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March 08, 2010
Euro Rising
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March 08, 2010

Brandel Chamblee

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Euro Rising

With the Ryder Cup seven months away it may be a little too early for a preview, but I can't resist. Europe, beaten up in 2008, is developing a team that looks bulletproof. The Europeans have seven players in the top 11 in the world, and that doesn't include Sergio García, Robert Karlsson, Ross Fisher, Luke Donald, Miguel Angel Jiménez and my new favorite player, Alvaro Quiros. In the past decade Europe has dominated with spirit, team chemistry and a one-week moratorium on missed putts, but it could be different at Celtic Manor in Wales. With depth, a mix of youth and experience, great putters like Ian Poulter (right), length in players like Quiros and home-course advantage, I wouldn't bet against them. There's one more thing too. With Seve Ballesteros recovering from cancer, team captain Colin Montgomerie will most likely take a page from Knute Rockne's book. Even a sidelined Seve is enough to bring out the best in Europe.

¦ I have been disappointed with what I've seen on Tour. At key moments some players are losing their nerve, highlighted by Rickie Fowler laying up from 230 yards on the 15th hole on Sunday. The layup was calculated and cautious and indefensible. It was a defining moment, and I can only hope that the next time Fowler's in that spot, he follows Phil Mickelson's example by grabbing the opportunity by the throat and bringing us to our feet. After all, I don't want to watch these guys make money, I want to watch them win.

Brandel Chamblee, a 15-year PGA Tour vet, is a Golf Channel analyst.