Nick Faldo is tipping Europe and the United States of America to play out the first Ryder Cup tie for 23 years.
And if that’s that they case, it could be good news for Paul McGinley’s chances of becoming the first Irishman to captain Europe in the biennial team contest.
Speaking in at the Lough Erne Resort during last week’s Faldo Series Grand Final, Faldo said: “I said it earlier in the year, half joking. We haven’t had a tie or a draw for years.
“When you look at the two teams on paper, in theory there is going to be a point either way, isn’t there? They are so evenly matched.
“It is the first time where both captains have probably got 12 guys on form, maybe 11 out of 12. They can probably field the teams they want to field and so for a laugh, I think I’ll stick with my tie. It may not be so far off now as a good pick.”
If Jose Maria Olazábal’s side emerges with a tie at Medinah, the trophy will remain in Europe’s hands as defending champions.
And that could leave the way clear for McGinley to don the captain’s hat in Scotland on 2014, according to a leading tour source.
“If Europe lose in Chicago, the tour will be wheeling out the heavy artillery in Gleneagles,” he said. “The Ryder Cup is so important to the European Tour that they will feel obliged to pick the strongest character possible for Scotland to win it back.
“It happened in the aftermath of Valhalla when Faldo lost and they brought in Monty [Colin Montgomerie]. Paul McGinley wouldn’t have the same cachet as a Darren Clarke or Colin Montgomerie. I he’s going to be captain next time I think Europe are going to have to win this time.”
Or tie, as Faldo predicts. The Ryder Cup last finished as a 14-14 tie at The Belfry in 1989, when Europe retained the trophy following their win in Muirfield Village in 1987.