Tomorrow’s press conference will be of utmost importance for the players who failed to automatically qualify for Team USA. At 7pm ET, Captain Tom Watson will select the final three Americans, and his decision is easier than everyone thinks.
Watson is a winner, so he will pick proven winners. Chris Kirk just put his name on a trophy for the second time this season, and he was 14th in The Ryder Cup standings when the qualification process ended. If there was ever a guaranteed pick, Kirk is the guy.
Hunter Mahan ended the qualification process at 25th, but he won The Barclays last week, and finished T7 at the PGA Championship. At 20th in the World Golf Rankings, he is the highest ranked player who didn’t automatically qualify (except Tiger Woods who has an injury, and Dustin Johnson who is taking a leave of absence suspension). In my opinion, Mahan is another no brainer.
That leaves us with one more player out of an impressive group: Ryan Moore, Brendon Todd, Keegan Bradley, and Webb Simpson.
Both Moore and Todd finished the qualification process ahead of Bradley and Simpson. However, Moore missed the cut at The Barclays and finished 73rd at the DBC, and Todd finished T46 at The Barclays and missed the cut at the DBC. Unfortunately, both Moore and Todd shot their way out of a captain’s pick.
Webb Simpson missed the cut at The Barclays, but he came back with a T9 at the DBC for his tenth top-10 of the season. Bradley finished T53 at The Barclays, and came back with a T16. This is where Watson’s decision gets tough, and I would give it to Keegan because of the intensity he brings to the Ryder Cup. Although you cannot ask for a better teammate than Webb, the best player for the moment is Keegan.
Let me know what you think.
–Bernie D’Amato (@bdamato711)