Chicago Sun-Times
The Chicago Sun-Times updates on the Ryder Cup and other golf happenings.

Davis Love III looks like he will favor experience with captain's picks

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Davis Love III, the captain of the U.S. Ryder Cup team, is thrilled with the strong play of American players. Currently, the automatic eight on the U.S. team are: Bubba Watson, Jason Dufner, Webb Simpson, Phil Mickelson, Matt Kuchar, Hunter Mahan, Tiger Woods and Zach Johnson. The next three players in the U.S. Ryder Cup rankings are Keegan Bradley, Rickie Fowler and Dustin Johnson.

Once the automatic eight are set, Love will "plug some holes." 

While he would welcome younger players, Love seemed partial to two Ryder Cup veterans. 

"You could go with some rookies," he said, "but what jumps out at me is, 'You don't have Steve Stricker and Jim Furyk.' If you look at recent teams, where is your stability? Where's Furyk? How can you play without Steve Stricker?"

Currently, Stricker is ranked 12th and Furyk is 13th.

Love knows better than most the pressure the Ryder Cup places on players, which is why he places an emphasis on experience. So beyond just prodigious potential, a younger player trying to wrest a spot from Stricker or Furyk will probably have to show an ability to win, make clutch putts and thrive in the face of pressure. 

That's what makes Johnson such an intriguing player. 

He was out for a while with a back injury, but he won the St. Jude Classic. He'll need to have some more strong showings to earn a spot.

Bradley, meanwhile, had his best finishes earlier this season and has struggled in recent months. After finishing fourth at the Houston Open in late March, Bradley's missed three cuts and his best finish was a tie for 24th at the Byron Nelson.

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Jensen published on June 27, 2012 10:42 PM.

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