Monday, September 3, 2012
Davis Love Faces "Indigestion Monday"
Davis Love III has a real stump grinder on his hands for this year.
As a quick aside, here is just ONE MORE reason I freaking LOVE this event so much. Not only is it a "defacto" All-Star Game for the sport of golf. It is also something that EVERY player REALLY wants to participate in.
To say that bubble players are crushed by missing the team, is not an exaggeration. To say that captain's don't truly dread making that call to their peers, is not an exaggeration.
Hell, when Tiger was completely in the dumps following The Fire Hydrant, he swallowed his pride and said publicly how much he wanted to be a part of the team, even if it meant as a captain's pick. He needed and wanted that "team" camaraderie and respect which only comes from the Ryder Cup (and lesser extent, the President's Cup) and would have been genuinely wounded if he had been snubbed.
In fact, I think Tiger's strong showing at the Presidents Cup this past December, helped launch his certain Player of the Year season this summer. Freddie not only trusted that Tiger would bring full focus to a non-paying event, but he also gave Tiger a big boost of confidence by saying: I want you!
So here we are, and Love has a tough one. Here's the standings.
Now, here's how Captain Czabe sees it.
1. It's too bad we can't drop Mickelson, but he's already on - by the skin of his teeth - at #8. Nothing against lefty, but I don't like how even HE admits he's been mentally "drifting" at times this year. Plus, he's now rocking the pencil grip with his putter. I know he was 5-0 at Royal Melbourne, but Phil's been a pretty big FISH lately at the Ryder Cup. Oh well. See you at Medinah, Phil.
2. Of course I am in the tank for Furyk and Stricker. Not only are these two guys SOLID (albeit unspectacular) veterans, they are both "Certified Tiger Woods Compatible" in match play. This is important. Because it gives Tiger TWO dance partners, so he'll be both comfortable and not stuck with just one guy. I've played with Furyk now two straight summers, and Stricker is a Wisconsin boy. These two are no-brainers.
3. Fowler does very little for me. Sure, he birdied home last Ryder Cup for a big half point. But the guy also played the WRONG ball last time. Just not a big fan. Sorry, BMX boy. For a guy who was jumping off balconies into pools at the PGA Championship, then shooting 74-80, that's not a captain's pick to me.
4. Dustin Johnson - aka Avatar, my nickname - has to be on the team. He's been hurt most of the year, but healthy now and coming on strong. Plus, in partnered match play, how valuable is one of the longest drivers on the planet? Plus, with Nic Colasarts on the Euro Team, the singles showdown between these bombers just HAS to happen.
5. So that leaves it up to HUNTER MAHAN or SOMEONE ELSE....
This is gonna be tough, but I'd leave Mahan off this time. He's a very likable dude, and a great ball striker, and very straight driver. I know he won the Match Play this year, but what happened in February has very little to do with NOW. Also, there's the ol' chunk-a-lunk from last Ryder Cup under pressure, which has to haunt him a bit. I saw on the Golf Channel where they said he's been "working hard" on his chipping, and that he now says "chipping is fun." Mahan then proceeded to flub-fluff an easy chip, about 4-feet in front of him. Sorry. He's out.
6. Someone else... for me... is.... BRANDT SNEDEKER.
"Sneds" is a passionate, wear his golfing heart on his sleeve, kind of player. But I like that. Passionate. A bit jumpy, like Bubba Watson can be, but also streaky. Sneds, you are in.
So we'll see what Love decides. All I know is this. I am GI-GI-GIGGITY excited for the event, which myself and Scott Linn will be broadcasting LIVE from at Medinah later this month. Should be awesome.