Expert Picks: The Ryder Cup

By Shane Bacon | Blogger

CBSSports.com golf writer Shane Bacon makes his predictions for the Ryder Cup this weekend at Medinah.

Top Point Getter

USA - Keegan Bradley -- I know he's a rookie and they don't normally dominate at such a big event as the Ryder Cup, but Bradley seems wired differently and I love the way he goes about things on the course. A person close to Keegan told me recently that the kid said he's never been nervous in his life, and while that may change at Medinah when he's rocking the red, white and blue, I think he's so amped for this competition that his game is going to shine and he's going to kill it this week for the Americans.

Europe - Ian Poulter -- He's a match-play genius, and this event is his Sistine Chapel. He seems to be exactly what you need in a Ryder Cup competitor; tough, passionate, irritating and great at getting under his opponent's skin. I know Poulter hasn't had a great season this year, but I expect him to play some really solid golf this week as he has in this competition before.

Partnership That Will Do Best

Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker -- They've done this before at an incredibly efficient level, and I expect the veterans to do it again. Tiger is playing good golf, Stricker is still rolling the rock at a level that makes Tiger jealous, and the two seem to gel as much as any American team in recent memory. If they catch fire, watch out.

Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell -- Just too much of everything between these two to see them struggle in more than one match. Rory is playing great, Graeme steps up in this environment, and these two will flourish for the Europeans.

Biggest Potential Bust

Jim Furyk -- I hate to say it, since I'm a big Furyk fan, but I'm worried for the veteran this week at Medinah. Too many loose swings that go way, WAY left when he's in contention, and he doesn't have a great Ryder Cup record to begin with. I hope Furyk can turn it around as an American, but I'm scared this could be Olympic Club, the Bridgestone and East Lake all rolled in to one.

Martin Kaymer -- He hasn't played well on a big stage in a while, and I expect his game to mirror what's been happening the past few months. Kaymer won't get a ton of team playing time from Jose Maria Olazabal, but when he does, I expect him to struggle.

Winner - USA

Home soil, a really solid lineup, and a bunch of rookies that don't seem to play like rookies, I think the United States takes back the trophy they lost in Wales with a combination of veteran supremacy (Tiger, Stricker, Phil) and eager rookies (Webb Simpson, Keegan and Jason Dufner). It is bound to come down to Sunday, and as long as the Americans can keep it close during the Friday and Saturday matches, the Sunday singles will be their time to shine.

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