Finally. We can stop playing the guessing game. American Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III revealed his four picks to complete the U.S. Team. No surprises if you read our thoughts here at WUP last night. Love announced his selection at the NASDAQ headquarters in NYC by order of height — from tallest to shortest: Dustin Johnson, Jim Furyk, Brandt Snedeker and Steve Stricker — to round off what he described as the deepest U.S. Ryder Cup team in history.
The automatic eight players who qualified in the points standings were (in order): Tiger Woods, Bubba Watson, Jason Dufner, Keegan Bradley, Webb Simpson, Zach Johnson, Matt Kuchar and Phil Mickelson (who just narrowly edged out a very disappointed Hunter Mahan).
Some of you are probably surprised by Captain Love’s picks, but like I said, it wasn’t rocket science, if you do your best channeling DL3’s thought process. As we’ve mentioned, Stricker was always a lock and Furyk was suspected to be, too. Love confirmed several times in his press conference that those two were always going to be picked and since the PGA, the remaining candidates were vying for the final two spots.
The last one came down to choosing between Dustin Johnson and Hunter Mahan. DJ finished in the top five in the first two playoff events, while Mahan has had a rather forgettable summer since winning early twice in the season. I think we’re all feeling for him the most.
Just in case you missed it, you can read my rationale here, but a quick summary:
*Dustin Johnson — long ball, intimidating and great athlete.
*Jim Furyk — consistent, grown-up, respected and experienced.
*Brandt Snedeker — best putter on Tour this year (U.S. NEEDS strong putters), positive energy in the team room, versatile player who can be paired with anyone.
*Steve Stricker — Tiger’s partner but can also play with anyone, in DL3’s opinion the best player on Tour the past 5-6 years, great putter, respected on-and-off the golf course and in the team room.
Oh, Davis declared that Michael Jordan — basketball great and infamous gambler on the links — will be the American Team mascot and cheerleader (and probably another glorified cart driver). Love wants MJ visible and in the team room and driving around in a golf cart at Medinah, rather than hiding in the gallery, etc., like he did at Celtic Manor in Wales in 2010.
(Getty Images/Neilson Barnard)