European Ryder Cup Team Preview
Colleague Tim McDonald and I had the same, simultaneous inspiration…too much USA coverage, not enough Euro. He focused on Luke Donald’s absence, which I consider overrated and he feels is underrated. Good thing…disagreement makes for a solid conversation.
Numbers 1 through 3…Padraig Harrington, Lee Westwood, Sergio Garcia
Unquestionably strongest in the clutch is Harrington…better than anything not limping on the US side. Westwood has been to the bowels of Baker-Finch and back, so he knows how to survive a tough patch. Despite some petulance, Garcia is one of the best four from tee to green in the game. If someone else putts for him, watch out. All three have many international caps and will carry the team.
Numbers 4-6…Henrik Stenson, Robert Karlsson, Ian Poulter
Stenson and Karlsson are locks due to their presence on both lists (Euro and World). They are the stronger of the next generation, heirs to the throne of Bjorn. Poulter can flat out play and his quixotic dress code will take some heat off the rest of the team. He’ll find a way to stand out, even in uniform.
Numbers 7-9…Miguel Angel Jimenez, Graeme McDowell, Justin Rose
One mechanic and two question marks. Jimenez is above suspicion. He’ll bring the Cubans and the whiskey. McDowell and Rose had suspect major championship finishes this year and need to earn some stripes with solid RC performances.
Numbers 10-12…Martin Kaymer, Oliver Wilson and Nick Faldo, err Dougherty
Kaymer is 10th and 10th, while Wilson is English, like Faldo. Trust me, if Faldo could pick himself and not get tossed from the team, he would. It would be his Seve moment, how to upstage your opposing captain. Unlike Tom Kite, Paul Azinger won’t roll over like a drunken beagle. As such, Faldo must pick his proxy, his protege, Nick Dougherty. ND is 14th and 18th on the lists, so that will good enough for Big D…Nick.
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OK, OK, we all know Casey could/ should have chosen his words more carefully, 'tho I was amazed and sorry at how literally it was taken. (Anyway, I can think of a couple of US players in the past ......no, let sleeping dogs lie). Don't hold grudges, Ron Mon - I am sure he properly loves you to bits now. He's 16/16 on both lists, btw, so Even Steven with Dougherty.
Casey had better make the cut at Wyndham, (I'm following, of course)and I'm quite impressed with Rose trying to make European top 5, rather than resting on his laurels.
You have NEVER given me (or anybody else I know of for that matter) a smiley and/or winkey face. I meant that we might be reduced to doing so in order to convey humour/humor - ah, perhaps that's the problem.
Now if you had read Brandon's blog (taking the Michael out of Justin's rightful claim to being No. 1 in Europe by virtue of 2007 European Order of Merit - until he hands it over at end of this year), you might just have glimpsed that he (Justin, that is, not Brandon) is playing the Dutch & Scottish to try and cement RC position, so yes, he is taking a week off after PGA.
Any idea why DJ Trahan was playing SAS (M/C) - is he trying to avoid National Service? Ooops, sorry, must stick to European team.
You'll just have to play with the possible permutations like the rest of us. However, even if the top 5 did line up on each table, the other 5 would be selected on points accumulated. Speaking of dreams - Monty says he still hopes to be a pick.
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