Potential picks not making Pavins job easier

By Doug FergusonSeptember 1, 2010, 3:49 am
NORTON, Mass. –Too bad Ryder Cup eligibility is based on passports instead of property taxes. There still might be hope for Paul Casey, who has been living in Arizona for most of his adult life.

Ditto for Justin Rose, who makes his home in Florida.

Alas, those English-born stars were left off the European team when Colin Montgomerie had five worthy candidates as captain’s picks and could only take three. Montgomerie famously referred to his dilemma as an “embarrassment of riches.”

For U.S. captain Corey Pavin, there’s more emphasis on “embarrassment” than “riches” at the moment.
Tiger Woods 1st round 2010 U.S. Open
Aside from Tiger Woods, Corey Pavin doesn't have any locks for his picks. (Getty Images)
Some people thought Pavin was lucky he didn’t have to announce his picks the day after the PGA Championship, instead having three additional tournaments to allow players to state their case.

It isn’t getting much clearer.

Arjun Atwal won the Wyndham Championship at Greensboro. He was born and raised in India and now lives in Isleworth, making him eligible for the Tavistock Cup, but not the Ryder Cup. Turns out Atwal wasn’t even eligible for the FedEx Cup.

Then came The Barclays, where the only Ryder Cup chatter was the coincidence of a Scot – Martin Laird – leading the tournament. The winner turned out to be Matt Kuchar, who already is on the team.

The Deutsche Bank Championship, which starts Friday on the TPC Boston, could go a long way toward helping Pavin figure out his picks. Pavin will make the announcement a week from Tuesday at the New York Stock Exchange.

It’s looking very much like a bear market at the moment.

Tiger Woods figures to be a lock to make the team, for no other reason than he wants to play. And it helps that Woods took a significant step last week toward at least starting to resemble the world’s No. 1 player. Woods spent his final few minutes at Ridgewood cleaning out his locker and going over the possibilities of Pavin’s picks.

Like everyone else, he didn’t come to much of a conclusion.

Anthony Kim, the catalyst of the U.S. victory at Valhalla in 2008, won the Houston Open and was third at the Masters. Then he had thumb surgery, sat out for three months, and has made only one cut since his return – at Firestone, which has no cut. He is all but forgotten now, although a good week at the TPC Boston might put him back on the radar screen. The Ryder Cup does not start until Oct. 1.

Most players believe Zach Johnson is the logical pick behind Woods. The former Masters champion has a splendid short game and won at Colonial, then finished one shot out of the playoff at the PGA Championship.

The rest of them?

Former U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover had a chance to make the team until he missed the cut at the PGA Championship. He had a chance to show he was worth picking at Greensboro when he took the lead in the final round, only to shoot 38 on the back nine.

Stewart Cink, a British Open champion and steady influence in the Ryder Cup, struggled badly with scoring earlier in the year. His game is rounding into form, but he still has only three top-10s this year.

Rickie Fowler? Really? On a U.S. team that already has four Ryder Cup rookies, does Pavin take a 21-year-old who has never won a tournament? Fowler had a chance to win the Phoenix Open when he opted to lay up on a par 5 instead of hitting 4-iron, and he failed to hold a three-shot lead at the Memorial, hitting into the water on the 12th hole. This is not passing judgment. These are facts.

Nick Watney could have earned a spot at the PGA Championship, where he had a three-shot lead going into the final round. He shot 81. Watney has two top-10s in the majors, but he has not won. Sean O’Hair is more than capable, but he hasn’t won this year, either, and hasn’t come particularly close.

Ben Crane won in San Diego and is a great putter. He has never played on a Ryder Cup team.

Can anyone find two players who stand out above the rest? Can anyone find two players who stand out at all?

The Americans were in about the same place two years ago. Paul Azinger had his eight players, and while Steve Stricker was a logical pick, no one else had really distinguished himself. Turns out it wasn’t entirely up to Azinger, anyway. He revealed later that he let his three “pods” pick their fourth player.

This time, it’s up to Pavin. He is looking more for a team of 12 than 12 players on a team.

“Whoever I choose is not a bad reflection on them if I don’t pick them,” Pavin said the day after the PGA Championship. “It’s not a slap in the face. It’s just who I think is going to make for the best team.”

Pavin invited 21 top players from the Ryder Cup standings to a barbecue during the PGA Championship, and said everyone there would get a phone call with either good news or bad news.

“I told them they all are deserving, and the hardest thing for me is to pick four and leave some guys off the team,” Pavin said. “I felt everyone in that room deserved to be on the team.”

That may be true.

But unless something changes drastically this week, no one will have much room to complain if they don’t get picked.
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Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

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Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.