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Sunday, September 5, 2010

Tiger Makes the Cut, Paddy Goes Home to Practice

And Jason had his Day. (Sorry. Couldn't resist.) But the scoring is so tight it's ridiculous. I mean, there are 18 players in the top 8 -- what's up with that?

Jason Day did indeed have his day, remaining tied for the lead -- this time with Brandt Snedecker. Last week's winner Matt Kuchar is just one behind, as is Charlie Hoffman. (Who's been MIA until the last few weeks -- good time to get it together, Charlie!)

Kris Blanks, sitting in that massive T8 group, is one of the feelgood stories of the year. I wrote about him in this post from earlier in the year -- it's nice to see him make it this far into the playoffs.

Of course, the Ryder Cup is still big news. Justin Rose and Paddy Harrington missed the cut, while Paul Casey and Luke Donald made it. (And Donald could win this week, which might make Monty look like a genius... if you ignore Paddy's play, that is.)

Tiger on the fourth hole at Deutsche Bank
Photo from AFP via Google News.

Both Tiger and Phil showed up Saturday, no doubt making life much easier for Corey Pavin. With no cuts in the last two playoff events, Phil will get two more weeks of competitive play and Tiger at least one (probably). And Tiger's improved so much in the last three weeks that Corey probably won't take too much flack for burning a pick on him. I think it does make a difference that the Ryder Cup is match play, not stroke play; a little bit of erratic play can be covered when a double or triple only puts you one-down.

Ironically, this could be Tiger's best Ryder Cup showing, just because he has so much to prove. (How many players have said the team might actually be better without him?) He usually focuses well under pressure, and if he has some confidence going in...

In addition, I'm not so sure it's fair to think of the "rookies" as a liability. For example, does anybody really think Matt Kuchar will crumble at the Ryder Cup? Or Dustin Johnson? The only rookie I'd have any concern about is Jeff Overton because he can get really emotional... but team him with a veteran and I think he'll be fine. And I think next week Corey will find himself with an abundance of good choices available.

If I were captain? I'd pick Tiger (who I wouldn't have chosen three weeks ago), Zach Johnson, J.B. Holmes, and Rickie Fowler. That adds 3 veterans -- one a  bomber -- and another strong rookie with experience on a winning Walker Cup team.

Overall, I'm coming around to John Hawkins's belief that the American team isn't quite the underdog we once thought.

Paddy better practice hard... if determination can carry a team, the US could turn out to be a juggernaut.


  1. Is Tiger wearing a Stanford "S" on that shirt ?

  2. I believe he was. As you know, college football gets underway this weekend, and several of the golfers were wearing school colors to support their alma maters.