August 21, 2006

Captain's choice: Tom Lehman makes his picks, Cink and Verplank complete US Ryder Cup squad. Cink was ranked 12th in Ryder Cup points, Verplank was 20th, behind notable U.S. squad veterans Davis Love III and Fred Couples.

posted by YukonGold to golf at 02:45 PM - 18 comments

Disappointed not to see Love on the list. He had a lot to overcome this past weekend, too much, but he demonstrated he still had it. Verplank???? Cink doesn't impress me.

posted by viewfromhere at 03:32 PM on August 21, 2006

Love and Couple both were given serious consideration I would think, at one time, in the early 1990's, they paired for several World Cup titles, and both have plenty of Ryder Cup experience, But, Love's Cup record of 9-12-5 is less than stellar, as is Couples mark at 7-9-4. Verplank is a gamer, having fought off several obstacles to become a golfer over the years, (notably diabetes) and Cink is probably best known on tour as a very straight ball striker and a well above average putter. We need our vets to provide some leadership as well as clutch shotmaking if our 'new blood' (Wetterich, Johnson, Henry, and Taylor) is to hold up under the pressure. The Americans have been the favorites every year it seems, but not so this year. The European team is deeper, and their members come in playing much better than most of our team has been of late, with the exception of Tiger. Regardless of the results, I hope that good sportsmanship and quality golf will be on display, and that the bad blood of recent years does not raise it's ugly head.

posted by mjkredliner at 05:01 PM on August 21, 2006

I'm not sure he had any other 'great' choices, although Davis Love or Lucas Glover would seem to have been logical choices as well. Apparently, the 'experience' factor trumps everything else in the captain's assessment of talent. From my point of view, the Verplank selection is suspect, but I think Lehman may have made the call based on factors that we, as fans, may not be aware.

posted by Broncobob at 05:06 PM on August 21, 2006

One of my favorite events to watch, period, but I in no way think the Americans will fare any better this year. The European's live for this thing, while the Americans live for themselves, individually.

posted by dyams at 05:15 PM on August 21, 2006

"that the bad blood of recent years does not raise it's ugly head." and to think I only came into this thread to jump in with some trash talking! A weak looking team on paper, but for some reason it didn't list your greatest asset - Ian Woosnam. That ballbag's going to lose us the Ryder Cup I reckon.

posted by JJ at 05:15 PM on August 21, 2006

/snickers as I imagine Woosy going 5-0-0... Just make sure he doesn't have two drivers in the bag!

posted by mjkredliner at 05:21 PM on August 21, 2006

What's with the snide remarks about Woosie this man has never done anything against the game of golf. Sure he may have a temper that surfaces now and then, but that has nothing to do wth the game. Remember it is a game.

posted by Parbreaker at 05:47 PM on August 21, 2006

Hell, I love Woosie (sometimes he's Woosy, get it?), he's my kind of guy! But I also think that to underestimate him could be a grave mistake... My remark was all in fun, Senor Parbreaker, and a reference to a mistake his caddie made that may very well have cost him a major tournament...

posted by mjkredliner at 06:03 PM on August 21, 2006

Though some of Tiger's worshippers will undoubtedly believe that he will singlehandedly carry the U.S. team to glorious victory, I still believe that a true team effort on Irish soil is necessary to regain the Ryder Cup. Cink is a steady, experienced influence and a good pick. A bold,imaginative pick in addition would be John Daly. That man ,like Tiger, has raw physical skills for which the Euros have no answer. Pair him with Cink or Jim Furyk; his teammate can go for pars in best ball and John can rip for birdies and eagles. He is one of the few who can intimidate his opponents. We have got to give them something they're not ready for. I want to win; Daly gives us a chance to upset our adversaries from across the Atlantic.

posted by judgedread at 10:46 PM on August 21, 2006

I want to win; Daly gives us a chance to upset our adversaries from across the Atlantic. WTF? Daly has 1 top 25 in 17 events, has made 7 cuts in those 17 starts, is 183rd on the money list, and has a scoring average of 72.32. I like Daly as well as anyone probably, but judge, c'mon. John couldn't beat the European Walker Cup Team members right now...

posted by mjkredliner at 12:37 AM on August 22, 2006

Parbreaker - if you were referring to my comment about Woosie being a ballbag who will cost Europe the Ryder Cup, I stand by it (albeit, hoping I've completely misjudged him). He had all the talent in the world, but pissed it up against the wall. He has built a career reputation on 18 months of very good golf (including one major win and a spell as world number one), and frankly, he's not worth the adulation. He behaved like a spoilt child over the Ryder Cup captaincy and seemed to see it as some sort of right, despite the fact that of his 31 matches in the competition, he won less than half, and never won a singles match. He's a small man with a personality to match, and unless he gets some expert advice from his vice captains (who are essentially just his drinking pals) at vital moments, we haven't a hope. And don't even get me started on the John Daly thing again - the man won both his majors in Ryder Cup years, and each time got stiffed for a pick by the captain picking his pals (who then played badly) - Dave Stockton picked a very past it Ray Floyd (who I think got 2 points from 4) in 1991, and then Lanny Wadkins picked a very past it Curtis Strange (who got 0 points from 3) in 1995. I see the judge's point, and maybe if he'd won a tournament recently he might have been an option, but really, this time, there was no way he was getting near it (as mjk pointed out). I just hope Woosnam doesn't pick Clarke, although, to be fair, I suspect what he might do is say to Clarke "If you want to play, you're in." In which case, I hope Clarke has some sense.

posted by JJ at 04:57 AM on August 22, 2006

Ok JJ, thems fightin' words. How dare you call a spade a spade and expect to get away with it? American captains have never resorted to pickin' their college buddies for the team. Lanny picked Curtis because he thought that a fanned, blocked 3 iron from the middle of the fairway would come in useful at Oak Hill. And him writin' Strange's name down last for the singles matches was a stroke of genius as well ! And you inferring that Mr. Woosnam drinks, well, I guess next you'll be tellin' us that Sam Torrance does as much! You all need to get Seve out of mothballs an' fire up "The Spanish Armada" again to even have a chance against us! Better drag Christy O'Connor out of whatever bar he's in, too! And make sure there is a spring in Langer's goosestep! Our youngsters are gonna whup you all somethin' fierce, I'm tellin' you! The gloves are off, pal!

posted by mjkredliner at 09:11 AM on August 22, 2006

We beat you last time because Langer is intelligent and Germanically efficient (and Hal Sutton should be driving trucks for a living). You will beat us this time because Lehman is intelligent (apart from the god-bothering bit) and Woosnam should be drying out in some clinic somewhere. Complete aside - remember Christy O'Connor Jnr's second shot into the last at the Belfry in the Ryder Cup? One of the great shots of all time - 2 iron from 229 yards over water to a foot to beat Freddie and essentially win the Ryder Cup in 1989. There were two Irish fellas in the crowd on the 18th fairway. After O'Connor's shot into the last their conversation ran: "Jesus - did you see that? That's fucking incredible." "'tis... 'tis... but he'll always be fucking junior."

posted by JJ at 09:26 AM on August 22, 2006

Yeah, an Freddie and half the American team put a friggin nine iron in tha drink at that hole, how could I forget? You throwin salt in the wounds only portends for bad mojo yet to come. /Goes back to reading "Voodoo for Dummys".

posted by mjkredliner at 09:43 AM on August 22, 2006

My point about Daly is that if Lehman would just go to that guy, tell him that America needs him, that we all apologize for him being snubbed in the past, and the Euros were insulting Arkansas, then Big John would move mountains to get himself (and his golf game) ready for the K Club. He sure would be fun to watch...

posted by judgedread at 09:20 PM on August 22, 2006

I agree judge, he sure would be fun to watch. I wouldn't put it past him to play really well, either. He and Darren Clarke in the singles on Sunday would be a great match.

posted by mjkredliner at 09:28 PM on August 22, 2006

Maybe it's the American's year to concede defeat prior to the tournament and then win in a nailbiter. I personally think they'll get trounced. I mean, Brett Wetterich is on the team. If they had the Ryder Cup in May he'd have been a good fit because he was playing well, now he's nowhere to be seen. Straight out of Q-school to the Ryder Cup team? Has that ever been done before? I really would have liked to see Lehman win at the International and bump him out. Cool to have a playing captain and right now Lehman is a much better fit.

posted by YukonGold at 12:34 PM on August 23, 2006

I wish Woosie was a playing captain - that way, he could only possibly cost us five points. (Has anyone noticed how badly I'm trying to end up with egg on my face and the Ryder Cup in my back pocket?)

posted by JJ at 04:06 PM on August 23, 2006

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