Saturday, September 6

2008 U.S. Ryder Cup Team: Captain Paul’s Picks

SO WHAT DO YOU THINK? About a week has passed since Paul Azinger announced his four captain’s picks for the 2008 U.S. Ryder Cup team. They are Steve Stricker, Hunter Mahan, J.B. Holmes and Chad Campbell.

All Ryder Cup rookies, I think Stricker, Mahan and Holmes are pretty solid picks. I still don’t get the Campbell pick. I know he has Ryder Cup experience, but Chad has won just one match in two appearances. He has six top-ten finishes in 2008.

“ … I thought Chad had a little bit of experience, and the fact that Chad played really well this past tournament helped him,” Azinger said. “Chad also is a terrific ball striker tee to green, and when I narrowed my list down to three or four players, his name came up a lot. That was important to me.”

The eight players who qualified on points are:

1. Phil Mickelson (5,342.500)
2. Stewart Cink 4,952.665)
3. Kenny Perry (4,480.700)
4. Jim Furyk (4,423.892)
5. Anthony Kim (4,035.296)
6. Justin Leonard (3,379.274)
7. Ben Curtis (3,120.061)
8. Boo Weekley (2,785.095)

Ryder Cup Chatter


I sat in on a player interview with Steve Stricker yesterday at the BMW Championship. He said he feels a lot looser this week after learning he made the U.S. Ryder Cup team.

“I was gearing up all year for this,” Stricker said. “It was the No. 1 goal for me to start the year, and I would imagine if I wouldn’t have been picked it would have been a big disappointment. But I don’t have to think that way.”

Stricker shot a 66 in the first round and is one shot behind tournament leader Camilo Villegas.

Note: Chad Campbell withdrew from the BMW Championship on Saturday because his pregnant wife started to have contractions. It will be the couple’s first child.

−The Armchair Golfer


Related:
2008 Ryder Cup Report
2008 BMW Championship: Hunter Mahan Talks Ryder Cup
Q&A: Daniel Wexler on 2008 Ryder Cup
2008 U.S. Ryder Cup Team Takes Shape
2008 Ryder Cup Tickets Arrive

4 comments :

Phil said...

Holmes should be an interesting study at the Cup. Will his super slow play bother his partner of his opponent's the most?

Tom Blogical said...

I think J.B. Holmes is a bad choice. When Holmes is on, he's a decent player. Not great. Decent. When he's off, he's terrible, to be honest. No offense to J.B., that's just my opinion; he's very inconsistent. For example, he's 137th in GIR's, 77th in putting avg, and 103rd in putts per round and 100th in sand saves. That makes me uncomfortable. He hits the ball a mile, but he has a lot of work to do when he gets in trouble; he seems to get flustered easily and makes poor choices.

Chad Campbell surprised me a bit also, as I thought his putting was suspect. He does seem inconsistent with a putting avg at 15th and putts per round at 109th. His sand saves are scary at 171st. His game tee to green will put a lot of pressure on his opponents, though. I just hope he has a hot week putting. However, in comparison to the other players, I think it's a wash.

After looking at the stats, I think I'd have chosen Steve Flesch instead of J.B. Holmes. He has better short game stats and I think he's mentally stronger than Holmes, IMHO.

The Armchair Golfer said...

Statistically, you're right, Tom. The Holmes pick doesn't stand up very well. I think Holmes is a different kind of pick -- from Kentucky so a crowd favorite, knows Valhalla, is a long hitter who can help in the alternate shot, and maybe someone who gets on a good streak. J.B. could also tank.

Tom Blogical said...

Interestingly enough, Flesch is also from Kentucky.

I hope the USA gets off to a good start. The first few days are sometimes very painful to watch.