The Ryder Cup starts on Friday September 28 to Sunday 30 and as usual, the game which is usually noted for its sportsmanship and gentile politeness, even stuffy reserve, will descend into the competitive hooligan spirit of the beer-guzzling sports fan with crowds roaring 'USA USA!' and, in response, 'Europe, Europe!'. Swide can't wait, 'GET IN THE HOLE!'
It's like for two years the golfing world suppresses all emotion and then, the usually comfortable bedfellows of world golf, Europe and the USA, turn on each other with gleeful abandon. There's nothing so vicious, so gloriously entertaining as watching two family members turn on each other, or say, watching a couple air their dirty linen in public and let each other have it at a dinner party. This is the mood at the Ryder Cup.
The Orange Order: Team Europe
Illinois’ Medinah Country Club will host the biggest event in golf with team captains Davis Love III and José Maria Olazábal doing battle over three days. The Medinah has never hosted the Ryder Cup before but has 5 Major championships to its name.
13 Shades of Grey: Team USA
Flying flag for Europe again is Italy's Francesco Molinari who has proved himself to be a consistent performer in the competition and one of those invaluable assets during the weekend of just a great team player. He is one of the most consistent golfers in Europe and will make a good pairing with any of the more big game hunter golfers while his different Italian charm will be needed to diffuse any internal tensions that may be lurking between players who spend the rest of their time fighting hand to hand.
Being on the winning team Europe at Celtic Manor in 2010, when he played with his brother Edoardo (who misses this time due to a wrist injury) will surely be an experience that will stand to him. The Europeans will find a hostile American crowd at Medinah, the USA Team has made a big thing of calling on the fans to be the 'thirteenth man' for the team and the vociferous fans will get well behind them, you can be sure. Playing through a rain-drenched British course is a very different experience that on US pristine turf with a vocal home support. There is no love lost when it comes to the Ryder Cup.
Capitain Team Europe Jose Maria Olazabal
Whereas in the recent past, Europe had come with a game plan of 'catch the Tiger' meaning that if they targeted the USA's best player you would wound the beast, but this time the number one golfer in the world plays in Europe and Rory McIlroy is a 'marked man' according to Jim Furyk and the US will look to puncture his somewhat callow sense of belief. McIlroy though thrives on the other side of the Atlantic and he may just be cocky enough to play through it, his form is fearsome at the moment.
Captain Team USA Davis Love III
For those unfamiliar with the form of the competition it will start on 28th September teeing off at 14:20 (CET). Over the three days 28 matches will be played in three different forms.
Two verses two. Each golfer plays alternate shots n the hole and the team with the lowest score for each hole takes the points. If it's level they get half a point each.
Again two versus two, but each player plays his own ball with four balls being played on every hole. The lowest score per team is counted for each team and the lowest wins the hole and the points.
One on one. Two players from opposing teams play their own balls and the player who wins more holes wins the head to head. The player wins when he is up by more holes than there are to play.
Rory McIlroy is a 'marked man' at the 2012 Ryder Cup
By Hugo Mc Cafferty