Bill Elliott: still a chance

Bill Elliott reports on the 39th Ryder Cup from Medinah Country Club

Ian Poulter Ryder Cup

Glory be and praise Ian Poulter. The daft laddie with the scary, staring eyes and the indomitable will, single-handedly lifted this 39th Ryder Cup from tedious predictability to give Europe at least a genuine glimmer of a chance today.   Sudddenly there was passion, suddenly there was some European momentum. It will take a record-breaking effort from Jose-Maria Olazabal's to take the eight points they need from twelve singles and so retain the old, glittery trophy but at least it is vaguely possible.   And after Poulter's extraordinary five straight birdies finish there was something to celebrate in the European team room for the first time in two days. If Poulter had not reached deep inside himself that room would have had less atmosphere than the local morgue.   Of course it means that Olazabal's only strategy for today is to top load all the way. The smart money - and quite a lot of the stupid stuff as well - is still on the Americans but funny things happen in sport and life. And something may be happening here at Medinah. For a start there was a full moon shining down from a cloudless sky last night and, even crazier, as Poulter was lining up that final putt, the Reverend Jesse Jackson was in the Media Centre and having a neck massage. No, I don't know either.   So let's have a bit of fun here and run through those singles matches and try to figure out how they might go.   Bubba Watson v. Luke Donald. Donald to win this one, too consistent and gritty for an emotional Bubba. Webb Simpson v. Ian Poulter. Can Poults keep it going? Nearly, it will be a half. Keegan Bradley v. Rory McIlroy. MocIlroy to feed off Poulter's display yesterday and so will win. Phil Mickelson v. Justin Rose. So close it will be another halved match. Brandt Snedeker v. Paul Lawrie. I fear Snedeker will just outgun the Scot. Dustin Johnson v. Nicolas Colsaerts. The Belgian has grown all week and won't stop now. Nic wins. Zach Johnson v. Graeme McDowell. McDowell was smarting after being left out yesterday and will win this one. Jim Furyk v. Sergio Garcia. The Spaniard is back. He wins easily. Jason Dufner v. Peter Hanson. Hanson is playing poorly so expect a Dufner dusting. Matt Kuchar v. Lee Westwood. Surely Westwood has to play well once at this match. Euro victory. Steve Stricker v. Martin Kaymer. The German cuts a sad figure these days so it has to be Stricker. Tiger Woods v. Francesco Molinari. Do you really have to ask?   Add it up and I see the USA winning this Ryder 15-13. Ah well.

Editor At Large

Bill has been part of the Golf Monthly woodwork for many years. A very respected Golf Journalist he has attended over 40 Open Championships. Bill  was the Observer's golf correspondent. He spent 26 years as a sports writer for Express Newspapers and is a former Magazine Sportswriter of the Year. After 40 years on 'Fleet Street' starting with the Daily Express and finishing on The Observer and Guardian in 2010. Now semi-retired but still Editor at Large of Golf Monthly Magazine and regular broadcaster for BBC and Sky. Author of several golf-related books and a former chairman of the Association of Golf Writers. Experienced after dinner speaker.