Jamie Kennedy
By Jamie Kennedy

There is little doubt that when the first ball is struck on the first tee at Medinah Country Club, it will kick off one of the most anticipated battles in the Ryder Cup's 85 year history. I, like many, can't wait for September 28th to arrive and see how the three days pan out.

To preview the event and to satisfy my love for statistics, I have delved deep into the teams and course to compile some interesting numbers relating to the 2012 Ryder Cup. Enjoy.


The difference in average driving distance between the Americans (293.4 yards) and the Europeans (292) is just over 1 yard.


On average the European team (32.7) is almost 2 years younger than the American team (34.6).


Only 3 players will be using a belly/long putter this week and all 3 are American (Bradley, Kuchar, Simpson).


The members of the 2012 American team (114) have played just 4 more matches than the 2012 European team (110).

However, the European team has amassed 21 more points from those matches.


There is a total of 5 rookies/first-year players in this year's event. America have four (Snedeker, Simpson, Dufner, Bradley) whilst Europe has just one (Colsaerts).


6 of the players playing this week will be using Titleist irons, more than any other of the 9 iron brands featuring.


European team captain Jose-Maria Olazabal has played in 7 Ryder Cups as a player. American captain Davis Love III has played in 6.


The European team is made up of 8 different countries (England 4, Northern Ireland 2, Scotland, Italy, Spain, Germany, Sweden, Belgium).


Phil Mickelson is most experienced player in the 2012 Ryder Cup, playing for the 9th time. This sets a new appearance record for the USA, as Phil formerly held the record of 8 jointly with Ray Floyd and Lanny Wadkins. If he plays 4 games this year, he breaks Billy Caspers USA match record of 37.


In the last 10 Ryder Cups, Europe have won 6 with American winning 4. On US Soil, Americans hold a 5-3 lead over the Europeans.


When Tiger Woods beat Sergio Garcia to win the 1999 PGA Championship at Medinah CC, he shot 11 under par.


European captain Jose-Maria Olazabal and the late Seve Ballesteros teamed up to win a record 12 points together in foursome and fourballs.


Tiger Woods has earned 13 points out of a possible 26 in his Ryder Cup experience.


Phil Mickelson on the other hand has earned just 14 points out of a possible 34 (41%).


15 players will be using putters with face inserts.


16 of the 24 players carry a hybrid or utility club in their bag.


Phil Mickelson has lost 17 matches, more than any other US player and half the matches he has played.


The American team (23) have won 18 more major championships than the European team (5).


20 of the 24 players have won a PGA or European Tour event already this season (McDowell, Poulter, Kaymer and Furyk are winless).


All but one of the players in this year's Ryder Cup are ranked inside the top 30 in the Official Golf World Rankings.

The only player outside the top-30 is Europe's lone rookie, Nicolas Colsaerts.


Both team captains have played a combined 57 matches in Ryder Cups.

Olazabal (31 matches) won 20.5 points, whilst Davis Love III (26 matches) has won 11.5.


Ian Poulter and Luke Donald have both won 73% of the 11 matches they have played in the Ryder Cup, easily the best win percentage of any players in this year's event.


The players on both teams have combined for a total of 160 top-10s so far this season.


Nicolas Colsaerts is statistically the longest hitter in this year's event, averaging over 317 yards per drive on the European Tour.


Medinah Country Club #3 Course was designed by a Scot, Tom Bendelow, in 1928.


At 7,668 yards, Medinah #3 will be the longest course in Ryder Cup history (128 yards longer than Valhalla was for the 2008 Ryder Cup)


Culmulatively the European team has 4,075,533 Twitter followers, compared with 3,756,447 people who follow the American players.


The 12 American players have won a combined $41,112,072 so far this season, which is $8,000,000 more than the European Team.


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