Thursday 21 September 2017

Player-by-player Analysis

Karl McGinty

Graeme McDowell

NOBODY in pro golf right now is stronger than McDowell down the stretch when it really, truly counts. Europe’s ‘Man of Iron’ must be a real contender for ‘Sportstar of the Year’ on both sides of the Irish Sea after his match-clinching displays at Pebble Beach and Celtic Manor.

Points: 2.5 from 4

Lee Westwood

STUNNING! That’s the only word to adequately describe Westwood’s impact after eight weeks out with injury. He ran out of steam on the back nine of Monday’s singles with Steve Stricker, but he was a true leader on and off the course.

Points: 2.5 from 4

Ian Poulter

ENGLISH golf’s strutting peacock is a bird of a different colour at the Ryder Cup. Poulter is passionate, fearless and defiant. This inspirational figure is growing into Europe’s ‘New Monty’.

Points: 3 from 4

Miguel Angel Jimenez

DESCRIBED by Padraig Harrington as ‘the heart of the team’, Jimenez is blessed with a 46-year-old’s ability to see golf in its true perspective yet he plays with the passion of a young man. What a character!

Points: 2 from 3

Luke Donald

PROBABLY the finest iron-player in golf, Donald tied with Poulter, Stricker and Tiger Woods as top scorer at Celtic Manor, brilliantly overcoming the handicap of being a short player in soggy conditions.

Points: 3 from 4

Rory McIlroy

IT’S tough enough for rookies at the Ryder Cup without the media attention McIlroy endured early last week. If he started nervously, the youngster grew over the weekend and showed true class in taking that critical half point from Stewart Cink on Monday.

Points:2 from 4

Martin Kaymer

GERMANY’S US PGA Champion was blitzed on Monday as Dustin Johnson took revenge for his own misfortune at Whistling Straits with eight birdies in 14 holes. Yet Kaymer performed brightly with Westwood and Poulter.

Points: 2.5 from 4

Ross Fisher

THE ‘3’ Irish Open champion soared under Harrington’s wing on Saturday and Sunday but Fisher’s recent putting woes returned as fellow rookie Jeff Overton ground him down on Monday.

Points: 2 from 4

Padraig Harrington

IRELAND’S triple Major champion laughed out loud when someone described him as Fisher’s “super-caddie”, quipping: “I don’t believe in myself but he believed me.” Though off-key on the course, insiders say Harrington contributed handsomely in the team room.

Points: 2 from 4

Edoardo Molinari

HEARTBROKEN to concede a precious half-point to Rickie Fowler after the 21-year-old finished with four sensational holes on Monday, Edoardo, the elder Molinari, seemed to relish the whiff of Ryder Cup cordite up to that point.

Points:1 from 3

Peter Hanson

PAIRED with Jimenez, Hanson followed in the Spaniard’s slipstream to a fourballs point against Bubba Watson and Overton, but lost the form which won last month’s Czech Open in a mauling from Phil Mickelson on Monday.

Points:1 from 3

Francesco Molinari

THOUGH inch-perfect from tee to green, the younger Molinari struggled with his putter. He led Woods through eight holes on Monday but was savaged when the Tiger of old emerged on the back nine.

Points: 0.5 from 3

Irish Independent

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