You can always guarantee that I’ll be abroad competing when it’s Ryder Cup weekend!
It’s one of my favourite events to watch but I can’t remember the last time I was free to be in front of the TV for the three days.
I’ll have to make do with keeping up to date between games out here in Switzerland, where we’ve got a tournament.
The build-up goes on for so long – and there’s been an extra year this time – that it feels every possible side-story has been analysed to death by the time the first tee shot gets hit (usually not down the fairway!)
It feels like both captains have the teams they want and the narrative has been set as – do the US rookies have the experience needed when the pressure gets red hot and will this be a Ryder Cup too far for some of Europe’s old guard?
For me, though, it could come down to the guys in the middle – the ones who aren’t a record points scorer like Sergio Garcia and aren’t newbies like half of the American team.
That means the likes of Jordan Speith and Justin Thomas on one side and Rory McIlroy on the other.
Rory’s record is pretty good in the Ryder Cup.
This will be his sixth and it stands at 11 wins, nine losses and four halves.
There have been some great matches and some great victories along the way but Rory has yet to have his name written all over a European triumph and I’ve got a feeling that if Padraig Harrington is to be raising the trophy, he’ll need that to happen this time.
Yes, the team morale aspect of what Europe does is huge but having a talisman who goes out and puts four or more points on the board is equally important.
Jon Rahm is the world number one but the guy with the real aura about him – maybe even on both sides – is a Rory McIlroy at his best.
Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson could never become the main man in a Ryder Cup. Let’s see if Rory can.
As well as being significant in its own right, it also helps to show that what happened last year was no fluke.
— St. Johnstone FC (@StJohnstone) September 23, 2021
By doing it again, with two of their best players having been sold, manager Callum Davidson and his players have proved that it’s the strength of the team rather than the individuals that has been the cornerstone of what they do.
Like I said, we’re in Switzerland for The Challenger event in Basel.
We’ve got two teams entered again and it’s another new line-up for me to skip.
This week it’s myself, Vicky Wright, Jen Dodds and Hailey Duff.
Sweden’s Olympic champions Team Hasselborg and the host country’s reigning World champions Team Tirinzoni are in the field so we know it’s going to be a tough long weekend.
And the fact that there are just two more competitions before the GB team is selected for the European Championships raises the stakes.