When it comes to decision time for the Ryder Cup, Captain Davis Love has his work cut out for him. Making tough choices like this probably makes a downhill plugged lie in a bunker look easy by comparison. Looking over the current Ryder Cup standings, it seems to boil down to Jim Furyk, Rickie Fowler, and Dustin Johnson. Sorry, but Brandt Snedeker just doesn’t make the cut here. He’s a nice player who’s won a couple of times, but when you’re thinking about a pressure player, Snedeker doesn’t make the top of the list.
So we start with Jim Furyk, already a Ryder Cup and President’s Cup proven player. Not to mention a major champion who also nearly won another U.S. Open this year. He is a perfect best ball team player you can count on off the tee and on the greens. It seems every year there is that veteran on the outside looking in, and this year it’s Jim. Even if the Sunday showings in the U.S. Open and again at Bridgestone don’t inspire trust, he’s been on the big stage and his veteran presence will stabilize the team. It’s an easy pick for Davis Love. They’re more than likely friends anyway.
So which way will Davis go with Fowler or Johnson? Both are fine young players probably yet to hit their prime. With Fowler, he has already shown he can handle the Ryder Cup pressure and excel. In fact, when paired with Furyk in the last Ryder Cup it was Rickie whose play pulled out the halve in the end.
Which brings us to Dustin Johnson. Fully recovered from his wrist injury and playing well, he brings a powerful swing off the tee that could be a huge advantage in the best ball matches. He has a very solid game, but based on his performances in the majors, it’s hard to call him a “big time” pressure player, and it doesn’t get more pressure-packed than the Ryder Cup. But overall, despite Rickie’s win this year and strong play during the end last year, Dustin is the pick over Rickie right now. His lower scoring average and overall stats are better, and his length off the tee could be a huge asset for the Americans. Of course, winning the PGA Championship this week would change this for either player.
Davis certainly has his work cut out for him, but luckily he has a tremendous pool of talent to choose from. But a proven winner like Furyk and a rising star like Johnson are just what the Americans need to round out their team and re-capture the Ryder Cup.
Do you agree with our picks? Who would you select if you were the Ryder Cup team captain?