2010 Ryder Cup: Why the U.S. will win . . .

Team USA for the 2010 Ryder Cup
Team USA for the 2010 Ryder Cup

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

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Unproven rookies with unheralded resumes who are ranked low? Is this any way to put together a Ryder Cup team?

Most definitely.

After all, didn’t the Europeans thrive with such a formula – or do you not remember Peter Baker, David Gilford or Philip Walton?

With Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker flexing muscles and Phil Mickelson guiding rocket-launching birdie machines Dustin Johnson, Jeff Overton and Bubba Watson, color this road trip red, white and blue.

Captain Corey Pavin

Into battle against bazookas, Pavin employed a pop gun. While others went up and over, Pavin chose down and around. Whereas most went with 3-wood and 8-iron, he arrived with driver and 4-iron. Forget power; Pavin preferred guile.

Certainly, size dictated his approach. But what made it work was a ferocious spirit, grit and determination.

Finally, Europe is Goliath in the Ryder Cup? Who better to captain the U.S. than David?

U.S. Team

Stewart Cink

Age: 37

Residence: Duluth, Ga.

Ryder record: 4-7-4

2010 wins: 0

World rank: 35

Golfweek rank: 27

McCabe’s take: Third time a captain’s pick? Says it all about his personality, doesn’t it? How about all-Georgia Tech (with Matt Kuchar) four-ball team?

Rickie Fowler

Age: 21

Residence: Las Vegas

Ryder record: Rookie

2010 wins: 0

World rank: 32

Golfweek rank: 73

McCabe’s take: Winless on Tour and only 21, but so what? Each player is a rookie once, so why not while surrounded by veterans who have accepted him?

Jim Furyk

Age: 40

Residence: Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

Ryder record: 8-13-3

2010 wins: 2

World rank: 6

Golfweek rank: 6

McCabe’s take: If there were such a thing as applying a “C” on the Ryder Cup jersey, here’s who’d wear it for the Americans.

Dustin Johnson

Age: 26

Residence: Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Ryder record: Rookie

2010 wins: 2

World rank: 12

Golfweek rank: 11

McCabe’s take: No question, there’s a long, long story with major talent sitting here. But we’re still wondering how resilient he is.

Zach Johnson

Age: 34

Residence: St. Simons Island, Ga.

Ryder record: 1-2-1

2010 wins: 1

World rank: 18

Golfweek rank: 24

McCabe’s take: What about straight hitting and great putting is not to like? What’s more, he has a personality seemingly made to order for team events.

Matt Kuchar

Age: 32

Residence: Atlanta

Ryder record: Rookie

2010 wins: 1

World rank: 10

Golfweek rank: 3

McCabe’s take: Never has anyone been so persistent in his pursuit of top billing (10 top 10s) while being so consistent in his ability to stay overlooked.

Hunter Mahan

Age: 28

Residence: Colleyville, Texas

Ryder record: 2-0-3

2010 wins: 2

World rank: 15

Golfweek rank: 42

McCabe’s take: Three times a captain’s pick in these team contests, his talent finally shines through and carries him in with an automatic selection.

Phil Mickelson

Age: 40

Residence: Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.

Ryder record: 10-14-6

2010 wins: 1

World rank: 2

Golfweek rank: 4

McCabe’s take: Hard to believe, but he’s in for a 16th go-round in these pro team competitions. Even harder to believe, he enjoys them more than ever.

Jeff Overton

Age: 27

Residence: Bloomington, Ind.

Ryder record: Rookie

2010 wins: 0

World rank: 49

Golfweek rank: 91

McCabe’s take: Still winless on the PGA Tour, but he’s not without a fierce competitive streak that shined through in 2005 at Palmer Cup and Walker Cup.

Steve Stricker

Age: 43

Residence: Madison, Wis.

Ryder record: 0-2-1

2010 wins: 2

World rank: 4

Golfweek rank: 2

McCabe’s take: Undefeated in four team matches alongside Tiger Woods at Presidents Cup last fall. Ah, Capt. Corey, it’s a perfect match.

Bubba Watson

Age: 31

Residence: Scottsdale, Ariz.

Ryder record: Rookie

2010 wins: 1

World rank: 25

Golfweek rank: 44

McCabe’s take: True, the putts from 3 feet might be an unsettling sight, but going to great lengths off the tee offers a priceless team weapon.

Tiger Woods

Age: 34

Residence: Orlando, Fla

Ryder record: 10-13-2

2010 wins: 0

World rank: 1

Golfweek rank: 5

McCabe’s take: Come on, there was no way he was going to miss this Ryder Cup. Give him Stricker four times and it could serve as his 2010 major.

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