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American Team Takes Big Lead into Singles: A Fan’s Take

Yahoo Contributor Network

I am not sure that many saw this coming. The American side again had a very good day in team competition at the Ryder Cup matches at Medinah Country Club. After day two, the Americans lead the Europeans 10-6 and will take a commanding lead into the singles competition on Sunday.

The Americans came out strong in the morning foursomes. Once again they were led by the team of Keegan Bradley and Phil Mickelson. The Americans' top pairing in the 2012 Ryder Cup dispatched the team of Lee Westwood and Luke Donald 7&6. I suppose this is the golf equivalent of beating someone by 30 points on the football field. Following the victory by Bradley and Mickelson, two more American teams captured victory to win the morning foursomes 3-1.

The win by Mickelson and Bradley gave them a total of three points in the 2012 Ryder Cup. Many fans probably assumed that they would try to make it four points in the afternoon four-ball session. However, in a televised interview shortly after their morning match concluded Mickelson provided a clue to the team's strategy.

Apparently the American side have some statistics which seem to suggest that players which compete in all five sessions have a worse record in the Sunday singles than those that play in less than five sessions. This being the case, Mickelson thought it might be better for himself and Bradley to be fresh for Sunday's matches in the hopes of capturing two points rather than only one in the Saturday afternoon four-ball matches. Mickelson's hint was correct as he and Bradley were indeed replaced by the team of Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker in the afternoon session. Without their top team, the Americans still managed to put two points on the board with Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson winning over the European team of Justin Rose and Francesco Molinari, while Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar also won their second match of the competition.

With the American side holding a substantial lead going into Sunday's singles, the European team find themselves in the position usually occupied by the Americans, in that they need a Sunday comeback to win the Ryder Cup. Frankly, I do not see the Europeans winning the eight points necessary to retain the Ryder Cup. This means that the Ryder Cup will remain in the United States at the conclusion of the matches for only the second time this century.

Dwight is an avid golfer. While still relatively new to the game, he plays as often as the weather and his schedule will allow.

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