MEDINAH, Ill. -- Gene Wojciechowski has been my best friend for 33 years. But after hearing him say the Europeans will win the Ryder Cup in Chicago this week, I'm calling Homeland Security.
Turning on Davis Love III's Medinah Maulers? Maybe the best American team ever put together? A team that includes 10 of the top 16 ranked players in the world? What'd he do, buy a time share in Oslo?
Yes, Europe has three of the top four ranked players in the world, but two of them shrink like O.J.'s glove under pressure. Lee Westwood (No. 4) just finished 25 shots behind at the FedEx Cup final Sunday. And Luke Donald (No. 3) has the heart of Luke Skywalker when the big light is off and Donald Duck when it's on.
And yes, the Euros have the hottest player in the world in Rory McIlroy, but the idea that Tiger Woods would be "intimidated" by him? Please. Tiger Woods is intimidated by no man. Ex-wife, maybe. Man? No.
Captain Love (great porn name, by the way) has set up Medinah for bombers and birdie bangers, so the USA has a monster advantage. This team has three guys who hit it longer than a bad Russian novel -- Keegan Bradley, Dustin Johnson and Bubba Watson. And it has six of the top eight birdie makers on the PGA Tour.
Europe? Two of the top eight.
With Paul Azinger cracking the Why Can't The USA Win These Things? dilemma in 2008 with his ingenious "pod system," this team is together and powerful. And can we clear up this bull that there's tension between Woods and Phil Mickelson? Maybe years ago. But they've played on 13 Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup teams together now. They're partners in team-room Ping-Pong matches. They give each other good-natured crap.
"Like, I'll come in after a round and say, 'What'd you shoot?'" Mickelson says. "'Please say 72 or higher.' We have fun with it."
Woods is only a few holed putts from being his old trophy-hoarding self. (Can somebody PLEASE tell him to go back to the Scotty Cameron putter?) He'll be a cat trapped in a dairy at Medinah, the place where he won two PGA Championships. He won three times this year alone and was right there in two majors until he collapsed the fourth day. But here's the beautiful thing: The Ryder Cup is a three-day tournament.
And yes, America has four rookies compared to Europe's one, but two -- Bradley and Simpson -- won majors within the past two years.
And how about that fourth rookie, Jason Dufner? Yes, he shows all the emotion of an Easter Island statue. That's the same face you'll see when he beats you 4 and 3.
The only weak link is Jim Furyk, who hasn't won the past two years, but as long as Love doesn't play him more than once a day, he'll be fine. After all, those energy drinks are only good for five hours.
Now let's look at Geno's unbeatable European team.
Paul Lawrie? Really? He's still playing golf? I see he won the Qatar Masters. Who'd he beat, three camels?
Nicolas Colsaerts? Isn't he the pastry chef on Top Chef Belgium?
Martin Kaymer, the weakest world No. 1 since Jimmy Carter?
Peter Hanson? He'll need ID to get in the team room.
True, Europe has some strong players -- McIlroy, Graeme McDowell and Justin Rose, especially. And Sergio Garcia and Ian Poulter go from whiners to whackers at these things, holing putts like they're aiming at kiddie pools. But this American team finally has some putters, too. Brandt Snedeker is the No. 1 putter on the PGA Tour and if he can keep his backstroke from bumping against the $11.4M in his wallet, he'll be fine. Steve Stricker putts the way Monet painted, and Matt Kuchar's putting borders on the occult, too.
Home teams have won the past three Ryder Cups, don't forget, and Chicago fans are not afraid to razz visiting dignitaries. This is the home of the Cubs. That's sometimes all they have.
All of which comes out to USA 15, Europe 13, all-night beer blast on Rush Street, and Geno taking a job covering soccer for the Stockholm Shopper.