Almost there, kids.
If you just woke up from a four-day-long nap and missed the pre-Ryder Cup hype, you’re in luck! We have a few final notes on early-week developments as well as roundups of The Fried Egg’s and other outlets’ preview content.
Also, pairings for the first session have been announced! Let’s go:
Final pre-tournament notes
You wouldn’t want to start the Ryder Cup without being given a few more things to consider, right?
The ol’ switcheroo – While it’s not true that Pete Dye’s creation on Lake Michigan resembles an Irish links, Whistling Straits has seen some linksy weather over the past couple days. Right now, the wind is strong out of the north, but it’s expected to reverse direction for the first day of matches. The players will need to adjust to new landing zones and approach numbers. Shades of 1991 at Kiawah!
Expect the expected – Ever since the 2008 Ryder Cup, the American team has typically relied on the pod system, in which the 12 players are sorted into mini-teams of four. This week, the system has removed much of the suspense about what the U.S. pairings will be. Here are the three quartets, each containing two likely duos:
- Justin Thomas-Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson-Collin Morikawa
- Patrick Cantlay-Xander Schauffele, Bryson DeChambeau-Scottie Scheffler
- Brooks Koepka-Tony Finau, Harris English-Daniel Berger
Brooksy – Speaking on Thursday, Brooks Koepka seemed perturbed that his recent comments about the Ryder Cup were interpreted as negative. “I said [the Ryder Cup] was different,” he explained. “I never said it was bad. Y’all spun it that way.” We recommend rereading the Golf Digest interview in question and discerning his tone for yourself. In any case, if Koepka feels he has something to prove, that’s good news for Team USA.
The little things – There’s a perception that European players enjoy themselves more at the Ryder Cup than the Americans do. That’s probably an overgeneralization, but on Wednesday the Euros showed up on the 1st tee in Packers colors and cheesehead headgear. Did they convert the Wisconsin legions into Team Europe diehards? Doubtful. But it was a simple, fun gesture, and one that probably never crossed the Americans’ minds.
The Fried Egg’s Ryder Cup preview content
Wednesday Notes from the 43rd Ryder Cup – One of our on-site correspondents (Andy) sums up his initial wanderings around Whistling Straits.
One Thing About Every Hole at Whistling Straits – We’ve seen Whistling Straits in stroke-play majors, but how will each hole set up for match play? Andy Johnson offers his insights.
Whistling Straits’ Best Bunkers, Ranked – There are quite a few bunkers at Whistling Straits. Will Knights identifies the ones he expects to be the most influential this week.
Two new Fried Egg pods! First, Andy Johnson and Garrett Morrison discuss the design of Whistling Straits. Second, Lawrence Donegan (@lawrencedonegan) joins Andy to run through five things to watch for at the Ryder Cup.
Some articles we enjoyed
Ben Coley offers a detailed guide to the American and European teams for Sporting Life.
Golfweek’s Eamon Lynch takes aim at the inauthentic Bryson-Brooks video concocted by the U.S. Ryder Cup team.
Just west of Whistling Straits is a barn that turns into a local watering hole during golf tournaments. Golf Digest’s Joel Beall has the full story.
“He’s gone from being a rookie to being ‘The Man’ in the team room.” Golfweek’s Adam Schupak catches up with some European legends to discuss the rise of Jon Rahm.