- The Washington Times - Friday, September 28, 2007

Handicapping the pairings for today’s opening series of four-balls (best or better ball) at Royal Montreal Golf Club (7,153 yards, par 70):

11:45 a.m. — Phil Mickelson-Hunter Mahan (U.S.) vs. Angel Cabrera-Retief Goosen (Int.)

 Lefty and the United States‘ young swashbuckler tackle the odd couple of the Argentine birdie machine and the silent South African. Given the dire International situation, expect the similarly streaky Mickelson and Cabrera to swap birdies and cancel each other out, while Goosen’s superb putter gives Gary Player’s team its first full point of the match.

Prediction: Cabrera-Goosen win 2 and 1

Noon — Tiger Woods-Jim Furyk (U.S.) vs. Vijay Singh-Stuart Appleby (Int.)

 One of the power pairings that carried the U.S. team to victory at RTJ in 2005 faces potentially one of the weakest International duos. The aging Singh hit some atrocious approaches yesterday, and Appleby played worse than half the spectators would have in the foursomes. This match will be over at the turn.

Prediction: Woods-Furyk win 5 and 4

12:15 p.m. — Zach Johnson-Charles Howell III (U.S.) vs. Ernie Els-Mike Weir (Int.)

 In a match almost as lopsided as the one preceding it, two of the more dangerous International players will ride a huge wave of Weir adoration from the gallery to a runaway victory over the Masters champion and struggling Howell.

Prediction: Els-Weir win 3 and 2

12:30 p.m. — Steve Stricker-Scott Verplank (U.S.) vs. Adam Scott-K.J. Choi (Int.)

 There’s simply no chance both Scott and Choi will follow yesterday’s dual desultory performances with yet another clunker.

Prediction: Scott-Choi win 2 and 1

12:45 p.m. — Lucas Glover-Stewart Cink (U.S.) vs. Geoff Ogilvy-Nick O’Hern (Int.)

 Ogilvy makes birdies in bundles like no player in the game, and his steady Australian countryman is a nice consistent foil for Ogilvy’s hiccups. The U.S. tandem just doesn’t feature the same firepower.

Prediction: Ogilvy-O’Hern win 1-up

1 p.m. — Woody Austin-David Toms (U.S.) vs. R. Sabbatini-T. Immelman (Int.)

 The young South African pairing is the only one on either team to stay the same, but that won’t help them against the consistent Toms and foursomes star Austin.

Prediction: Austin-Toms win 2-up

Session Prediction: Internationals 4, United States 2

Overall Score Prediction: United States 7½, Internationals 4½

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