Who are your Ryder Cup captain's picks?

By Jason SobelAugust 27, 2012, 7:30 pm

Jose Maria Olazabal made his Ryder Cup captain's picks Monday, selecting Ian Poulter and Nicolas Colsaerts for the European team that will face the U.S. at Medinah Sept. 28-30. U.S. captain Davis Love III still has to make four picks of his own on Sept. 4, the day after the Deutsche Bank Championship.

We asked our writers for their U.S. Ryder Cup captain's picks. They were only too happy to oblige.


If my name is Davis Love III and I have to make my four captain's picks right now – as in, right this very second – I'm going with Steve Stricker, Jim Furyk, Rickie Fowler and Brandt Snedeker.

Stricker is a great putter and partner for Tiger Woods. 'Nuff said.

Furyk has had a very strong few months, a duck hook on the 16th tee at Olympic Club and a yip on the 18th green at Firestone notwithstanding.

Fowler is the kind of guy everyone likes. He's what I call a Glue Guy – can play with anyone and can't be categorized as a ball-striker or a putter, because he does both so well.

Snedeker is a putter of the highest order. More important, he plays his best golf when his back is against the wall. Those are the kind of guys we need.

Apologies to Nick Watney, Hunter Mahan and Dustin Johnson. You all came close. But remember: These are just my picks 'right this very second.' Ask me again in a few minutes and I'm liable to change my mind.


Davis Love III must be sitting in a room somewhere in tears. The man doesn't like controversy and, almost no matter whom he selects to round out his U.S. squad, he will be second-guessed. Love’s counterpart Jose Maria Olazabal had it easy; his picks were no-brainers.

Two weeks ago, following the PGA Championship, it seemed as if Hunter Mahan, Steve Stricker, Jim Furyk and Rickie Fowler were locks. Love may well take all four, but the last two weeks on the PGA Tour have seriously muddied the once-clear waters.

From the aforementioned list I’d still select Stricker and Mahan. Stricker is guaranteed a spot because he’s easily paired with Tiger Woods. Mahan has not played well lately, but it’d still be difficult to pass on anyone who has won twice on the PGA Tour this year.

Then I’d go with Dustin Johnson and Brandt Snedeker to complete the team. Johnson needs to putt better, but he hits the ball miles and Medinah is a big ballpark. Snedeker putts it lights out and he’s played extremely well since the British Open, including a second-place finish at The Barclays.

That’d leave Furyk and Fowler on the outside, along with Nick Watney. Furyk has not handled pressure well this summer and Fowler hasn’t done much to speak of since May. Watney played well for one week. It was an important week, but it’s not enough.

A lot can, and will, change this week at the Deutsche Bank Championship. Which doesn’t make Love’s job any easier.


Davis Love III has the luxury of waiting a week until he must announce his four captain’s picks, but we’ve seen enough.

Jim Furyk and Steve Stricker, Nos. 10 and 11 at the points deadline, already should have been fitted for their waterproof rain gear, (at least we hope it's waterproof) and brightly colored team sweaters.

Stricker has become the yin to Tiger Woods’ yang in the biennial slugfest and Furyk, despite disappointments at the U.S. Open and Bridgestone Invitational, was 5-0 at last year’s Presidents Cup and has not missed a match since his rookie Ryder Cup in 1997.

The final two picks, however, are less obvious. Hunter Mahan is a two-time winner on Tour this year, including the WGC-Accenture Match Play, but has just one top-10 finish since winning the Shell Houston Open, and Rickie Fowler secured his first Tour title this year (Wells Fargo Championship) but hasn’t posted a top 10 since May.

Which brings us to Brandt Snedeker and Dustin Johnson – Nos. 13 and 15 on the points list – to round out Love’s team.

Johnson, who missed nearly three months of the season with injury, won his second event back (FedEx St. Jude Classic) and finished tied for third at The Barclays. While Snedeker was runner-up to Nick Watney on Sunday at Bethpage and is one of the Tour’s top putters, which is always an asset at a Ryder Cup.


Oh, the volatility of a Ryder Cup year. A week ago, Davis Love III had an easy decision: The U.S. captain would select Hunter Mahan, Steve Stricker, Jim Furyk and Rickie Fowler – Nos. 9-12 in the points standings on Aug. 12, when qualifying ended – and endure little or no criticism.  

It’s not quite so simple anymore, huh?

An undesirable task, to be sure, but if forced to make a decision right now, I’d take Stricker and Furyk – two Ryder Cup veterans and steadying presences in the team room – along with Barclays winner Nick Watney and Brandt Snedeker.

Watney, a former top-10 player, won Sunday at Bethpage Black in such convincing fashion that it almost made you forget his 2012 swoon. (Almost.) The streaky Snedeker finished second on Long Island – yet another high finish in a season full of them – and putts lights-out, which is a desirable attribute in team competitions. Hey, by this time next week, even long-hitting Dustin Johnson (T-3 at Barclays) may deserve the pick.

Love’s lineup card has changed, and not only because of the improved play of a few of the Cup hopefuls. Hunter Mahan, a two-time winner this season who was ninth in points, has only one top 10 since April, and Rickie Fowler, a winner at Quail Hollow, doesn’t have a top 20 in his past six starts.

Naturally, the discussion will shift in a week, after another high-pressure performance at the Deutsche Bank. Only in a Ryder Cup year . . . 

Getty Images

Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.

The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.

There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. 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.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.

Playing with the pros

Tiger, DJ and Faxon

Article: Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

Rory faces criticism

Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'

President at the Presidents Cup

Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump

Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73

Cart on the green

Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green

Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open

Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National

Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open

Trump golf properties


Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses


Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

Reportedly fake TIME covers

Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover

Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up

Pros comment on the president

Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm

Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo

By Grill Room TeamDecember 15, 2017, 1:05 am

Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.

With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.

Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.

The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.

Image via tom.lovelady on Instagram.

In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.