Friday, September 10, 2010
Pavin Announces Captain's Picks for 2010 Ryder Cup
The 21 year old Fowler was perhaps the biggest surprise amongst Pavin's picks. The tour rookie is winless in his 24 starts this year, making 16 cuts and having 5 top-10 finishes. I can see the appeal to Fowler, a young kid looking to go out and prove himself on one of golf's biggest stages (he also finished top 20 over in Europe in the Open Championship, another good thought). But let's be serious - the kid looks like golf's equivalent of Justin Bieber, and hasn't won on either the PGA tour or Nationwide tour. He was in contention in numerous tournaments this year but always seemed to fade when it counted, a disparaging sign in a Ryder Cup pick. You can be sure that if Fowler throws up a goose egg when he gets his chances, Pavin will take some serious heat.
Woods was, to many, an obvious choice for a Captain's pick, due to his vast experience and ability to go low almost any time he steps on the course. Many people felt Woods compounded this with 3 sub-70 rounds at the Deutsche Bank Championship this past weekend. Here are my problems with all this:
1.) TPC Boston has proven to be the PGA tour's equivalent to "pitch and putt" (many total winning scores have been around -20 under). Of course he posted sub 70 rounds. In fact, it's probably a little embarrassing that he didn't post 4 of them.
2.) HE'S GOING THROUGH SWING CHANGES. Yeah let's throw a guy out there who is unsure of how his swing should feel.
3.) By his own admittance, he has been focusing more on his family life than his golf game. I'm not criticizing that (although I wonder where his concern for his family was when he was trolling for waitresses, but I digress), I'm just saying maybe the guy needs to clear his head before he will be able to compete at 100%.
4.) He isn't having a whole ton of sex anymore. You may be wondering why this is a bad thing, but consider this: Sex actually helps an athletes perfomance. Maybe what made Woods so great, besides his ridiculous amount of skill and willingness to practice, was screwing a different girl in every city.
Anyways, I feel that choosing Tiger was something that Pavin had to do from a PR standpoint, but I definitely think there were better choices for his spot.
Zach Johnson and Stewart Cink
I don't really have a problem with either of these picks. Johnson won an event this year and tied for third at the PGA. He has proven he has the ability to close when it matters and to perform under pressure - mainly due to his accurate driving and excellent putting. Plus, Johnson is probably the only guy on tour who could literally swing a club in a room with 6 foot ceilings (his swing is crazy flat). There has to be something to be sad for that. Cink had perhaps an off year this year, with only 3 top 10's and no victories. However, Cink won a British Open in 2009, proving that he is more than capable of playing on courses over there. He also has played in 4 Ryder Cups, making him a valuable asset to the younger players. Of the 4 picks, Johnson and Cink are perhaps my favorite - they both have won majors, proven that pressure doesn't get to them when it counts, and have participated in previous Ryder Cups. I definitely think Pavin got these ones right.
With these 4 players, the US team looks like this:
1.) Phil Mickelson
2.) Hunter Mahan
3.) Bubba Watson
4.) Jim Furyk
5.) Steve Stricker
6.) Dustin Johnson
7.) Jeff Overton
8.) Matt Kuchar
9.) Rickie Fowler
10.) Tiger Woods
11.) Zach Johnson
12.) Stewart Cink
P.S. As this post is being finished (4 pm on Friday), all 4 Captains picks are participating in the BMW Championship. All 4 are over par for the tournament - Cink and Johnson at 1 over, Fowler at 2 over, and Woods at 3 over. Nice.
Posted by George Washington at 4:14 PM