The Ryder Cup is here! If you’ve missed anything this year, we are here to help with a quick update on how each player’s game is shaping up heading into this week’s matches.
Rory McIlroy – Hot
McIlroy is $10 million dollars richer after his second victory in his past three starts at the Tour Championship. Since McIlroy made the switch back to a Scotty Cameron putter he has regained his edge and low-scoring ability.
Henrik Stenson – Lukewarm
Stenson has been hobbled recently by a bum knee but was simmering in late summer. This could be a huge break for the American’s as I think it would be unlikely to see more than one match per day from Stenson if his knee is still bothering him.
Danny Willett – Warm
Willett was red hot in the spring which culminated with his Masters title. Following his major breakthrough, he struggled a bit. Recently, his form has been trending upward, highlighted by his second place finish at the Italian Open.
Justin Rose – Lukewarm
Rose’s year and recent play was highlighted by his Olympic win, where he outdueled Ryder Cup teammate, Stenson, for the gold medal. After the Olympics, Rose was good but not great, making the cut in all four FedEx Cup events he qualified for, but only registering a t24th as his best finish.
Sergio Garcia – Cold
Last seen taking his frustration out on his putter, Sergio’s form is a long way from earlier in the season when he finished in the top 5 in four straight starts. Given his incredible Ryder Cup record, I wouldn’t read too much into his recent poor play.
Rafa Cabrera-Bello – Hot
It’s been a breakout year for the other Spaniard, Cabrera-Bello. He made the cut at all four majors and has been stellar recently with two top 5 finishes in his past four starts. The one glaring hole in the Ryder Cup rookies resume is a win, as the long-hitter has struggled late on Sundays.
Andy Sullivan – Cold
With missed cuts in three of his past four starts, I would bet that Sullivan is coming into this week’s matches a little low on confidence. The Ryder Cup rookie made the team because of his stellar 2015 season in which he notched three victories. However, this year has been a different story.
Chris Wood – Lukewarm
The tallest player in the field, Wood earned his spot on the European team via his win at the European Tour’s flagship event, the BMW PGA Championship. His recent form has been ok with made cuts in each of his last four events, but watch out if his putter gets hot.
Matt Fitzpatrick – Warm
The youngest player on the European team comes into this week’s matches in strong form with two top 10’s in his past four starts. Fitzpatrick is a star in the making and was able to win the Nordea Masters earlier in the year. It will be interesting to watch how the youngster handles his first Ryder Cup.
Lee Westwood – Lukewarm
After an average 2015 campaign, it looked as though Westwood was ready to ride into mediocrity, but a switch to putting guru Phil Kenyon spurred a resurgence in the veteran. Westwood’s season is highlighted by his near miss at Augusta and strong play at the U.S. Open. Recently, Westwood’s play has been mediocre, but his 4th place finish three weeks ago hints that he will be ready to go by Friday.
Martin Kaymer – Warm
The stoic German has had a solid 2016 and hasn’t missed a cut in his last 16 events. Kaymer has historically been a killer in the Ryder Cup and looks to be ready to go, with two top 10 finishes in his past four starts.
Thomas Pieters – Hot
The former University of Illinois standout has been stellar as of late, finishing 4th at the Olympics, 2nd at the Czech Masters and 1st at the Made In Denmark, three of his past four starts. The long-hitting Belgian has the potential to be a Ryder Cup force.
Dustin Johnson – Hot
Outside of his weekend struggle at the Tour Championship, there isn’t much to critique. Johnson has been the best player on the planet the last 3 months, and I would look for that to continue this week at the Ryder Cup.
Jordan Spieth – Lukewarm
While Spieth’s 2016 season was nowhere near his 2015 performance, it was still solid with two wins and a near miss at the Masters. Spieth was very consistent during the FedEx Cup, racking up top 25s in all four events. Could everything come together this week?
Patrick Reed – Hot
Mr. America was on the Ryder Cup bubble heading into the FedEx Cup playoffs, but took care of his spot by winning the first event of the postseason, The Barclays. Reed was the star of the last Ryder Cup for the Americans as the then rookie went undefeated and shushed the European crowd…
Brandt Snedeker – Lukewarm
Snedeker has had a few good finishes of late with a t3rd at the Wyndham and a t5th at the RBC, but was just average during the FedEx Cup. Snedeker’s a great putter but his ball-striking can been a little sporadic.
Zach Johnson – Cold
Johnson made this year’s team due to his win at last year’s Open Championship. 2016 was the first year that Johnson failed to register a win for the first time since 2011 and his best finish was a 5th in April. Things weren’t good in the FedEx Cup either as Johnson’s best finish was a t42nd.
Phil Mickelson – Lukewarm
Phil put on one of the best performances of the season at the Open Championship but since he has been good not great. Mickelson had a good finish at the Barclays to start the playoffs but struggled in Boston and Atlanta. Hopefully, Sunday’s back nine, 29 is a sign of things to come for the Americans.
Brooks Koepka – Lukewarm
The Ryder Cup rookie had a solid 2016 campaign but failed to register a win. Koepka possesses all the tools to be an elite player and has a competitive edge that could help during this week’s matches. Recently, Koepka has struggled, failing to make the Tour Championship which could be a bright spot as it will give his ankle more rest before this week’s matches.
Rickie Fowler – Cold
Outside of his t7th at the Barclays, Fowler has been a mediocre PGA Tour player in 2016. Fowler’s usually reliable putter has been the issue as the pseudo-superstar failed to make the Tour Championship in the year that he was supposed to join Day, Spieth and McIlroy as the elite players in the game.
Matt Kuchar – Warm
Mr. Consistent registered 11 top 10 finishes in 25 starts in 2016. While Kuchar won’t wow you with long drives, he will keep the ball in play and shoot good numbers. Expect Kuchar to play early and often at Hazeltine and his recent form is solid, highlighted by a 4th place finish at the BMW.
Jimmy Walker – Warm
Jimmy’s 2016 lacked the early season wins we have become accustomed to, but it did include a big win at the PGA Championship in August. Understandably, Walker struggled after his major win but put together strong finishes at the Deutsche Bank and BMW during the FedEx Cup.
J.B. Holmes – Lukewarm
While Holmes recent play has been just average, his driving ability should be a big asset at the lengthy Hazeltine setup. Holmes’ FedEx Cup run was highlighted by his t4th finish at the BMW, a setup that should be similar to that of Hazeltine.
Ryan Moore – Hot
The final Captain’s Pick was a much debated topic, but in the end, Love made the right call snagging Moore after his tough playoff loss to McIlroy at the Tour Championship. Moore has been ridiculously good the past few weeks registering a win at the John Deere and racking up three top 10s in the four FedEx Cup events.