USA! USA! USA!
On the back of last week’s post, let’s take a closer look at the now complete USA Ryder Cup Team.
I do find it odd the Captain Jim Furyk named three picks and then saved one final pick for a couple of weeks later. I’m pretty sure when he named his first three picks he would have had a very clear idea of what his fourth man was, so why delay it and prolong the waiting. The fact that then the BMW Championship over-ran to his special final pick day makes it even more of a farce. Anyway, enough of my moaning, let’s have a look at the 12 Americans.
First things first, the top 8 who automatically qualified look incredibly strong on paper. All (apart from Rickie Fowler) have won major championships, physically they’re intimidating, and most of them hit it an country mile. I think they were basically all pencilled in when the qualification process started, possibly the only surprise being Webb Simpson. Let’s not forget though, he’s a major champion and has past Ryder Cup experience, so the European’s can’t take him lightly. I feel like this group of Americans are also quite tightly knit and you could pair anyone together and they’ll function and bring the best out of each other.
I think we all knew Furyk’s first 3 picks based on recent performances. Bryson Dechambeau has been the man in form with back-to-back Fed-Ex Cup Playoff wins. He’s also the talk of the golfing world with his mathematical approach to the game, and his extremely quirky manorisms. It’ll be interesting to see how he fits in on the team; he seems like he’s a bit of an outsider compared to the rest, but that could work in his favour. The next two picks were what every golfer around the world was hoping for – one is the most creative and exciting people to watch play the game, the other is simply the GOAT. A Ryder Cup with Phil or Tiger just would not be the same. This will be their 12th and 8th appearances respectively, and I’m sure that Tiger would have had even more appearances if it wasn’t for his injuries. From a pure fan point of view, how great would it be to see them playing together!? I know past captains have tried pairing them together previously, with the theory that they were the two best players in the world, but this never seemed to work. However, now they’re both a bit older, and seemingly enjoying their golf more now, you could see this being the top pairing for America.
The final delayed pick was maybe the only headache that Captain Furyk has had. Many other guys were knocking at the door, and he could have easily picked a Zach Johnson or a Matt Kuchar and fallen back on their experience. Or he could have taken the plunge and gone with Xander Schaufelle who, with him being next on the qualification list, must have been extremely close to making the team. However, its Tony Finau that finds himself on the plane to France. He’s been Mr. Consistent this year, even finding himself in contention to win the Fed-Ex Cup without actually winning a single tournament.
All in all, I think Jim Furyk will be pretty excited by the prospect of working with these 12 guys, and he’s got a great mix of experience and youth, long game bombers and short game wizards…..the Europeans best bring their A-game to Paris!