Ryder Cup Who Would YOU Pick

By Kraig KannAugust 11, 2006, 4:00 pm
Two weeks to go and then its decision time for Tom Lehman. These two weeks are huge, but who among us actually believes that Lehman will make his Captains selections based on just the final two weeks?
 
Tom has been on record saying he believes the new system which puts a premium on rewarding the hot player will give him a very competitive team to take to the K-Club.
 
It may and it may not.
 
Recent history says the United States has as good a chance of being KOd at the K-Club no matter the team that sits on the plane.
 
Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, and Jim Furyk. They are the rocks of this team - consistent superstars whove been immune to major doses of inconsistency during the season.
 
Beyond that, numbers four through ten tell a different story. Chad Campbell (4th in points) is 21st in the World Golf Ranking and 9th on the money list. He didnt exactly wow us at Oakland Hills.
 
David Toms (5th in points) is coming off injury but has always been a steady hand. Chris DiMarco (6th) is also a money man you have faith in given the big moment.
 
Seven through ten cause some concern. And everyone knows it. Vaughn Taylor, J.J. Henry, Zach Johnson and Brett Wetterich are a combined 0-0-0 in cup competiton.
 
But heres where Tom Lehman gets his chance to round out the team with two of his choices.
 
If hes looking for experience does he go with No. 14 Davis Love and No. 15 Fred Couples? Or what about Stewart Cink at No. 20?
 
Those seem to be easy names to toss around ' but should they be taken so seriously? One could make the argument that given what happened at Oakland Hills, the United States might need some fresh folks wearing the red, white and blue. Though experienced and locker room ready, Couples and Love havent guaranteed the United States a victory.
 
Why not turn the team upside down completely and add some serious grit and attitude with a few names like John Rollins (11th), Jerry Kelly (12th), Lucas Glover (13th), Scott Verplank (18th) or even Arron Oberholser (19th.)
 
Glover might be the most talented of the bunch, but hasnt been able to take advantage of weekend contention of late. Rollins might not be the most well-liked of the bunch but he isnt afraid of anything or anybody. Jerry Kelly and Arron Oberholser are tough and might be better under the heat than we realize. Verplank is the only player mentioned in this column thus far who is among the PGA TOURs Top 10 in Putting Average and Driving Accuracy Percentage.
 
The problem is we just dont know.
 
And maybe thats why you go completely off the board with a Jeff Sluman whos as well-liked as anyone on the PGA TOUR and whos playing well of late. Tougher than youd think, hes been through just about everything and would love a first Ryder Cup spot.
 
Do you consider Justin Leonard whos made the big putt but seemingly hasnt been seen or heard from since John Kerry was making news at the Democratic National Convention?
 
So what do I think? If it all ended today, Id put Fred Couples on the team before Davis Love. And Id love to see a player outside the obvious selected.
 
Remember, Im not Tom Lehman and he has far more information at his disposal than I do.
 
Give me Jerry Kelly and either Lucas Glover or Arron Oberholser and Im fine. This is a different time, and a time to go different. They might not be the flashiest. But theyll give it every single ounce of every single thing they have. Still, the odds are with names like Couples, Love and Cink for sure.
 
It may not be popular, and I may be crazy, but I love new names, and a new look. Sending a team of inexperienced players across the pond to sink or swim might not be the trendy thing to do. But the recent Ryder Cup trend for the United States isnt a good one.
 
Now, what do you think?
 
Email your thoughts to Kraig Kann
 
Related Links:
  • U.S. Points List
  • European Points List
  • Full Coverage - 36th Ryder Cup Matches
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    Golf Channel reporter and former tour player Jerry Foltz:

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    LPGA caddie Shaun Clews:

    LPGA caddie Jonny Scott:

    LPGA caddie Kevin Casas:

    LPGA pro Jennie Lee: