With automatic qualifying set to end on Sunday for the 2014 Ryder Cup team at the completion of the PGA Championship, we will need to establish a M.A.S.H. unit that is ready to travel to Gleneagles late next month. Tom Watson may have to stand-by with his clubs just in case he needs to fill a foursome. That might no be a bad option.
The Captain looked pretty good teeing it up in the rain on Friday at Valhalla, but was overpowered by the length the course played to in the wet conditions. The 64 year-old Hall of Famer couldn’t make many birdies, and missed the cut by three strokes.
The list of questions, as the qualifying winds down, is longer that the list my kids used to send to Santa Clause. The list of people within the top nine are either inexperienced, or injured.
The dominoes started to fall last week as his number two player, Dustin Johnson disappeared under strange circumstances from the active roster. Johnson has personal problems that we will not go into here other stating the fact he will not be at Gleneagles.
The bad news continued on Thursday at Valhalla when Matt Kuchar withdrew from the PGA with back problems. Because of Tiger Woods. we are all now familiar with back problems, and the ramifications of continuing to play with back problems.
More bad news on Thursday as Jason Dufner, who is dealing with a bulging disc in his neck had to quit after eight holes at Valhalla with his future un-certain at this point.
Bubba Watson is our number one guy, and is so temperamental that we will have to hope the golf course fits his eye and he doesn’t get there only to bail on his team because it’s cold and he don’t like the layout.
As we get ready to tee it up for the weekend at Valhalla, 2007 Masters Champ, Zach Johnson has the ninth, and final play-in position. Zack hasn’t played well since leaving the West Coast back in January, and has some health issues as well, but he did make the cut.
Captain Tom really needed for 2011 PGA Champ, Keegan Bradley to play his way onto this team this week, and Bradley missed the cut on Friday afternoon. Watson wants some of the players who have the taste of defeat in their mouths from the Sunday meltdown at Medinah in 2012, and Bradley was one of those players.
After giving up one of his picks in 2014, Watson now has a dilemma with both Bradley, and Phil Mickelson in the 10th and 11th position respectively. The two wild cards in the deck are Steve Stricker, and Tiger Woods.
We all know about the problems with Tiger and his back, but Stricker has health issues as well. Steve has been selected as a Vice Captain, and would be an emergency option if someone can’t answer the bell in Gleneagles.
He almost has to select Tiger Woods if he can swing a club because he could pair him with a Rickie Fowler, or someone who can drive the ball. Tiger could still be an asset in the wedge game, and on the greens. He could also sit him if needed….Hey Tom is quickly running out of options, and healthy bodies.
Team Europe is packed with players who are all playing well with no sign of health issues. Let’s break it down from the World List. Rory McIlroy, Sergio Garcia, Henrick Stenson, Justin Rose, Martin Kaymer, Thomas Bjorn, Victor Dubuisson, Grahme McDowell and Jamie Donaldson.
Possible Captains Picks…Luke Donald, Ian Poulter, Migel Angel Jimenez, and Lee Westwood. Donald has made the cut at Valhalla, and can still play his way onto the team, Ian Poulter hasn’t played too well this year, but we’ve seen him in action at the Ryder Cup, and Lee Westwood looks to have his game on-track at Valhalla.
Captain Tom, and Team USA may be in serious trouble at Gleneagles. Keep smiling Tom!!