After three straight Ryder Cups defeats—and losing six of the previous seven—the United States finally got off the schneid in 2016 by handily beating Europe. Now the question is: Can they do it again in 2018?
Friday marks the start of the 2018 tournament. It’ll perhaps be a tougher task than last time, since Team USA will have to deal with unfriendly confines instead of the rowdy supporters at the 2016 event in Minnesota. The 2018 Ryder Cup will be hosted at Le Golf National in Paris, France.
Perhaps the greatest golfer to ever live—Tiger Woods—will almost certainly be a major factor in the results in 2018, a fact that was nearly unimaginable two years ago, when it was unclear if vice-captain Woods would ever really return from devastating back injuries. He’ll be paired with Patrick Reed—who has been absolutely stellar in the Ryder Cup—in Friday’s fourball session.
“It’s going to be fun for both of us,” Woods said about pairing with Reed, according to ESPN. “We’ve been looking forward to teaming up and doing something like this together. We finally have our opportunity to go against two great competitors. One is the Open champion [Francesco Molinari] and [Tommy Fleetwood]’s obviously played extremely well and consistently all year.”
Woods, Reed and the rest of the U.S. squad, while talented, face a tall task in Paris. Team USA hasn’t picked up a Ryder Cup win in Europe in a quarter of a century. And Le Golf National has the ability to neutralize some of the powerful players on the U.S.
“When the competition is that close, any little edge you can have is a big deal,” said vice-captain Steve Stricker to ESPN . “We’re [at] a course again where they have an event [on the European Tour]. Those guys play there and know what to expect under tournament conditions. That’s a little bit of a mistake on our side. … It’s a tough thing and always a challenge.”
So, it’ll be a hard road for the U.S.—but that’s not to say it can’t be done.
For those who want to keep up to date with the results, the Ryder Cup website has a live tracker and scoreboard here. Also, embedded below is the Ryder Cup twitter account, which will no doubt feature live updates of the action.
Tweets by RyderCupUSA