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THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation for Golfers on Golfers on Golf. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy or connect on LinkedIn.
LAST WEEK Team USA Captain Steve Stricker made his six captains picks to fill out the roster of the U.S. Ryder Cup Team. As you might guess, there is going to be some debate if Stricker made all the right moves.
Because of the pandemic and delay, Stricker had to make more picks than any other U.S. Captain in the history of the Ryder Cup. But Stricker’s first six team members were decided by points, they included Colin Morikawa, Patrick Cantlay, Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas.
But now it was time for Stricker to decide the other six players. His choices included the following players. 1. Tony Finau, 2. Jordan Spieth, 3. Xander Schauffele, 4. Harris English, 5. Daniel Berger and 6. Scottie Scheffler.
When it comes to Finau, there is no disagreement. Finau is playing well, and he hits it long enough to take advantage of area’s where the bombers can swing away without fear. Instead of ending up in high grass, like U.S. players did in 2018 in France.
Pick 2-Jordan Spieth. The Texas kid is playing his best golf in a few years. Spieth was an obvious pick, and a good one for Team USA.
Pick 3-Xander Schauffele. Another solid choice by Stricker, Schauffele is around the top of the leader board quite frequently when he plays. A guy who doesn’t go away, and the Euro’s should have a tough time beating him, and whoever he is paired with.
Pick 4-Harris English has had a good season. He let a win get away at Congaree, but his W’s at other events including the Tournament of Champions at Kapalua says a lot for this rising star. English is another one Stricker’s youth movement picks. But one that should work out.
Pick 5- Scottie Scheffler, could be in trouble if he draws the wrong match-ups. While Scheffler was lights out at the WGC Match Play, there is some feeling he didn’t show enough after that week to warrant being a pick. Here’s hoping his match play skills rise-up again next week on the Straits.
Pick 6-Daniel Berger, this one raises some eyebrows. Berger is one of the players, who to make this team, should have played his way on. Even with the old format, he would not have made the team on points. This selection is the one that needed to be questioned.
WHO GOT LEFT OFF. Patrick Reed is at the top of the list. But his health issues in September really hurt. But after watching him up close at Hazeltine, I would have given him another shot. Webb Simpson at the time Stricker had to make his picks, would be #2 on my list of, maybe he should have been selected.
The third omission is Billy Horschel who won the match play, but needed to back that up with something else. But then he did, when he won the European BMW Championship. But the problem is, it came too late. Because the picks were in. If Koepka can’t go because of his wrist injury, Horschel should be the late addition.
Golfers on Golf will be at Whistling Straits to report on all the Ryder Cup action. RS