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Tour Report: Sunday Singles previews

MEDINAH, Ill. – Here are preview of the Singles matches. The U.S. needs to win 4 1/2 points to win the Ryder Cup for the first time since 2008. Use the Comments section below to let us know what you think.


12:03 p.m. — Bubba Watson vs. Luke Donald

Watson record: 2-4-0 overall, 0-1-0 Singles
Donald record: 9-4-1 overall, 2-2-0 Singes

QUICK LOOK: Watson probably had the momentum until Donald got untracked as he and Sergio Garcia came from behind to beat Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker in Four-balls Saturday. Donald turned back every challenge on the back nine and made six birdies in his last 11 holes. Watson, on the other hand, was quiet in his Four-ball win with Webb Simpson but he’ll have the crowd on his side from the get-go.

PREDICTION: Donald wins, 2 and 1

12:14 p.m. — Webb Simpson vs. Ian Poulter

Simpson record: 2-1-0 overall, 0-0-0 Singles
Poulter record: 11-3-0 overall, 3-0-0 Singles

QUICK LOOK: Poulter is the only undefeated player on the European Team. Not that he needs any more confidence but he certainly got it when he turned the final Four-ball match in Europe’s favor with birdies on the last five holes to beat Jason Dufner and Zach Johnson as the shadows settled over Medinah on Saturday evening. Simpson tried too hard in Foursomes Saturday but relaxed in Four-balls, making seven birdies in his rout with Bubba Watson. He won’t have Watson as his wing-man, though, and Poulter is playing like a man who won’t be denied.

PREDICTION: Poulter wins, 3 and 2

12:25 p.m. — Keegan Bradley vs. Rory McIlroy

Bradley record: 3-0-0, 0-0-0 Singles
McIlroy record: 6-4-2, 2-0-0 Singles

QUICK LOOK: Bradley played like the No. 1 player in the world as the rookie teamed with Phil Mickelson to win three matches before sitting out the final Four-balls. He’s poured in putt after putt and thrived under the pressure – even interrupting his practice session Saturday morning to run out to the first tee to hear the fans cheer and get an adrenaline rush. This hasn’t been the best of Ryder Cups for McIlroy, who went 1-2 with his normally dependable partner Graeme McDowell. He should have gained some momentum in his Four-ball win with Ian Poulter, though.

PREDICTION: Bradley wins, 3 and 2

12:36 p.m. — Phil Mickelson vs. Justin Rose

Mickelson record: 14-17-6, 4-4-0 Singles
Rose record: 5-3-0 overall, 1-0 Singles

QUICK LOOK: As much as Keegan Bradley said he learned from playing with Mickelson, the lefthander has been energized by the 26-year-old he’s mentored over the last two years. The World Golf Hall of Famer hit some stellar iron shots and was solid with the putter in their three victories this week — and there undoubtedly will be a carryover effect in Singles. That said, these two have history with Rose winning their Singles match 3 and 2 in 2008. Rose, who only made one birdie in his Four-ball match on Saturday, is one of two Europeans who will play in all five matches.

PREDICTION: Mickelson wins, 2 and 1

12:47 p.m. — Brandt Snedeker vs. Paul Lawrie

Snedeker record: 1-1-0, 0-0-0
Lawrie record: 3-3-1 overall, 1-0 Singles

QUICK LOOK: Interestingly, U.S. Captain Davis Love III only used Snedeker in Foursomes where the FedExCup champion teamed with Jim Furyk and came within one hole of winning both matches. The Ryder Cup rookie talked last week at East Lake about how competitive he is so this is Snedeker’s chance to shine. Not to mention, he leads the PGA TOUR in strokes-gained putting and the flat stick will be key.  Lawrie has yet to win a point in two matches this week but he did win his only Singles match in the Ryder Cup 13 years ago.

PREDICTION: Snedeker wins, 4 and 3

12:58 p.m. — Dustin Johnson vs. Nicolas Colsaerts

Johnson record: 3-3-0, 1-0-0
Colsaerts record: 1-2-0, 0-0-0

QUICK LOOK: Johnson has had a much more positive Ryder Cup than his 2010 debut where he went 0-0-3 in the team matches before beating Martin Kaymer in Singles. He and Matt Kuchar have been a solid Four-ball team but Johnson hasn’t proven to be a birdie machine – yet. He did come up with the game-changer from 15 feet at the 17th hole on Saturday afternoon so that could be a confidence-boost. Colsaerts had an impressive Ryder Cup debut when he made eight birdies and an eagle as he and Lee Westwood took down Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker. His putting touch deserted him in the next two matches so Singles could be a problem.

PREDICTION: Johnson wins, 3 and 2


1:09 p.m. — Zach Johnson vs. Graeme McDowell

Johnson record: 5-4-1, 1-1-0 Singles
McDowell record: 5-4-2, 2-0-0 Singles

QUICK LOOK: Johnson is a bulldog and he’s confident after going 2-1 with Ryder Cup rookie Jason Dufner this week. Sure, they lost their Four-ball match to Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter on Saturday but they certainly didn’t give it away as Poulter closed with five straight birdies. McDowell, meanwhile, has seemed out of synch all week as he teamed with Rory McIlroy for a 1-2 mark before European Captain Jose Maria Olazabal sat him down. That could have been the wake-up call the man who made the clinching putt in 2010 needed.

PREDICTION: Johnson, 1 up

1:20 p.m. — Jim Furyk vs. Sergio Garcia

Furyk record: 9-16-4 overall, 4-12-1 Singles
Garcia record: 15-8-4 overall, 1-4-0 Singles

QUICK LOOK: Garcia has one of the better overall records on the European Team but his performance in Singles is surprisingly mediocre. One of those losses came at Furyk’s hands by a 4-and-3 margin during the U.S. rally in 1999. Garcia lost his first two Foursomes matches ever this week but made three birdies in his first fives holes in Four-balls to put he and Luke Donald on the path to victory over Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker. Furyk helped bring Brandt Snedeker along this week but is he putting well enough to win in Singles?

PREDICTION: Garcia, 2 and 1

1:31 p.m. — Jason Dufner vs. Peter Hanson

Dufner record: 2-1-0. 0-0-0 Singles
Hanson record: 1-4-0, 0-1-0 Singles

QUICK LOOK: Hanson tied for third at the Masters and seventh at the PGA this year but he hasn’t brought that form to Medinah. He only played one match with Paul Lawrie on Friday afternoon and the two were shellacked 5 and 4 by Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson. Dufner, meanwhile, nearly went 3-0 with Zach Johnson — but Ian Poulter decided otherwise with those five closing birdies. Look for the two-time PGA TOUR champ to be tough.

PREDICTION: Dufner wins, 5 and 4

1:42 p.m. — Matt Kuchar vs. Lee Westwood

Kuchar record: 3-1-2 overall, 0-1-0 Singles
Westwood record: 17-13-6, 2-5-0 Singles

QUICK LOOK: Kuchar has carried the team in his two Four-ball victories with Dustin Johnson this week, making five birdies in Saturday’s gritty victory. Westwood, on the other hand, has been something of an enigma this week. He  had finished fifth or better in two of the first three FedExCup Playoffs events before finishing dead last at East Lake a week ago. He’s 1-2 this week — and the win came due to Nicolas Colsaerts’ hot putter in Four-balls — so it’s hard to know quite what to expect. At least Westwood is rested after playing just one match on Saturday.

PREDICTION: Kuchar wins, 4 and 3

1:53 p.m. — Steve Stricker vs. Martin Kaymer

Stricker record: 3-6-1 overall, 2-2-0 Singles
Kaymer record: 2-2-1 overall, 0-1-0  Singles

QUICK LOOK: Kaymer grabbed the last automatic qualifying spot on the European Team and came in off a tie for fifth in Italy that was his first top-10 since April. He only played in one match this week, a Four-ball loss on Friday afternoon. Stricker will need to shake off the memory of the putt he missed on the 18th hole that could have halved his match against Sergio Garcia and Luke Donald. Instead, he and Tiger Woods went 0-3 but his experience should work in his favor on Sunday.

PREDICTION: Stricker wins, 5 and 4

2:04 p.m. — Tiger Woods vs. Francesco Molinari

Woods record: 13-17-2 overall, 4-1-1 Singles
McIlroy record: 0-4-0 overall, 0-1-0 Singles

QUICK LOOK: Looks like Molinari is catching Woods at the wrong time for the second straight Ryder Cup. Woods took a 4-and-3 win over the Italian at Celtic Manor, and he’s got something to prove this week after going 0-3 in the team competition. Woods showed signs of breaking out of the doldrums, though, as he made five birdies on the back nine Saturday evening as he and Stricker nearly pulled off the come-from-behind win. Molinari, meanwhile, has yet to win a Ryder Cup match, losing both matches he played this week.

PREDICTION: Woods, 5 and 4

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