Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Europe golfer Rory McIlroy shakes hands with United States golfer Justin Thomas on the 15th hole during the Ryder Cup Saturday afternoon matches at Le Golf National.
- Europe holds a 10-6 of the U.S. after Day 2 of the 2018 Ryder Cup with singles matches on tap for Sunday.
- Jason Sobel predicts two U.S. veterans pulling off wins in their respective sessions, leading to a down-to-the-wire final match on Day 3.
SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France — Back in 1999, with his U.S. team trailing Europe by a score of 10-6 on Saturday night, captain Ben Crenshaw wagged his finger, looked toward the TV cameras at the back of the room and famously said, “I’m going to leave y’all with one thought. I’m a big believer in fate. I have a good feeling about this.”
The rest is history. His team won the next day. Eleven years later, with his own team in a similar situation, down 9.5-6.5, Corey Pavin didn’t quite employ the same motivational tactics.
In his news conference the night before the singles session, I tried to spoon feed him the line, asking if he had a good feeling. He replied, “You know, Ben’s Ben and I’m me. I’m going to put the guys out in the order that I think gives us best chance to win. They have to go out and perform and play, and if they do, I think we have a chance.”
The rest of this one is also history. His team lost the next day.
Twelve of the world’s best golfers, competing for country and pride, shouldn’t need to be inspired to arrive at Le Golf National on Sunday and try to match the record for greatest final-day comeback in Ryder Cup history.
But it also couldn’t hurt for captain Jim Furyk to have a solid rallying cry prepared for his guys.
The Americans will enter Sunday’s singles session trailing 10-6. Do they have a chance? Absolutely. A good chance? Well … let’s break ’em all down and see.
Match 1: Justin Thomas (USA) vs. Rory McIlroy (EUR)
Odds: Thomas -125, McIlroy -105
It’s really too bad both captains didn’t put a decent player into the first spot in this blind draw, huh? Really, though, what a match to kick things off.