by Jeff Skinner
The dust has settled at Whistling Straights, or should I say the sand has settled, and we are left with another first time major winner in the very deserving Martin Kaymer. We also have the bulk of the 2010 Ryder Cup Team complete as The PGA Championship was the last opportunity to earn points. Phil Mickelson, Hunter Mahan, Bubba Watson, Jim Furyk, Steve Stricker, Dustin Johnson, Jeff Overton and Matt Kuchar all earned enough points to earn an their way onto the team.
Now the fun starts for Captain Corey Pavin. He gets four Captain’s Picks and he may have a difficult time in selecting his remaining four players. With Tiger Woods declaring that he would play if selected as a pick Pavin has to pick him. I know he is playing like dog crap but he still is the world number one and he has a lot of support on that team. The other choices could give Pavin some pause. Anthony Kim is just back playing and his thumb may present a problem. Pavin has said he’ll announce his picks on September 7th so that gives Kim some more time to shake off the rust and heal. He is a Ryder Cup stud and his enthusiasm would be a great asset for the team. If Lucas Glover doesn’t miss the cut at The PGA he’s on the team. He still warrants a pick. Zach Johnson has been one of the most consistent players on tour and would be a fine choice. Other players worth considering are Bo van Pelt and Stewart Cink. Both have played well and would require that Pavin go off the board, below the twelve top point earners.
Maybe Pavin has a wild card pick like adding Rickie Fowler to get the “skater” crowd to follow The Ryder Cup. If he wants to annoy the Europeans he could pick the slow playing Ben Crane to get the Euros off their game. All that talk about Tom Watson or Fred Couples being selected for the team is just that: talk. That’s not happening.
From my perspective if Pavin just took the top twelve point earners he would have a solid team and few could argue with that. He could also follow Paul Azinger’s method for picking the lucky four. Zinger let the players that earned their way on select the four Captain’s Picks. That’s such a great way to do it. I am shocked it took this long for a captain to do it that way. It worked out pretty good for Zinger and his boys didn’t it.