By Jason Bruno
Chaska, Minnesota - It's won't be long before the 41st Ryder Cup matches begin at Hazeltine Golf Club.
There is no better drama in golf and perhaps in sports than these matches between the United States
and Europe. If you're an American pulling for the stars and stripes you've been disappointed in the
result of 8 of the last 10 editions of Samuel Ryder's creation that started out as a friendly exhibition
between America and Great Britain. In 1953, Ireland and it's players were included in an effort to
make the matches more evenly contested, but the addition of the republic had virtually no impact
on the result. America continued it's winning ways.
During those years, the results were already known before the first tee shot was struck. When the
rest of continental Europe and it's players came into the fold in 1979, it all changed. In the 18
matches since European golfers have taken part, Europe has won 10, U.S 7 and one match was tied.
So how does America shift the momentum and reverse the recent trend in this the 2016 edition? The
new "task force" is the start to an era of continuity, something the Euro's have had since Tony Jacklin
and Bernard Gallacher pulled the strings for the Blue & Gold. Winning Captains like Seve, Langer,
Montgomerie and McGinley were all groomed from the European Tour as vice captains in past cup
matches. It won't be easy for Team USA to overcome the successful formula that Europe has created,
but if they are to get it done in Minnesota this week - look to the younger generation of Spieth, Reed,
Koepka and Fowler to take charge. Gone are the scarred run out of gas geritol set of Furyk and
Stricker (now Vice Captains). If the young guns do their thing, 12th man Ryan Moore continues his
solid play, and DJ can dominate as usual - then vets Mickelson, Kuchar, Snedeker, and Zach Johnson
may only need to be the supporting cast. All big ifs for sure. Can having Tiger, Furyk, Stricker,
Lehman and Bubba as Vice Captains make a difference? Perhaps, but I see the Euro's as much more
formidable than most do. Don't sleep on the Europeans, they have the Masters Champ (Willet), Open
Champ (Stenson), Olympic Champion (Rose) and Fedex Cup Champion (McIlroy).
Captain Davis Love and the task force would take anyone that steps forward and leads the charge,
but I suspect once again it will likely come down to a clutch putt down the stretch. Who will be that
hero for the stars and stripes when it's all on the line?
Prediction: Europe 14 USA 14 (Europe retains the Cup).
Here's to another Ryder Cup, every other year it's the best week in sports.