Ryder Cup: Staff predictions for Saturday morning foursomes

MEDINAH, Ill. – While the morning session will be without Tiger Woods for the first time in his career, there are plenty of intriguing matchups on the course.

Our staff of experts make their picks as the U.S. tries to extend on its 5-3 lead.

• • •

Match No. 1: Webb Simpson-Bubba Watson vs. Justin Rose-Ian Poulter

JEFF RUDE: Simpson-Watson def. Rose-Poulter, 2 and 1.

The American duo appears to be on a roll, given they were 6 up through eight holes in Friday afternoon four-ball. It won’t be easy, for Poulter relishes match play and seems to perform his best in that format.

JEFF BABINEAU: Simpson-Watson def. Rose-Poulter, 2 up

The way the Americans played Friday, the format didn’t really matter.

SEAN MARTIN: Simpson-Watson def. Rose-Poulter, 2 and 1

Simpson and Watson were so impressive in their 5-and-4 victory Friday. Here’s thinking they keep it going.

JIM McCABE: Rose-Poulter def. Simpson-Watson, 2 and 1

The guys with “double Bs” in their name are impressive, but here’s a suspicion that the man with the bug eyes for this Ryder Cup stuff, Poulter, shines again.

ALEX MICELI: Simpson-Watson def. Rose-Poulter, 3 and 2

It may seem a bit nonsensical pairing two Ryder Cup rookies, but after their performance in Friday’s four-balls and their fun-loving attitude, it now seems like a no-brainer.

ADAM SCHUPAK: Simpson-Watson def. Rose-Poulter, 1 up

Great matchup. This one will go down to the wire. Simpson and Watson will stay hot and get it done for USA.

NICK MASUDA: Simpson-Watson def. Rose-Poulter, 3 and 2

Whatever mojo that Simpson and Watson have developed, I think it is going to be a key to the U.S. taking home this title.

• • •

Match No. 2: Phil Mickelson-Keegan Bradley vs. Lee Westwood-Luke Donald

JEFF RUDE: 2. Mickelson-Bradley def. Westwood-Donald, 3 and 2

Mickelson-Bradley represent golf’s new hot bromance. Westwood has been off this week and last. Donald isn’t the player he was a year ago.

JEFF BABINEAU: Bradley-Mickelson halve Donald-Westwood

Great match. Westwood is having trouble holing putts, but he and Donald have too much pride to lose.

SEAN MARTIN: Bradley-Mickelson def. Westwood-Donald, 3 and 2

America’s dream team keeps it rolling against the All-English Club.

JIM McCABE: Mickelson-Bradley def. Westwood-Donald, 3 and 2

Hard to go against the red-hot American duo, especially after the poor effort put forth by both Englishmen on Friday.

ALEX MICELI: Mickelson-Bradley def. Westwood-Donald, 3 and 2

The hottest U.S. team against two players who seemed to struggle on Friday. Again, this seems like a no-brainer.

ADAM SCHUPAK: Mickelson-Bradley def. Westwood-Donald, 2 and 1

Phil Mickelson feels young again, and Medinah sets up perfectly for his game. Keegan Bradley is America’s answer to Ian Poulter, and this tandem won’t be denied.

NICK MASUDA: Mickelson-Bradley def. Westwood-Donald, 3 and 2

It might even be worse than that score. Westwood did not look good on Friday, and Donald was average at best on Friday morning. And we all know what Bradley and Mickelson did.

• • •

Match No. 3: Nicolas Colsaerts-Sergio Garcia vs. Jason Dufner-Zach Johnson

JEFF RUDE: Colsaerts-Garcia def. Dufner-Z. Johnson, 1 up

The Belgian Bomber can’t keep up the torrid putting pace of Friday afternoon, when he made eight birdies and an eagle, at least six of those coming on putts outside of 15 feet. But he and Garcia, who has excelled in foursomes over the years, could make a formidable team.

JEFF BABINEAU: Dufner-Z. Johnson def. Colsaerts-Garcia, 3 and 2

The Big Belgian, who was sensational on Day 1, gets a wakeup call in a tougher format.

SEAN MARTIN: Dufner-Z. Johnson def. Colsaerts-Garcia, 1 up

This Dufner-Johnson pairing is perfect for foursomes.

JIM McCABE: Garcia-Colsaerts def. Dufner-Z. Johnson, 1 up

Bet on this: Colsaerts’ team won’t make eight birdies and an eagle as it did Friday afternoon. Then again, it might not have to.

ALEX MICELI: Dufner-Z. Johnson def. Colsaerts-Garcia, 1 up

Nicolas Colsaerts deserves to play on Saturday morning, but getting paired with Garcia may be a difficult pill to swallow. It’s not the same Spaniard whom we knew from previous Ryder Cups. Johnson and Dufner are wild cards, but success breeds success.

ADAM SCHUPAK: Colsaerts-Garcia def. Dufner-Z. Johnson, 2 and 1

Colsaerts was no fluke. This cool cat won the Volvo Match Play earlier this year. As for Garcia, he won’t let his captain down a second time.

NICK MASUDA: Colsaerts-Garcia halve Dufner-Z. Johnson

Colsaerts will carry Europe again, while Dufner and Johnson were a Friday surprise. A nice surprise.

• • •

Match No. 4: Jim Furyk-Brandt Snedeker vs. Rory McIlroy-Graeme McDowell

JEFF RUDE: 4. Furyk-Snedeker def. McIlroy-McDowell, 1 up

Call it revenge and a continuation of momentum. The two Americans rallied from 3 down and almost pulled off a halve until Snedeker blocked a drive some 50 yards right in losing 18. McDowell was a non-factor on the back nine Friday afternoon.

JEFF BABINEAU: McIlroy-McDowell def. Furyk-Snedeker, 1 up

The Northern Irishmen will rebound, extending Furyk’s dismal record (1-9-1) in foursomes.

SEAN MARTIN: McIlroy-McDowell def. Furyk-Snedeker, 2 and 1

Furyk and Snedeker almost got the best of them Friday, but I think the Northern Irishmen will prevail again.

JIM McCABE: McIlroy-McDowell def. Furyk-Snedeker, 1 up

Rematch of Friday morning’s tug-of-war, with similar result.

ALEX MICELI: Furyk-Snedeker def. McIlroy-McDowell, 1 up

Jim Furyk and Brandt Snedeker sat Friday afternoon, likely stewing about what their 1-down loss to McIlroy and McDowell. Now they have a chance for revenge, and they can’t possibly start any worse off than they did Friday morning.

ADAM SCHUPAK: McIlroy-McDowell def. Furyk-Snedeker, 1 up

This rematch of Friday’s opener will go to the 18th again. McIlroy and McDowell get the point to keep Europe within striking range going into the afternoon session.

NICK MASUDA: McIlroy-McDowell def. Furyk-Snedeker, 4 and 3

This one is going to be ugly. McDowell didn’t play all that well on Friday, and this duo still went 1-1. Going to be a long day.

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