I’ve never seen the point in criticizing the singles lineups compiled by Ryder Cup captains over the years. Everybody has to go somewhere and nobody would put 12 players in the exact same order, which means all negative reaction is built on second-guessing, 20/20 hindsight and bulletproof retrospect. Pardon me while I clear my throat….
I think Corey Pavin made a mistake by using Hunter Mahan as his anchor. He’s still relatively inexperienced. He hadn’t played all that well at Celtic Manor before the singles, but beyond that stuff, Mahan is a guy with a very defined competitive profile.
He’s a great ballstriker, one of the best drivers in the game. He’s a very streaky putter, which is why he hasn’t won more, although he did pick up two victories this year. Most of all, Mahan probably has the weakest short game of any top-tier American player. He’s better around the greens than he used to be, but then, you might be, too.
We saw that lack of natural chipping skill when it mattered most Monday, and while nobody feels worse than Mahan about the chunk that sunk the American comeback, it would have made sense to insert him in the middle of the lineup. Strong at the top and bottom, hope for a few points in between. Man, I just love this 20/20 hindsight stuff.