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Name Your Team USA Ryder Cup Squad

post #1 of 255
Thread Starter 

It maybe the middle of May, but thoughts are turning to the Ryder Cup in late September. Who do you think be the 12 who make- up team USA?

post #2 of 255

It's hard to say at this point; so much of the points standings depends on the results of the remaining majors, and a lot of uncertainty revolving around certain mainstays of the American team.

 

  • Bubba Watson, Matt Kuchar, and Jordan Spieth (currently 1-3-4 in Ryder Cup standings, and 4-5-8 in the Official World Golf Ranking, respectively) are virtual locks at this point. They have been the three best American players in 2014, and one must assume they will continue their current form.
  • Jimmy Walker (2nd in points, 17th in OWGR) has had a breakout year, but he has never been in contention for a spot on a U.S. team. I still question whether he can keep this streak going through the summer, but top-10s at the Masters and Players would suggest he's a safe bet to be in Gleneagles.
  • Jim Furyk (5th in points, 12th in OWGR) needed a captain's pick to make his eighth Ryder Cup squad two years ago. He doesn't have a great record at the Ryder Cup, but Jim's been in contention to win more often than not when he's played in the last 12 months, and he's on track to make his ninth appearance in his own right.
  • Dustin and Zach Johnson (6-9 in points, 14-13 in OWGR) are veterans of American team competitions, and they're playing well this season so far. If either finishes outside of the top-nine automatic qualifier spots, Watson will surely use a captain's pick on him.

 

Those seven players are probably going to be on the team, barring catastrophe. The two players currently inside the top nine in Ryder Cup standings who I am less confident in holding their position are Patrick Reed (7th in points, 24th in OWGR), who has missed three cuts and has a top finish of T48 since declaring himself as a "top-five player" at Doral, and Phil Mickelson (8th in points, 11th in OWGR), who has more WDs (two) than major-tour top-ten finishes (one, a T2 at Abu Dhabi in January) in 2014. Just outside of the AQ positions is Jason Dufner (10th in points, 20th in OWGR); all three of his top-tens in 2014 have been in limited-field events (the highest being 5th-place at the TOC).

 

After Dufner is a great mass of mediocrity, which may prove to be the saving grace for him and Phil (if not Reed, who doesn't have a reputation to fall back on if he doesn't earn one of the AQ spots). 11th through 14th in points - Harris English, Chris Kirk, Ryan Moore, and Webb Simpson (41-47-38-30 in OWGR) - all owe their current standing to wins during the fall wrap-around schedule: none of them have earned a top-five finish since the PGA Tour left Hawaii this year. Discounting the injured Tiger Woods, the highest-ranked American currently not in AQ position is Steve Stricker (48th in points, 15th in OWGR), whose limited playing schedule leaves him well out of the running in the Ryder Cup standings and in need of some big results in the majors (and maybe winning the John Deere again) to make up the gap. Rickie Fowler, JB Holmes, Keegan Bradley, and Hunter Mahan (16-19-20-25 in points, 37-69-21-36 in OWGR) are team USA veterans who can still play their way into contention, but Holmes has to move up in the world ranking to justify a captain's pick.

 

My gut feeling for the remaining five spots: Mickelson, Dufner, English, Bradley, Fowler. But that will change.

post #3 of 255
Folwer took down Poulter and Garcia at the match play earlier this year. For that reason alone, I'm putting Folwer. Maybe he can get some juju going against their juju.
post #4 of 255

Good analysis Chilli Dipper.

 

I think at this point you have 4 locks: Watson, Walker, Spieth, Kuchar

 

You have 4 others who will either qualify outright by their play this year (Zach Johnson, Furyk), and/or be sure fire captains picks (Rickie Fowler, Mickelson)

 

The last 4 are the hard ones to pick: If TW can play, he will be selected, think Dustin Johnson will play his way in, Keegan Bradley will be a captain's pick and lastly I could see a wildcard pick like Billy Horschel, Charley Hoffman or another veteran like Stricker or someone more obvious like Dufner/English/Simpson/Snedeker.

 

Besides the first 4, really a shit ton of options at this point. Here's my team and pairings for fun:

 

 

Watson & Fowler - good friends, major winner, good matchplay guy, great season, good season

Furyk & Spieth - veteran, lock/new talent, both playing well right now

Bradley & Mickelson - both will be captains picks if not locked, play well together

Kuchar & Z. Johnson - good friends, great season, great competitor

Walker & D. Johnson - lock, disappointing season for his standards but has needed length, experience

English & TW - new talent, future star, veteran, major ?

post #5 of 255

My Team Europe predictions:

 

6 locks: Poulter, Westwood, Rory, Sergio, Rose, Kaymer

3 clinches: Donaldson, Dubuisson, Stenson

3 captains picks: Jimenez, GMac, Bjorn

 

others options: Donald, Blixt, Luiten, Molinari, Fernandez-Costano

 

Poulter & Westwood - good chemistry, best current Ryder Cup experience/success, history

Rory & GMac - good friends, lock, not playing well this year but can elevate his game when needed

Sergio & Jimenez - good seasons for both, chemistry, history

Rose & Donaldson - locks, experience, new talent with a great Euro season

Bjorn & Kaymer - both having good seasons, veteran presence, solid talent plays well on big stage

Stenson & Dubuisson - not having a good year but will be a pick, can elevate his game when needed, new talent going to be an elite player someday, will be a lock

post #6 of 255

Jordan Spieth

Bubba Watson

Jimmy Walker

Matt Kuchar

Jim Furyk

Zach Johnson

Dustin Johnson

Phil Mickelson

 

Rickie Fowler

Webb Simpson

Keegan Bradley

Harris English

post #7 of 255
Bubba Watson, Matt Kuchar, Jordan Spieth, and Jimmy Walker are probably locks. Furyk's been playing some fantastic golf lately and I think Dustin and Zach probably get in as well. The other two automatic spots probably go to Dufner and Mickelson, with captains picks of Fowler, Webb, and Tiger(?), with Reed, English, and Bradley on the fence, and outside candidates of Mahan, Snedeker, or Stricker
post #8 of 255

Some crazy prices on Betfair about Tiger making the team.

I'm definitely going to lay it

post #9 of 255

Well, there's a difference between who I think and who I want....for example, I don't want Patrick Reed anywhere near this team but I think he'll be the last man in. But here's who I think the team will be:

 

Slam dunks

Bubba Watson

Zach Johnson

Dustin Johnson

Jimmy Walker

Jim Furyk

Jordan Spieth

Phil Mickelson

Matt Kuchar

Jason Dufner

 

Last 3 in

Patrick Reed

Rickie Fowler

Hunter Mahan

 

Big names out

Tiger Woods - Sorry, but I don't see him coming back before the PGA and if he doesn't contend there (which I doubt he will), I don't think Watson takes him. He won't make the Playoffs so won't be able to play there.

Webb Simpson and Brandt Snedeker - Not a product of them, just a product of the year they're having. I think Snedeker has the best chance, though, of turning it around and making the team. I think Webb's game has a longer way to go.

Steve Stricker - Age is getting the best of him this year.

post #10 of 255

Jiminez won again yesterday and in doing so extends his record for the oldest European tour winner. He's in a happy place right now with his life having just married someone suspsiciously younger than he last week! but if I were American he'd be one player I wouldn't mind having to face. He's hardly been a factor in previous cups when he was theoretically a better player. A bit of me is inclined to interpret his involvement as a sign of European weakness

 

Tom needs to get a hold of this Tiger issue though. He can't afford to turn the American preparation into a weekly medical bulletin about one player. That will only become disruptive and destabalise the fringe players. I'm not aware of any sport where an injured player improves a team. 

 

Tom needs to set Tiger a non negotiable target in terms of securing something like a top 25 place having completed X number of rounds, by Y date. If he fails, then he's out. We've done this sort of thing before with supposed big names like Harrington or Casey who preferred to chase Fed Ex money. If you aren't committed, then we don't want you, and we don't care what your name is. Simple as that. 

 

What's also true is we aren't scared of Woods, nor Mickelson, nor Furyk. Any ability they had to impose themselves in team matchplay was long ago punctured. The American's came into 2004 telling us that Mickelson/ Woods was the unstoppable dream pairing etc What a gift!!! Did Hal Sutton not understand a thing. Take the dream pairing down on the first day (as we did twice) and the whole morale of the American team is shredded at a stroke. If you lose to them, so what, it's only 2 games. The Australian cricket team understood like no other team I've seen, the immense pyschological damage that can be done to an opposition team if you can successfully target the area of strength and take it down early.

 

Personally, I'd be a lot more worried by a plethora of young guns hungry to write a new chapter unburdnened by the generation of golfers who've been letting America down over the last decade. If Tom were brave and gets the opportunity (he probably won't in Jims case, as he'll qualify by right) but otherwise move on now and drop both Phil and Tiger, and announce that we start a new series afresh with a new vigour

 

There is also a potentially decisive factor that Europe has been drawing on for years now that might not be operating to the same level for the first time at Gleneagles in two decades. American commentators are oblivious to its existance of course, and I've never read anything penned in the US that is even aware of it. American soul searching has very often gone off looking in other directions whilst lamenting with a sense of 'how do they do it'? the seemingly impossible question of what it is that Europe plugs into in order to raise their games in the Ryder Cup

post #11 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by atb5079 View Post
 

My Team Europe predictions:

 

6 locks: Poulter, Westwood, Rory, Sergio, Rose, Kaymer

3 clinches: Donaldson, Dubuisson, Stenson

3 captains picks: Jimenez, GMac, Bjorn

 

others options: Donald, Blixt, Luiten, Molinari, Fernandez-Costano

 

Poulter & Westwood - good chemistry, best current Ryder Cup experience/success, history

Rory & GMac - good friends, lock, not playing well this year but can elevate his game when needed

Sergio & Jimenez - good seasons for both, chemistry, history

Rose & Donaldson - locks, experience, new talent with a great Euro season

Bjorn & Kaymer - both having good seasons, veteran presence, solid talent plays well on big stage

Stenson & Dubuisson - not having a good year but will be a pick, can elevate his game when needed, new talent going to be an elite player someday, will be a lock

If i could pick the team for europe it would be:

 

1. Poulter ( no need to say why )

2. Mc Ilroy ( showing some good form lately )

3. Garcia ( great matchplay guy seems to do well in links conditions)

4. Rose ( i think his win was crucial last edition and how .....)

5. F. Molinari ( think he plays clean sheet against Tiger )

6. Kaymer ( shows good form and he has cool nerves )

7. Jimenez ( steady golfer seems he never plays a bad round )

8. Luiten ( the newbie, but will be there for a few editions )

9. Gallacher ( steady down to earth kinda guy )

10. Donaldson ( experienced guy with a good game at the moment )

11. Stenson ( after last season he must deserve a spot )

12. Blixt ( he's showing good form )

post #12 of 255

If Phil keeps sucking wind this year (although he's currently on the team) and Tiger's game doesn't come back by August, it will be really interesting to see what Watson does. Unlike some prior Captains, I think TWatston will have the balls to leave either or both of them off the team if their games aren't there. That said, I hope both of them get their mental and physical acts together because it will most definitely add to the buzz and anticipation around the event.

 

Besides them, I think Kuchar, Bubba, Spieth, Furyk, DJ, and probably ZJ and Fowler will make for a very solid core with the likes of English, Reed, Walker making for some strong complementary pieces.


Edited by skydog - 5/19/14 at 10:41am
post #13 of 255

Just in case there's any confusion TomVk about Garcia, the Centenary course at Gleneagles isn't a links a track. It's Scotland's longest inland course, and widely regarded as the most American course that Scotland has

 

I'd be more scared of your team Skydog then I would the same old tired faces that haven't done a great deal before.

 

I could perhaps question whether Phil has finally got the Scottish bug having won at both Castle Stuart and Muirfield last year, but I hope for the sake of team America that Tom does something decisive sooner rather than later about Tiger (so far a she can). Even if he issues an ultimatum it sends out the right signal to the rest of the team and especially those on the fringe

 

It's well documented that if America can't win at something, then they start to switch off and immerse themselves in domestic challenges instead, or things they can win at. If the RC is to remain part of the wider sporting fabric (something golf needs) then the cup needs to retain its vital competitiveness. It won't take too many more European victories, and some of the post Brookline ones in particular were thrashings. In the wider interests of the RC, it really needs an American win, and ideally with a bit of dignity for a change, albeit Valhalla wasn't too bad, and you'd have to have been deaf not to recognise some less than edifying background noise at Medina that had English DNA running through it

post #14 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by skydog View Post
 

If Phil keeps sucking wind this year (although he's currently on the team) and Tiger's game doesn't come back by August, it will be really interesting to see what Watson does. Unlike some prior Captains, I think TWatston will have the balls to leave either or both of them off the team if their games aren't there. That said, I hope both of them get their mental and physical acts together because it will most definitely add to the buzz and anticipation around the event.

 

Besides them, I think Kuchar, Bubba, Spieth, Furyk, DJ, and probably ZJ and Fowler will make for a very solid core with the likes of English, Reed, Walker making for some strong complementary pieces.

 

Mickelson is probably safe, although no sure bet as of right now. There aren't a lot of deserving players outside of the top nine looking in, and those who distinguish themselves between now and August will overtake him in the AQ standings based on his recent form. Should the decision on a captain's pick come down to Phil versus some of the anonymous winners we've seen on tour so far this season, Phil will get the nod unless his game gets worse over the summer.

post #15 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomvk77 View Post
 

If i could pick the team for europe it would be:

 

1. Poulter ( no need to say why )

2. Mc Ilroy ( showing some good form lately )

3. Garcia ( great matchplay guy seems to do well in links conditions)

4. Rose ( i think his win was crucial last edition and how .....)

5. F. Molinari ( think he plays clean sheet against Tiger )

6. Kaymer ( shows good form and he has cool nerves )

7. Jimenez ( steady golfer seems he never plays a bad round )

8. Luiten ( the newbie, but will be there for a few editions )

9. Gallacher ( steady down to earth kinda guy )

10. Donaldson ( experienced guy with a good game at the moment )

11. Stenson ( after last season he must deserve a spot )

12. Blixt ( he's showing good form )

 

Gallacher, Donaldson and Blixt over G-Mac? I'd have a hard time leaving GMac off the team.

post #16 of 255

Given the importance of birdies in fourballs as opposed perhaps to the more steady round being rewarded in foursomes, I'd have thought Dubisson will be selected as the luxury mercurial type you can allow to try and shoot a level par round made up of 9 birdies and 9 bogeys.

 

The McDowell/ McIlroy combo isn't as powerful as myth would have us believe though. In fact Irish pairings return a loss since we became Europe (along with Italian pairings - which is really one family)

 

The strongest pairings based on nationality is the Spanish with a return of 18 - 7 - 4

The English are 16 - 12 - 0 

whilst the Scots and Swedes are perfect 50%

 

I'd be amazed if McGinlay doesn't pick McDowell though! There have been some issues going back to how the captain was chosen as many players seemed to get themselves trapped into advocating for Darren Clarke by the media. It was a bit of a cock up all round as what it showed is that some senior players don't think McGinlay is the right person for the job. OK they've tried to patch that up now, but I'm sure those wounds could easily resurface if things start going wrong. It's why Tom needs to get on the front foot as I reckon there's a fracture line here

post #17 of 255

Bubba

Walker

Furyk

Spieth

Kuch

DJ

English

Rickie

Woodland

Haas

Stricker

Perez

 

 

The last 4 are just because I like their games and balance out the dynamics of the team. No Patty Reed...sorry.

post #18 of 255

It is likely that Furyk will earn a spot on the team, but if he doesn't qualify on the basis of points, I really hope he isn't selected as a captain's pick. The 2012 meltdown was not the fault of any one player, but watching Furyk limp to the finish, concluding in a pathetic last putt where he looked like he was about to throw up all over the green was just sad.

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