The 2014 Ryder Cup begins Friday, so let’s list the Top 10 players participating in the event and key guys who are certainly going to determine the outcome. This list is based off their overall season, past history in the Ryder Cup and momentum heading into the competition, as playing well leading up to this tournament usually results in great success.
1. Rory McIlroy - Rory McIlroy has finished in the Top 10 in six of his last seven events and has even won three of those seven starts. McIlroy is by far the best golfer in the world right now and it’s really not even close.
2. Sergio Garcia - In 16 events played this season, Sergio Garcia has finished in the Top 10 ten times. While Garcia has yet to win an event this season, he’s been one of the more consistent golfers on tour all season and has shown he’s somebody who should still be respected.
3. Ian Poulter - Forget the fact Ian Poulter has finished in the Top 25 in just six of his 17 events played this season, he’s an unbelievable 12-3 in the Ryder Cup. Sometimes players just dominate a certain competition and that’s the case with Pouter here.
4. Lee Westwood - Lee Westwood is another player who hasn’t had an impressive season, but he’s participated in nine Ryder Cups, making him the most experienced player in the competition besides Phil Mickelson. Forget what Westwood didn’t accomplish, it’s a new event and you have to like his experience paying off here.
5. Justin Rose - Justin Rose has had one of his better seasons this year with 50 percent of his events resulting in Top 10 finishes. Rose was second on tour in eagles (holes per) and finished tied for fourth at the Tour Championship.
6. Phil Mickelson - We all know that Phil Mickelson has had a disappointing season. However, Mickelson remains the most experienced player in the competition and enters with several weeks of rest under his belt. Watch out.
7. Jim Furyk - Jim Furyk has finished in the Top 10 in three of his last four events, which includes a second place finish at the Tour Championship. Furyk was fourth in driving accuracy percentage and is heating up at the right time for the US. The Americans will be in good hands if Jim Furyk can continue the momentum.
8. Bubba Watson - Bubba Watson had the top driving distance of any player on tour and missed the cut only twice in 21 played events. This will be Watson’s third Ryder Cup appearance and his long drive and experience gives the US a fighting chance.
9. Rickie Fowler - Rickie Fowler has yet to pick up a win in his short Ryder Cup experience, but it’s tough not to like a player who has finished in the Top 10 in seven of his last eight events. Fowler has been one of the better golfers in the world the last month or so, and he can change Ryder Cup history if he’s able to keep it up.
10. Hunter Mahan - Hunter Mahan enters this competition on a bit of a hot streak after winning the Barclays. While he may not be the biggest player in the world, Mahan brings a ton of big game experience to the table and has a winning record at the Ryder Cup. It also doesn’t hurt that Mahan finished third in total driving.