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Sports Then and Now

US Stars Burst European Bubble

Posted on August 12, 2010 by Thomas Rooney

Both Corey Pavin and Colin Montgomerie will have some tough choices when finalizing their 2010 Ryder Cup teams.

If Golf Betting punters are looking for Ryder Cup pointers, the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational was the event that suggests a European win is not as probable as has looked likely for much of this season. Home advantage and a glut of in-from players made Colin Montgomerie’s men early favourites, but events in Ohio have redressed the balance.

Montgomerie has seen a handful of players make notable breakthroughs this year but these young guns were not in the hunt at the Firestone Country Club. Tiger Woods and Anthony Kim might have been near rock bottom on the final leaderboard, but the top of it was dominated by home players.

Hunter Mahan led a virtual clean sweep after 72 holes, with six of the top seven being Americans. Each is in the top 20 on Corey Pavin’s Ryder Cup list, with the consistent Bo Van Pelt – five top-five finishes in his last 11 tournaments – and in-form Jeff Overton certain starters at Celtic Manor.

Peter Hanson was the top-placed European in eighth place and whilst Padraig Harrington, tied for ninth with 275 suggested a timely return to form, few other European Ryder Cup starters carded below par scores.

Hunter Mahan tops a list of talented young Americans that will challenge the Europeans during the upcoming Ryder Cup.

Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell and Justin Rose did finish in the black, but it is not these bankers for points that Montgomerie wants to see in form. The high scores of potential wildcard picks such as Rhys Davies, Robert Karlsson and last-placed Henrik Stenson will be more of a concern.

The re-occurrence of Lee Westwood’s calf injury completed the bleak European experience at Akron, as there are real concerns that the world number three will not recover in time for Celtic Manor. He will be short of match practice even if he does.

America and US PGA Betting is pre-occupied with the Tiger Woods conundrum, but for the moment it is Europe that has more to ponder

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