Sergio's a tiger in Ryder Cup

    As an American, of course I am cheering for the red, white and blue team to bring home the Ryder Cup.  But they won't.
    I know that clever reverse psychology holds that Tiger Woods' absence is actually a plus for the American team, and perhaps through some filter of twisted logic he never really wanted to compete in Ryder play (therefore all his teammates didn't play their hardest, the story goes).
    Baloney.  Justin Leonard isn't winless in his two appearances because Tiger didn't play, and
Mickelson's Ryder Cup record won't make Oliver Wilson quiver.

the typically unflappable and gutsy Jim Furyk hasn't won less than a third of his matches in five appearances for that reason either.  Indeed, the only player on the U.S. team with a winning Ryder Cup record is the enigmatic Phil Mickelson, who is just 9-8-3 in his six showings in the event, hardly the kind of record to make Oliver Wilson quiver. (Wilson was a surprise captain's pick by Captain Nick Faldo; I never heard of him either.)
    The Euros will win first and foremost because Sergio Garcia, whose record of 14-4-2 testifies to it, was made for this competition.  His game is filled with the kind of devil-may-care shotmaking that bedevils opponents and inspires his playing partners and teammates.  What some may take for immaturity his fellow European competitors appear to take as infectious enthusiasm.
    Forget that Kenny Perry and J.B. Holmes will be playing on home Kentucky bluegrass, that U.S. Captain Paul Azinger is relentless and gritty and that the Americans are hungry for a victory.  Look for newcomer Anthony Kim to have an excellent Ryder Cup; he is fearless and solid.  But Garcia and Lee Westwood have strongly winning records in the competition -- add their performances together and they average seven points per competition -- and Padraig Harrington, who is a mediocre 7-8-2 in four appearances, is playing the best pressure golf of his excellent career.  The rest of the team can almost sit back and watch those three take care of business.  Almost.
    If it comes down to Sergio needing a five-foot putt on the last hole on Sunday to win or lose, the Americans will have a chance.  Sergio's game is not made for late on Sundays.  But it won't need to be.
    The Euros, 17 to 11.