It's crunch time for Ryder Cup Team selection
As time for the 38th Ryder Cup (Oct. 1-3) closes in, the selection of who will play on the American team becomes a horse race. Who will Captain Corey Pavin pick for his 12 good men?
September 7 is the date when Pavin names his four “wild card picks.” The other eight are automatically on the team if they have landed at the top of a list determined by a rather complicated system of points.
Follow the money. Players earn points for prize money earned in 2009 and 2010 majors and official PGA events. At the moment,
What started out in the “roaring twenties” as a friendly battle every two years for sporting fame between the Old World (basically England and Ireland) against the New World (United States) turned into an embarrassing rout as U.S. players continued to dominate into the 80s winning all but four times. Some would dare to say these crushing defeats were getting a tad boring.
To shore up the Great Britain and Ireland side, some talent from Europe was integrated into the team, specifically players like Seve Ballesteros, Bernhard Langer, Sandy Lyle, Nick Faldo and Ian Woosnam.
Remember The Belfrey, 1985? That’s when the whole contest became really interesting. The Old World took the Ryder Cup followed in 1987 by another win, this time on American soil.
Since then, it’s been a exciting horse race with Europe claiming the most wins, although the U.S. took the last Ryder Cup held at Valhalla Golf Club, Louisville, KY.
Now the battle returns to Europe hosted by Celtic (pronounced Kell-tic) Manor in the City Of Newport, Wales. Like the K Club, venue for the 2006 Ryder Cup, a purpose-built track designed for this event, the Celtic Manor’s Twenty Ten course has also been constructed specifically to host the contest.
So who will be there?
At the moment heading the list in points are Phil Mickelson and Hunter Mahan who are already qualified followed by Jim Furyk, Steve Stricker, Jeff Overton, Anthony Kim, Matt Kuchar and Lucas Glover.
Kim who hasn’t played much this year due to a thumb injury is back in the action and really wants a spot on the team. Whether he drops off the top eight or not, Pavin could very likely pick this guy as one of his selections. How he performs at Whistling Straits this weekend will be crucial. Besides, he wears great belts.
Kuchar’s consistent play over the year with five top-ten finishes in nine events should give him a good shot at a spot while Glover will need to stay strong at Wisconsin.
And what about Tiger who is #10 on the list? Pavin could put him on the team as a wild card selection, but the way he’s playing at the moment, “wild card” says it all. This man has distractions.
Stewart Cink would bring gravitas to the team – kind of like snuggly chenille lounge socks - and I’d like to see Rickie Fowler make it. He’s one of the hottest young players on the tour and should be good for the team, as long as he buys into the “team” mentality.
Gotta watch Whistling Straits this weekend. It will be huge for Ryder Cup wanna bes.
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