SHIPNUCK: Exactly. He's a big Labrador retriever. If he takes down a top European duo early on, the whole team rallies around him. You don't maybe expect him to be a cold-blooded killer, but when his putter is on, he makes birdies in bunches.
GARRITY: Another key guy is Jason Dufner. Deep down, maybe he's an emotional wreck, but my gosh, he looks completely unflappable. He could be that Ray Floyd--type whose seeming indifference or coolness intimidates the other side.
BAMBERGER: Phil Mickelson can play a huge role. He can help some young players, the way he has done in past Cups with Anthony Kim and Hunter Mahan. And Phil can show himself as a leader of men. This could be a tryout for his own inevitable Ryder Cup captaincy, possibly as soon as two years from now.
SHIPNUCK: Nicolas Colsaerts is interesting. He's a cool customer and a big hitter. He looks a little like Dolph Lundgren. With sunglasses, he has a badass look.
VAN SICKLE: Congratulations on the first mention of Dolph Lundgren in PGA Tour Confidential history. I'll see your Lundgren and raise you a Jean-Claude Van Damme.
GARRITY: In Tiger, Bubba and Phil you have three of the greatest shot shapers in the game right now. That may not seem consequential, but it could be big in alternate shot.
ANONYMOUS PRO: Everyone is so gung-ho about the Americans' having an edge in power off the tee. I've played Medinah a few times, including the PGA, and it's a funny course. The par-5s are long and awkward with tiny greens that are hard to hit. It's pretty tough to get to them in two, depending on how Davis Love has it set up. Lengthening a course doesn't necessarily make it a long hitter's course. On some of the par-4s all you can do is play to the corner of the dogleg anyway.
VAN SICKLE: Go back to the 1990 U.S. Open at Medinah, and who was in the mix? Not long hitters—Mike Donald, Nick Faldo and Hale Irwin. Luke Donald made a run at Tiger in the last PGA there.
ANONYMOUS PRO: Those guys are powder puffs.
GARRITY: Speaking of Luke Donald, why haven't we mentioned him more? He was recently No. 1 in the world, he's consistent week in and week out, and we don't seem to consider him an important factor. How come?