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Friday, August 24, 2012

The Scramble for Captain's Picks

The Ryder Cup is overshadowing everything right now, isn't it? The Euro race is trickier to figure out, since two different points lists have to be juggled -- and that's a bit beyond my puny brain tonight -- the US team is much more straightforward.

The Top 8 on the US points list are a lock. Here are numbers 9 thru 20 on that list. The first column shows their position at the Barclays after the first round, both score and position in the field:

+2, T87 09 Hunter Mahan 4,082.228
-2, T26 10 Steve Stricker 4,015.069
E, T52 11 Jim Furyk 3,369.616
-4, T8 12 Rickie Fowler 3,313.338
-1, T35 13 Brandt Snedeker 3,176.787
-1, T35 14 Bo Van Pelt 3,152.315
-4, T8 15 Dustin Johnson 3,040.020
+2, T87 16 Robert Garrigus 2,604.580
E, T52 17 Bill Haas 2,546.017
+2, T87 18 Ben Curtis 2,457.284
+3, T97 19 Scott Piercy 2,416.346
E, T52 20 Kyle Stanley 2,341.219

If you go with the current thinking that Furyk and Stricker will make the team without question, the two players with the best shot at the remaining spots would have to be Rickie Fowler and Dustin Johnson. I suspect these two players would be the ones most fans guess Captain DL3 is most likely to pick.

However, Sneds and Van Pelt are in position to make a last-minute push. Both have been playing reasonably well lately.

Sneds has one win and a T3 at the Open Championship, although he only has 2 other Top10s to go with them.

Van Pelt got a win last October and has 2 runner-ups this year to go with 9 Top10s -- 3 in his last 5 starts. Add his length into the equation (he's 39th on Tour) and I'd have to say he's the most likely spoiler in the 9-20 group.

Mahan really needs to get his act in gear. He's only got one Top10 since his last win at the beginning of April. As good a player as Mahan is, DL3 is probably looking for somebody on a bit more of hot streak.

The last-minute scramble should be interesting!

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