Unites States team captain Davis Love (pictured) faces the dilemma who to put out in the early matches of today’s singles in the Ryder Cup. With Europe facing a four point deficit Jose Maria Olazabal will be determined to get some points quickly and that means sending out the likes of Rory McIlroy, Luke Donald and Lee Westwood early in proceedings.
Neither captain is aware of how their counterparts will approach the day in terms of who plays when. In 2004 Hal Sutton sent his players out purely on the basis of world rankings. This was almost a crass dereliction of duty and the lack of thought on such a crucial day went horribly wrong.
You would hope Love will have given more thought to how the day could develop. He could take the view that the job of securing four an a half more points to win the Ryder Cup needs to be completed early which means Keegan Bradley and Phil Mickelson will appear before midday.
The decisions that have to made by Love and Olazabal represent the essence of the competition. Both have to name their team’s order of running with reference to how each will approach the task. It could be said that the Americans are putting so well that any of their players would be confident of winning a match against any other player from the opposition.
However, in the Ryder Cup momentum is key. If Europe were to get ahead in the first three matches that four point lead would not look so comfortable. The US themselves came from four behind ahead of the singles to win the Ryder Cup at Brookline Country Club in 1999.
Then Love has to decide when to play Tiger Woods. The former world number one has played like two different players this week. On his standard over the front nine he would struggle to beat a 10 handicapper but yesterday afternoon he had five birdies on the second nine. Remarkably he has lost each of the three matches he has contested in partnership with Steve Stricker.
All will be revealed this morning but the intrigue of trying to outguess each other is an element of the Ryder Cup and the singles in particular which makes it the third most viewed sporting event across the world, after the Olympics and Soccer World Cup.