European Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie made his picks a few weeks ago, and after the selections, many people believed that the Europeans were easily the better squad. Well, at that time, the U.S. didn’t have a full squad to observe, but now they do. U.S. captain Corey Pavin made his captain’s picks today, and overall, they weren’t too surprising.
Pavin selected Tiger Woods, Zach Johnson, Stewart Cink, and Rickie Fowler, and each of them certainly bring something unique to the table in terms of how they could possible help this team in Wales.
The biggest question that’s been surrounding the golfing world for a few months now is whether or not Pavin would pick Tiger for the team, given everything that has gone on in the past year for him. Though Tiger was playing extremely poor for a while there, he’s turned it around in recent weeks, so at this point, picking Tiger seems like a good choice. Though Tiger’s game may not be fantastic right now, perhaps the Tiger mystique will still allow him to be a valuable member of the U.S. team.
But Tiger might not be the main question mark heading into the event, as the choice of Fowler is turning a few heads. Fowler has yet to win on tour, and hasn’t been all that consistent this season, but Pavin still saw enough in him to put him on this team. When Fowler plays well, he tends to keep the momentum going for a while, so hopefully he can get off to a good start at Celtic Manor. While he may not be the star of the team, this will undoubtedly give him a great experience in a pressure situation, and will help him continue his progression on tour.
And then there were the choices of Johnson and Cink, who won’t get the credit they deserve because they aren’t really flashy or anything like that. These guys just show up and play great golf, which is exactly what you need at a Ryder Cup. Cink hasn’t had a great year, but he’s playing well right now, which is definitely a key attribute for a selection. And Johnson has been playing some excellent golf the last few months, and had a great shot to win at Whistling Straits last month. These two will bring the veteran presence to the team, and I would expect both to play very well.
Even with these choices, the Europeans are still the clear favorites heading into the tournament in my opinion. The European players have proved a lot this year, while there are several players on the U.S. team that are wild cards. We think we know what to expect out of the European team, but there are clearly still some questions surrounding some of the players on the U.S. squad.
Still though, you don’t win on paper. By no means do I think that the Europeans can walk right in and claim a large victory even if they aren’t at their best. The U.S. team has added some nice additions with these picks, and still feature a strong lineup that will be looking to steal the victory on the Europeans’ home turf.
What do you think of the captain’s picks by Pavin?
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