We have @esquaredgolf live from Hazeltine. I spoke with him earlier to get his thoughts after the pairings and matches were announced…….
Reed/Spieth vs Stenson/Rose: What an opening match. Best pairings for both teams. Short game vs Ball striking. Lack of rough should help the US here. Stenson coming off an injury, so form a little bit in the air. I like the home team in a close match, in what will be the most important match of the day. USA 1 up.
Phil/Rickie vs Rory/Sully: Love Europe here. Rory will put on a stripe show. Hate the Phil/Rickie pair, Fowler will be hitting from under trees all day. Euros 4&3
Walker/Zach Johnson vs Sergio/Kaymer: This USA pairing makes zero sense to me. Would much rather see ZJ/Moore and just fairway the opponents to death or Koepka/Holmes and just hit bombs all over the place. Sergio & Kaymer are a great Alt shot pairing, will never put themselves out of a hole. Euros 3&2.
DJ/Kuch vs Westwood/Pieters: Pieters can really play, and obviously Westwood will show up but I would worry about their putters on the back 9. I think DJ/Kuch make a bunch of birds here, especially on the Par 5s. USA 2&1
Further thoughts – I think the afternoon session on Friday is going to be enormous. Europe’s pairings tell me they are going for the throat immediately in the Alt shot format that they have dominated recently. If the USA can go 2-2 after the morning matches, thats a huge win in my mind because they will let the big dogs eat in the afternoon matches, ground and pound style.
Stay Tuned throughout for Live from Hazeltine reports, thoughts, and predictions…..