Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Azinger Draws Straws, Makes Ryder Cup Picks.

Choosing from a sea of mediocrity, American captain Paul Azinger made public his 2008 Ryder Cup captain's picks today. Cleverly changing the selection format from two to four captain's picks, Azinger had hoped to be able to ride the coattails of four recently hot golfers. He had to settle for tepid.

Steve Stricker, J.B. Holmes, Hunter Mahan, and Chad Campbell received the fortunate phone calls for their clothes sizes. Let's speculate a tad on each.......

  • Steve Stricker.....Most solid of the bunch. Ranked #8 in the world. Ranking achieved mostly from last year's success. Still, shouldn't hurt us.
  • J.B. Holmes..... Ranked #55. Kentucky native. Has played Valhalla a million times. Big bomber, birdie maker. At least that's the plan. Expect very little rough to be in the way of his cannon.
  • Hunter Mahan..... Ranked #37. Repentant Ryder Cup disser. Sincere though. Playing well, but not consistently well. Opened the Barclays with a 61, finished T31.
  • Chad Campbell..... Ranked #53. Always referred to as "great ball striker". Would prefer " low scorer". Can't really tell if Chad gets rattled. He appears the same all the time.
The top of the list of guys that weren't picked that could possibly be deemed surprises would be Scott Verplank. He owns a 4-1 Ryder Cup record, is a magnificent putter and ranked #45. Great putters are at a premium in match play and none of Zinger's picks would be confused with Ben Crenshaw. Still, expect Azinger to set the course up fast with little discernible rough to favor our advantage with bombers, Mickelson, Kim, Perry and the aforementioned Mr. Holmes. Horses for courses.

Average golfer will take a little time to digest the squad and comment liberally in the coming days. Maybe after getting scorched repeatedly with an "A" squad, coming in under the radar with a "B" squad may not be all that bad. Sneak attack anyone?

Til' next,


  1. I'll admit that Tiger will definitely be missed and nothing is more evident of this fact than the name Boo appearing on this year's team, but considering what he had to work with I think Azinger did a really great job.

  2. He probably did the best he could with the hand he was dealt. I think he could have picked any four reasonably in contention and the reaction would be the same. Luke warm.

  3. Actually, Tiger's Ryder Cup record is pretty dismal, except in singles. And the Americans have lost five of the last six Ryder Cups. Expectations should be low ... maybe that helps.

  4. Even having Tiger out of the room may help. I'm sure he even unconsciously intimidates his team mates. Soloists aren't always the best orchestra members.

  5. I reckon it's about as good a set of picks as you could expect, I'd probably have gone with Verplank over Mahan, I don't reckon the chances of him blowing hot in the Ryder Cup are as high as him blowing cold. We saw a few weeks ack what the media spotlight did to him... I also love the fact that after Azinger has deliberately downplayed American chances for months, Jack Nicklaus has come out and said they should win easily. That's not really playing for the team there Jack...