ATLANTA – Despite his frequent suggestions that statistics will play a leading role at the Ryder Cup, it seems unlikely that Davis Love III will be using the vast amounts of information available to him to make Sunday’s final pick.
“It's not going to come down to who plays great this week. It's not going to come down to that at all,” Brandt Snedeker said this week. “It's going to come down to who Davis feels comfortable with and guys he trusts and wants on that team.”
If, however, Love were to have his mathematicians crunch the numbers prior to Sunday’s announcement, he could create some interesting options.
Although there isn’t a single statistic that would assure productivity at Hazeltine National, most experts agree a combination of factors would be the best way to predict potential success.
Among the half dozen or so Americans vying for the final pick, combine each player’s PGA Tour rank in final-round scoring average, putting from 10 feet and strokes gained-off-the-tee and an interesting picture emerges.
Kevin Kisner – who ranks 38th, 103rd and second, respectively, in those three categories – leads the way with an average ranking of 48th; followed by Gary Woodland (60th) and Bubba Watson (63rd).
Ryan Moore (74th) and Daniel Berger (80th) also would garner attention from Love using the combined statistic, and given how Hazeltine National will be set up at 7,600 yards it’s likely the captain would give a strong driver like Watson (he’s third in strokes gained-tee-to-green) a little more consideration.
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