SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France — We have another 10-6 Ryder Cup score heading into Sunday singles.
We first watched the 10-6 movie in 1999 when the United States rallied at Brookline. Then we were given an uninspired sequel in 2006 when Europe coasted to victory at The K Club. The 10-6 trilogy turned improbable again in 2012 when Europe roared back at Medinah.
Finally, the fourth time in the last 10 Ryder Cups we saw a 10-6 score wasn’t so pretty at Gleneagles after Europe put the U.S. into Task Force mode.
An American comeback is possible Sunday in France, but unlikely. This team looks French fried physically from the FedEx Cup Playoffs and the demands of Le Golf National.
Oddmakers have Europe as a 1-6 favorite to win and give Team USA a 7-1 chance of winning eight of the 12 matches and securing at least a tie, allowing the Cup to return stateside.
As fine a team as the Americans seemingly fielded this year, there should really no surprise the U.S. is trailing heading into singles. They haven’t led in Europe after Saturday play since 1981’s rout. In the other American win over here since, the 1993 team led by Tom Watson was only a point behind heading into singles, winning the session 7.5 to 4.5.
The bad news?
Europe has had the better singles record in five of the last eight Ryder Cups, dispelling the myth that Americans own the format. Given the red, white and blue’s play for two days on a golf course successfully set up to expose their driving inaccuracy, the U.S. will need help from the Europeans if they are going to stage a comeback.
Given how different each of the 10-6 days have played out, the 2018 version seems destined to be a European point-padding snoozefest. But U.S. captain Jim Furyk has reason for optimism after his much-criticized foursomes pairing of Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson dusted Sergio Garcia and Alex Noren 3 and 2, while Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth are riding massive mojo boosts after dissecting both of their opponents Saturday.
It’s no surprise Thomas leads off the singles with Simpson batting third, though the lineup also seems to spread out the strengths of the 2018 team so far, with Spieth in Match 7 and Rickie Fowler in Match 8.
On the downside, Tiger Woods (0-3 here) has lost seven consecutive Ryder Cup matches and seems spent from his recent FedExCup run. Phil Mickelson was grinding on the range during part of Saturday afternoon’s session searching for something, while World No. 1 Dustin Johnson is 1-3. Meanwhile Brooks Koepka, the Player of the Year and winner of two majors, is 1-2.
Mojo is not on their side.
“Well it looks like we’re going to be about four back and hopefully we can get off to a quick start and turn the tide a little bit,” Woods said.
OK so part five in the 10-6 series is not a mystery.
Furyk will undoubtedly remind his team of the 1999 team he played on while five of this year’s players and multiple vice-captains were witness to Europe’s comeback at Medinah. It can be done.
Will they? Likely not, but at least we know from the recent body of 10-6 work, there is always a chance of something magical happening at the Ryder Cup.