this year, it will be a huge victory for them.
More than anything, it has become a matter of pride for both the teams to win the cup. This year is going to be no less entertaining when they face each other. You can be assured to be treated to some of the closest finishes and most dramatic scenes at the east course of Medinah Golf Club.
What would be the most exciting to watch will be a singles match between the world number one Rory McIlroy and number two Tiger Woods. When Colin Montgomerie, the 2010 Ryder Cup captain, was asked about the probable clash, he remarked: “If I were a betting man, my money would be on (a) 14-14 (tie). I honestly think it will be so close there could be nothing to split the teams.”
Rory McIlroy is coming off two back-to-back wins in the Deutsche Bank and the BMW Championship and the major win at the PGA championship, and is looking in full form. The 14-time major winner is looking to prove his matchplay abilities. With the change in the format for the players, it will be exciting to watch them go head-to-head and lead their teams to a historic victory.