Justin Leonard's win at St. Jude's continues to beef up American Ryder Cup squad
The Ryder Cup’s most memorable moment of the last decade - on the Yanks side at least - is courtesy of Justin Leonard’s miraculous putt to clinch the 1999 win at Brookline.
That was Leonard’s last Ryder Cup appearance and the U.S. haven’t come close to winning the cup since.
But Leonard’s win at St. Jude’s should catapult him into at least the Top 10 standings for the U.S. Ryder Cup team. He’s played solid golf over the last year and a half and has contended in some big time tournaments. I don’t expect him to do well at Torrey Pines - the U.S. Open is probably his weakest major. But look out for Leonard in the British to put the icing on the cake for his Ryder Cup campaign.
Here we are in June, and I’m getting excited looking at the potential squad captain Paul Azinger can field.
After Kenny Perry’s win at the Memorial and Leonard, a battle-tested clutch performing veteran in his own right, the United States is unlikely to send another group of unproven young guns like in 2006. One-hit wonders like J.J. Henry, Vaughn Taylor, Brett Wetterich and Chad Campbell are well down the points list this year. Some wily old codgers should be able to anchor a mixed bag of ages and personalities. Boo Weekley, who has had a solid 2007-08, will make for a great intangible and would surely rile up the home crowd, and I’ll bet he’d even be great fun for the European fans to watch.
Looking at the current U.S. squad’s standings, I think some names that will have to make room for Leonard & Perry include J.B. Holmes, Anthony Kim, and though I hate to admit it, Steve Stricker. Feel good story of 2007, Stricker isn’t playing good golf in 2007 (7/13 cuts made) and will need to step it up if he wants a spot in the Ryder Cup.
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