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September 29, 2012

Sunday singles matches could provide drama

The Sunday’s singles schedule at the 39th Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Club has a number of interesting matchups. They are:

(all times Central, U.S. player listed first)

11:03 – Bubba Watson vs. Luke Donald

11:14 – Webb Simpson vs. Ian Poulter

11:25 – Keegan Bradley vs. Rory McIlroy

11:36 – Phil Mickelson vs. Justin Rose

11:47 – Brandt Snedeker vs. Paul Lawrie

11:58 – Dustin Johnson vs. Nicolas Colsaerts

12:09 – Zach Johnson vs. Graeme McDowell

12:20 – Jim Furyk vs. Sergio Garcia

12:31 – Jason Dufner vs. Peter Hanson

12:42 – Matt Kuchar vs. Lee Westwood

12:53 – Steve Stricker vs. Martin Kaymer

1:04 – Tiger Woods vs. Francesco Molinari


European Ryder Cup Team captain Jose Maria Olazabal has loaded the top of his singles lineup in an attempt to gain some momentum in the early matches. Luke Donald, Ian Poulter, Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose -- three players ranked in the top five in the world along with his hottest player -- are the first four  players out against Bubba Watson, Webb Simpson, Keegan Bradley and Phil Mickelson.

"Obviously we couldn't hide anything," Olazabal said. "We are trailing four points. We have to put the players that are playing well out there. We knew they would know that. But at the end of the day, if we want to win this match we have to take their big guns down.

"That's what they've done, they've put all the players that have been playing really well this week up there, and hopefully tomorrow will be a different day."

U.S. team captain Davis Love III knew the Europeans would top load the singles order, and he chose to play Tiger Woods as the team anchor against Francesco Molinari.

"I needed some stability, I think, in different spots," Love said. "You needed guys like Tiger and Stricker down towards the end."

Dustin Johnson goes out sixth and will face Nicolas Colsaerts in a battle of long hitters.

Love said he allowed several players to have input in the singles pairings following the Saturday matches. "I would say there were six or eight guys that didn't take off real fast that I could catch and we talked about it," Love said. "Everybody that was still at the clubhouse when I got up there got kind of waht they wanted, where they wanted to be, which is what they've gotten pretty much all week except for the guys that sat out."



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