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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Presenting Your 2008 Ryder Cup Squad


I'm not one for looking to the past. What's done is done, and there's nothing anyone can do about it. I'd rather look to the future and make my predictions for who will be (or maybe should be) on the 2008 Ryder Cup team for the American side.

First, it's going to be a more youthful affair. There are plenty of young guys making some noise who will be in prime position to lead the team to victory at Valhalla. Second, the captain's picks should focus on guys who might be a little inconsistent but who can make amends by going on birdie barrages. In match play, you need guys who can catch fire and put their opponents on their heels.

Here's what the team might look like in 2008:
1) Tiger Woods - maybe he'll do better next time
2) Phil Mickelson - he'd better start caring, or he'll be riding the pine
3) Jim Furyk - he'll still be his solid self
4) Ryan Moore - he's ready to break out and grab a few wins
5) Chad Campbell - he's going to get even better
6) Stewart Cink - I'm not a fan, but I have to admit he's good in the Ryder Cup
7) Lucas Glover - he'll play in five or six Cups before it's all over
8) Arron Oberholser - this guy can go lights out
9) Ben Curtis - his newfound confidence will serve him well in the next two years
10) Kevin Stadler - he can play
11) J.B. Holmes - gotta love his long ball; he can make birdies in a hurry
12) Anthony Kim - he'll be the first Asian-American to make the squad

Others to consider:
1) Will Mackenzie
2) Bubba Watson
3) Bill Haas
4) Zach Johnson
5) Hunter Mahan

The team I'm predicting looks a lot different than the 2006 version. That can only be a good thing.

Does anyone else have some ideas?

6 Comments:

Blogger JTALIFER said...

JG:

I like your list, but I do have some changes. As much as I like Phil, he is out. He is too "nice" and I see a huge slump in the near future. Ben Curtis is a great player but will never be there. He will win 6-7 more times in his career if he is lucky.
By far, the best kept secret is Stadler! He is just like his dad, but better. That kid can go low, really low. I think Bill Haas will improve immensely over the next year and a half.
Maybe we need a captain that will get in the faces of these guys and remind them this is for their country. This isn't some weekend getaway or vacation to play some friendly rounds of golf. This is war dammit! Do they not understand this? Sergio Garcia understands it. He understands it well. The entire Euro squad understands it. Until we start caring, we will never win it again!!!

3:41 PM  
Anonymous Jack said...

J5 – I like the list for ’08. I also like it that it doesn’t have a Bush or a Clinton on it as well. Enough of this anti-American-democracy-sudo-duel-monarchy crap. I want fresh faces in politics like I want fresh faces on the Ryder Cup squad. And the only way to do this is with term limits and throwing the Ryder Cup point system out the window.

I want to see a team picked based on stats and who’s hot now (cough, cough DiMarco). He’s a perfect example of how one makes the squad based on his ’05 season because he spent the ’06 season pulling bark out of his rib cage after a snowboarding “accident.” I like the up’n coming guys you listed as well as the likes of Dean Wilson, Lucas Glover, Brett Wetterich and 2 time Cup’r that isn’t getting the playing time he deserves, Scott Verplank. Was he hurt? His 2 victories didn’t indicate that. Did he ride the pine to let the bigger names and top ranked players play, absolutely.

On paper, the ’06 squad should beat anything thrown at them but they can’t play together. Its egos, its commitment, preparation, exhaustion – you name it. Lefty, you’re out. Seriously, that should be Zinger’s first captain’s pick, “I pick Phil to NOT play.” For a guy that was something like 7-0 once in Cup matches, he surely has cooled off to the point of being frozen stiff in suckiness.

Tiger will play of course but he should only play in 3 or 4 matches not all 5. Look, everyone is gunning for a Tiger scalp for their mantle so why give the Euros the opportunity to step up their games and take points away? It has to be mentally and physically draining to compete at Tiger’s level for 5 matches over three days. The US Team needs 100% of Tiger, not 85%.

I’d like to see the team picked at the last possible moment and chosen from a spreadsheet not some arbitrary point system that lets hacks in (see DiMarco). I’m going to throw out a couple names here and wait for your laugh but I’m dead serious about this. In a best ball and alt-shot format, you don’t need similar players to play together; you need birdie makers, period.

Birdies made on tour – 2006
1. Daniel Chopra, the best Thrus-Friday player EVER! 92 rounds, 357 birdies
2. Steve Flesch, 105 rounds, 354 birdies
4. Bo Van Pelt, 90 rounds, 340 birdies
5. Dean Wilson, 99 rounds 338 birdies

Birdie Conversion % - 2006
Phil and Tiger are 1 & 2 respectively. 3) Daniel Chopra, 5) Vaughn Taylor, 6) David Toms, 7) Brett Wetterich 10) Lucas Glover. John Daly rounds out the top 15, as does Ben Crane and Tom Pernice, Jr.

4:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mickelson is definitely in for '08 . No doubt about it. You guys are on crack if you think he'll be left off the list. And no, I didn't personally watch his piss poor performance over the weekend, but I'm sure he'll be back on top soon enough. I'd even bet money on it. Sugar Daddy's funds are unlimited, so who wants to place the first bet?

Sara Gorman

11:22 PM  
Blogger John Gorman said...

Tali-
Azinger would be a good, fired-up, patriotic captain. You're right that they're losing sight of the fact that they're playing for the Red, White and Blue!

Jack-
Birdies are the key to the whole thing. Too bad Chopra's a Swede!

I can see Ben Crane making the team. I'm sure there will be one or two young players who aren't currently on the radar who will win a couple of times during the next 22 months.

12:12 PM  
Anonymous Katie said...

Was that really Sara leaving that comment?

4:21 PM  
Blogger John Gorman said...

Yep. That's my card of a wife. She's very passionate about the Ryder Cup.

5:50 PM  

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