Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The American Ryder Cup Team if Finalized

Corey Pavin made his Ryder Cup Captain's Picks this Tuesday morning, and now the American team is set. Here is a list of the entire team, with records and commentary on how they're playing.

Phil Mickelson, Career Ryder Record (W-L-H): 10-14-6: He ranks at the top in points for the American team, but has been shaky at best the last month. A 78 in the final round of the Bridgestone, a missed cut at the Barclays and a final round 76 on Sunday at the Deutsche Bank are three of the biggest problems for Phil the last four weeks. Hopefully he can build on the success he had at the end of the year last year, when Mickelson was playing as good a golf as anyone on the planet.

Hunter Mahan, 2-0-3: His win at the Bridgestone was his second of the season, and had people excited about Mahan making another Ryder Cup, but the last three weeks he has failed to break the top-30. Still, having a young guy with this much talent on the team is good for Pavin to mix around with some of the veterans.

Bubba Watson, Rookie: A breakthrough year for the long-hitting Lefty, who had a chance to win at the Bob Hope to start his season, and eventually took him his first title at the Travelers Championship. Bubba's loss in the PGA Championship playoff boosted him up the points list, and his amount of confidence on the golf course will be good for the team. Don't be surprised if Bubba and Tiger end up paired together.

Jim Furyk, 8-13-3: A rather mediocre record for Furyk, who always seems to be the steady type of team player, but Furyk played well in 2008 and is always nice to see wearing the red, white and blue.

Steve Stricker, 0-2-1: Throw out those stats if you watched any of the Presidents Cup last year, when Stricker complimented Tiger Woods quite nicely. He's the type of guy that will be great for a team with so much raw talent in this event, even if he himself has only played in one Ryder Cup.

Dustin Johnson, Rookie: He hits it long, makes a ton of putts and seems to be in the mix at every big tournament. Not a bad resume if you think about it. Johnson's attitude is perfect for this format, as he never seems to let things bother him on the golf course. If Johnson and Watson are paired together, the European team might have to tee off from the white tees.

Jeff Overton, Rookie: Maybe the biggest question mark on either team in Wales, Overton is the first US player in the history of the Ryder Cup to make the team (via points) without a PGA Tour win. It wouldn't surprise me to see him sit the first day of play for some of the other veterans.

Matt Kuchar, Rookie: Since May 30, Kuchar has finished out of the top-25 exactly once in nine tournaments, winning one title and finishing in the top-10 in four others. Needless to say, Pavin is probably licking his chops at the prospect of pairing his steady play with some of the longer, more aggressive guys on the team.

Captain's Picks

Stewart Cink, 4-7-4: Cink's personality helps this team a lot. He seems to get along with everyone (including both Phil and Tiger), and brings another major champion to Wales. He hasn't won this season, but has been consistent enough, not missing a cut since early May.

Zach Johnson, 1-2-1: The former Masters champion has had a sneaky good season this year, with a win at the Colonial and four made cuts at the majors, including a third place finish at the PGA. Also, it gets me excited for how many jokes I'm going to make about pharmaceutical products if Pavin pairs Johnson & Johnson together at any point. Honestly, shouldn't they just get sponsored by that company and call it a day?

Tiger Woods, 10-13-2: So I've argued this point for so long, I'm beginning to think I'm wrong, but Tiger Woods is the best match play player of all time, so he is bound to have a really solid Ryder Cup one of these years, right? Nobody wins six straight Amateur championships and not just tear up this tournament ONE time in his career. Maybe I'm wrong, but I'm sticking by this. Oh, and he's won some majors as well.

Rickie Fowler, Rookie: Love love love love love love love this pick. I seriously want to send Pavin a mini-muffin basket or something. Sure, Fowler makes it two players that have never won a PGA Tour tournament, but the guy is going to be great for this team.

Okay, your thoughts on the picks?


Andrew said...

I agree! Love the Rickie Fowler pick. Pavin didn't really have another option here.
AK? Playing poorly. JB Holmes? Not interesting. Lucas Glover? Less interesting. MAYBE Ryan Palmer, but Rickie is still more exciting.

Play the Game: Golf Addiction said...

This American team is stacked. It seems like the naysayer's are using the 'foreign soil' claim to put down any chance for the Americans. But since when are underdogs not fun to root for? Also, when people start downplaying the role of Fowler on this team, one can make similar claims about the young Molinari who will compete for the Euro's. Overall, between newcomers like Watson, Overton, Kuchar, Johnson and the vets like Woods, Mick and Furyk, there's bound to be some exceptional golf played.

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