Corey Pavin is this yearÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s captain for the Americans when they travel to Wales to battle the European squad in October.
Eight of the 12 have been set based on the standings after the PGA Championship. They are Phil Mickelson, Hunter Mahan, Bubba Watson, Steve Sticker, Jeff Overton, Matt Kuchar and Dustin Johnson. Captain Pavin will pick the final four players.
The biggest dilemma facing Pavin is, of course, whether to pick Tiger Woods or not. Woods, who finished 12th in the point standings, is in the midst of his own private nightmare. It has been a horrible season by his standards without a single win. However, he did play well at the PGA Championship and finished in the top ten of both the Masters and the US Open.
Woods wants to be on the team, and Pavin would be a fool not to add him. The captain will be hoping Woods plays well over the next couple of weeks, making the pick less controversial.
Assuming Woods get the nod, the other three picks figure to be just as tough for Pavin. Some of the names he is surely considering include Zach Johnson, Sean OÃ¢â‚¬â„¢Hair, Anthony Kim, Lucas Glover, Stewart Cink and even ChampionÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Tour youngster Fred Couples.
Couples has had a strong year on the ChampionÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Tour, and deserves consideration. His ailing back, however, may rule him out anyway.
Anthony Kim is another interesting consideration. Kim was having a great year before a thumb injury sidelined him for three months. Since returning he has not played well. He needs to have a couple of strong tournaments this week and next to get a nod from Pavin.
Of the eight that are in for the US, four of them will be making their Ryder Cup debuts. Only Mickelson, Mahan, Stricker and Furyk have experience and this makes choosing experienced players a high priority for Pavin when choosing the final four.
Therefore, a good four picks for the Americans would be Woods, Zach Johnson, Cink and Couples. Assuming Couples cannot go because of his back, either Anthony Kim or Sean OÃ¢â‚¬â„¢Hair should get the nod.
Pavin will make his final four picks on 7 September.
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BIOGRAPHY: Eric Bailly