"If The Weather Stays Like This It'll Be USA All The Way" - McGinley

Our man on the ground at Whistling Straits assesses how Ryder Cup week is shaping up

Paul McGinley pictured at the Ryder Cup
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Our man on the ground at Whistling Straits, Garrett Johnson, assesses how Ryder Cup week is shaping up...

Early week observations from the 43rd Ryder Cup

So what to make of this Ryder Cup? Will Europe’s dominance in winning seven of the last nine continue?

It may, but if you look at the forecast Whistling Straits with very little rough and playing a par 71 at 7,390 yards would seem to favor the American bombers.

2014 European winning captain Paul McGinley said as much to Golf Monthly on Tuesday afternoon.

“If the weather stays like this (75 degrees and no wind) it’ll be all U.S. all day,” McGinley said confidently.

“But thankfully the wind is supposed to come up later this week and that should really help Team Europe.”

The weather calls for a cloudy Thursday with 21 mph winds followed by a partly cloudy opening round on Friday with 14 mph winds and slightly overcast with 21 mph winds on Saturday.

“If the wind blows at 30 mph around here, Phil Mickelson could win on this golf course,” McGinley said in reference to players of older age and slightly less distance being able to do well on this course.

Poulter, Casey and Westwood pictured at the 2020 Ryder Cup

Europe has the older team, so will the experience pay off?

For Team Europe, those players include four in their forties in Westwood, Poulter, Casey, and Garcia.

Golf Channel host Damon Hack is impressed with Team Europe’s camaraderie again this year, but he does have concerns about what those four veterans are capable of.

“My only question is whether the four 40-somethings can make enough putts over the three days,” Hack told Golf Monthly on Wednesday.

One has to wonder how much those four in particular are using these practice days to tune up or conserve for their matches.

Sergio Garcia, for example, played eighteen holes with Jon Rahm, Shane Lowry, and Tyrrell Hatton on Wednesday and didn’t hit every single tee shot.

Perhaps a smart move by the mercurial Spaniard to conserve some energy for what he knows very well to be a long week.

Poulter practiced until well into the early evening on Tuesday and enjoyed some friendly banter with American fans as he left the putting green, taking some selfies with them as well.

At least early in the week Poulter looked fresh, loose and up for the task.

Should be a wonderful week.

Related: What you get for being a Ryder Cup player

Garrett Johnston is a Golf Monthly contributor based in Washington, DC. You can follow him on Twitter @JohnstonGarrett. He’s covered over 30 major championships and three Ryder Cups. The 2012 Miracle at Medinah remains his favorite event he’s attended to this day.

Garrett Johnston
Contributor

Garrett Johnston is a golf reporter and presenter who’s covered pro golf for 12 years including over 30 majors. His goal each year is always to “grow with the rookies” on Tour. The idea is to get to know the superstars before they become household names. Tony Finau, Gary Woodland, and Patrick Reed are just some of the players Johnston has covered from their early pro careers for their hometown newspapers. Johnston’s favorite event is always The Open, and he credits his unforgettable experience covering the 2015 Open at St. Andrews where he got to interview Tom Watson (in his final Open) and winner Zach Johnson exclusively throughout the week as his favorite event so far. Johnston has also developed a strong rapport with Tour caddies and regularly contributes to Caddie Network and Golf.com. He also has his own podcast: Beyond The Clubhouse (opens in new tab)