July 19, 2012; St. Annes, ENGLAND; Davis Love III walks to the green on the 2nd hole during the first round of the 2012 British Open Championship at Royal Lytham

Eight Possible: Four Spots

Ryder Cup Captain Davis Love III has a real problem on his hands come Tuesday. He has seven to eight good golfers and only four spots available. It was good that he has waited until after the Deutche Bank Championship to make his Captains selections, but if someone wins this weekend that isn’t already in consideration, then he will have eight prospects to choose from.

The possibilities currently are Hunter Mahan, Rickie Fowler, Dustin Johnson, Brendt Snedeker, Nick Watney, Steve Stricker and Jim Furyk. If someone wins at TPC Boston this weekend, that isn’t already on the list, or on the automatic list, then Davis will have eight to choose from. I’m sure glad I’m not the one to have to make this decision, as some pretty good golfers are going to get left out.

Three weeks ago at The PGA Championship, Davis Love III held a dinner for possible Captains picks, Nick Watney wasn’t even invited, nor did he get measured for uniforms for the Ryder Cup. Now I understand that Nick hasn’t had a stellar 2012 season, but it was my impression The Ryder Cup was a two year process, and Nick had a great 2011, wining two tournaments and finishing in the top 10, 10 times. He won the World Golf Championships in March, and The AT&T National in July. He missed only three cuts all year. I felt Nick Watney should have at least been on the list.

Most of the sources around the internet have Steve Stricker and Jim Furyk listed as locks for Medinah. I don’t agree with this assesment, I think Stricker is a lock, but I have doubts about Jim Furyk. In 2010 Jim went 0-2-1 at Celtic Manor as the US lost again for the fourth time in this century. Jim has had one meltdown at the Olympic Club, and no wins on the year. I’m not sure why he is a lock. Although Steve Stricker has only one win this season, that coming at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions in January, he has only one Missed cut. With six Top 10’s I think he would be an excellent pick.

Rickie Fowler did get his first win on the PGA Tour this year at The Wells Fargo Championship, but I don’t think he is playing particularly well at this time. After his win, he went on a mini run with two top 10 finishes at the Players where he finished T2, and at Colonial finishing with a T5, but has failed to crack the top 10 since, including a missed cut at Kiawah Island.

Hunter Mahan is another mystery. He also played well earlier in the year, with a win at the Accenture Match Play Championships, and again at the Shell Houston Open in March, but like Fowler, he hasn’t done much of late, missing the cut at The Players, The PGA Championship, and again last week at The Barclays. Hunter is pretty good at Match Play Competition as shown with his win in February, and his 1-2-0 score at Celtic Manor. He is an emotional player who would be a great pick.

Dustin Johnson also has a win on Tour this year at The FedEx St. Jude Classic in Memphis. He  has six top ten finishes including a T3 at The Barclays last weekend. His only missed cut was at The US Open in June. My feeling is that Dustin is an immense talent, but tends to not get emotionally invested in tournaments. If he does, he doesn’t show it very much. He took the loss at the PGA in 2010 a whole lot easier than I would have. I’m not sure my golf clubs would have been safe after that debacle. Dustin would not be one of my picks for Medinah.

Brendt Snedeker would be my pick from the gut. He also has one win on the year, that coming earlier at The Farmers Insurance Open back in January, but does have 5 Top 10’s, with a T2 at The Barclays. I liked what I saw from him last weekend, and feel if Nick Watney had stumbled coming in on Sunday, Brendt might have had a chance to win. Coming down the stretch, under pressure to make something happen, he played very well. Team USA could use that kind of effort.

Davis Love needs some help if Team USA is going to have a chance to win this year. With Tiger being up and down, and Phil Struggling, we could use some young talent in the lineup that can come in with some excitement and a desire to win. For that reason, my picks for the 2012 Ryder Cup team would be:

  1. Steve Stricker
  2. Hunter Mahan
  3. Brendt Snedeker
  4. Nick Watney

We will see on Tuesday if The Captain agrees with me.

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Tags: Deutsche Bank Championship Jim Furyk Nick Watney Phil Mickelson Ryder Cup Selections Steve Stricker Tiger Woods

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