Each day, until Davis Love III makes his Ryder Cup captain's picks, analysts on 'Golf Central' and 'Morning Drive' will break down the players who are vying for one of the coveted spots. Love will make his decision Sept. 4, the day after the Deutsche Bank Championship.
Today’s player under the spotlight is Dustin Johnson. Should Love pick him or skip him?
Why pick: He hits the ball miles and Medinah is a big, brawny ballpark where length will be a considerable advantage. If Johnson is picked, he’d be the second longest hitter on the U.S. squad, only behind Bubba Watson. Keep in mind that Johnson was out for nearly three months with a back injury this year and missed the Masters and The Players, places where he could’ve gained huge ground in the Ryder Cup standings. When he returned from injury, he tied for 19th at the Memorial, then won the next week at the FedEx St. Jude Classic. A third-place tie last week at The Barclays was convenient, too.
Why skip: With the aforementioned distance off the tee inevitably comes wayward drives. Johnson has only hit 56 percent of the fairways this year, which isn’t helpful. He’s also not great with the flat stick, ranking 89th in total putting and 60th in strokes gained putting. Johnson’s record is a paltry 2-6-1 combined in team cup competition (1-3 at the 2010 Ryder Cup, 1-3-1 at the 2011 Presidents Cup) and he never won more than one match either time. It’s a bit of a shocking percentage, but the numbers don’t lie. Truth is, Johnson has not played his best golf when in the spotlight and he hasn’t found a good partner.