Furyk and the American Ryder Cup team red hot at FedEx Cup, but Euros well rested
In 2008, it was Jim Furyk’s singles match 2 & 1 victory over Miguel Angel Jimenez that clinched the Ryder Cup for the Americans.
If that memory doesn’t give Furyk some added confidence heading into Wales this week, his win at the Tour Championship over European team member Luke Donald will. The Americans are red hot coming into Celtic Manor. Three of the four players to win the recent FedEx Cup events are on the American side (Furyk, Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar).
However, the Europeans enter better rested. Donald was the only team member competing in the Tour Championship. At the BMW Championship two weeks ago, he was joined only by Ian Poulter and Rory McIlroy. That’s left the rest of the team to either rest or compete in Europe. The European Tour’s Vivendi Cup over the weekend had just one Euro team member in the field: Padraig Harrington (T-8).
Europe’s top-ranked player, Lee Westwood, has been out with an injury since the British Open and hasn’t competed in seven weeks. At this morning’s captain’s press conference, Colin Montgomerie sounded confident Westwood is ready to go.
“I’ve been following his progress very much over the last month,” said Montgomerie. “And I’m so glad that he’s played 36 holes over the weekend within a day, so he can cope with that all together. He’s been playing a lot of golf, a lot of practice. So there’s no worries with our fitness with our team at all.”
Two years ago at Valhalla, Harrington was wrapping up a monster 2008 season that included wins at both the Open Championship and PGA Championship. He admitted he was gassed at the Ryder Cup en route to an 0-3-1 record. With Kuchar, Furyk and Johnson tied up in heated competition the past month for $10 million, are they up for another grueling week under even more intense pressure?
If there is a candidate on the US squad likely to flame out, it’s Kuchar. At the BMW Championship, he was battling a virus, and at the Tour Championship, he finished 25th out of 30 competitors and failed to break par in a round.
So heading into three days of pressure-packed competition, is it better to be on fire - or simply rested?
And if you’re more concerned with where to golf in Wales than the Ryder Cup itself, click here for our recent feature on golf in and around Wales.
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