Ten Great Golfers But Only Two Picks


04 Ryder CupNow its time for the jaw-flapping to begin. Everyone will have a take on the Ryder Cup wild-cards. A few will think Hal Sutton did pretty good by picking Jay Haas and Stewart Cink. They will be much in the minority, however.
Hey, how about Jerry Kelly and Scott Verplank? What about Steve Flesch and Jeff Maggert? Didnt Justin Leonard play well enough in the PGA to merit a pick? Hey Hal, have you forgotten Todd Hamilton in the British Open? And my goodness, how can you leave off John Daly?
We will know the night of Sept. 19 how good Suttons picks were. That will be the moment after the Ryder Cup ends and Haas and Cink will either be glorified or vilified. So, incidentally, will Sutton.
Time will tell ' were four weeks away ' whether I made the right decision or the wrong decision, said Sutton.
I have no complaint with either of Suttons choices. Undoubtedly, an excellent argument could be made for several others. And undoubtedly, if the U.S. loses once again, they will have a lot of merit. But for today, for right now, what can be said critically of Haas and Cink?
Haas was bumped out of the top 10 and an automatic spot on the team in the PGA Championship. He is No. 9 in scoring average and a better-than-average putter ' No. 31.
Cink is an excellent putter ' leading the tour in that category. And hes No. 8 in the all-around rankings. Hes been fairly consistent of late, finishing in the top 17 in his last five events, in the top eight in three of those.
Sutton has played alongside both. I would rely on his assessment of Haas and Cink long before I would rely anyone elses. If he says those two are better than Daly or Verplank or Hamilton or whomever, I would only say, Yes sir, I guess youre right.
Actually, he didnt say Haas and Cink are better. What hes saying is that, in his estimation, they are better for the team at Oakland Hills. His judgment was made of many factors, including this years results, obviously, but also a number of intangibles.
There is plenty ' plenty ' room for disagreement. Sutton knows there will be plenty ' after all, he had some pretty good talent from which to choose.
For example:
KELLY : I considered Jerry very seriously. Jerrys a fighter, he really wanted to make this Ryder Cup team.
HAMILTON: Were talking about the dark side of being U.S. captain of the Ryder Cup. Many deserving people ' Todd Hamilton won twice, stared down two great players to do it. I went with what I thought was in the best interests of the team.
MAGGERT: He didnt enter the PGA because his wife was on the verge of delivering a child. But Maggert was No. 11 on the Ryder Cup list when he withdrew.
DALY: The peoples choice, hes a Samson with a driver (third) and a wonderful putter (fifth). But he missed the cut in the last two majors, which had to weigh heavily on Suttons mind.
I went with what I thought the team needed, said Sutton, and that happened to be Jay and Stewart. Its a shame that we have to make it about who didnt get picked instead of who did. I feel for every one of those guys who didnt get picked. I didnt have but two choices.
Sounds good enough for me. Those are the two Sutton wanted. Will they be the two who will help bring home the Ryder Cup? Well know Sept. 19.
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Related links:
  • U.S. and European Ryder Cup Points List

  • Full Coverage - 35th Ryder Cup