How the Ryder Cup Captain's picks faired for Corey Pavin and Colin Montgomerie
NEWPORT, Wales – The 2010 Ryder Cup captain’s picks played a bigger role than anyone could have imagined, after rain caused a major format change causing each player to play at least three matches, including one foursomes match.
Having scrutinized both Captain’s picks when announced, it’s only fair to follow up on their performances this weekend.
Tiger Woods: Tiger Woods went 3-1, including a dominating singles performance. You have to wonder if he was used properly by Pavin, who “hid” him in the lineup versus Europe’s less experienced players, but his only loss came in Sunday foursomes as he and Stricker were blown out of the water by Lee Westwood and Luke Donald. That dominating Sunday performance of nine birdies versus Francesco Molinari may have come in more handy versus Ian Poulter or Luke Donald.
Stewart Cink: 1-0-3, Cink and partner Matt Kuchar gave the U.S. a glimmer of hope with the U.S.’s only half point on Sunday at Celtic Manor. Team Atlanta also kept rookie hotshot Rory McIlroy from running wild.
Ricky Fowler: 0-1-2, Fowler goes into the books winless, but his gutsy performance, including his remarkable stretch of birdies Sunday in the most intense pressure, gives the Americans a bright future for many years in the Ryder Cup.
Zach Johnson: 2-1, Johnson was a major spark the U.S. needed early on and was entrusted with two foursomes matches (1-1), and Harrington never threatened against him in Sunday singles.
Pavin’s Grade: A-, if only because he didn’t maximize Tiger Woods’ position in the lineup to take on Europe’s top guns. But these four players scored 8.5 of 13.5 points for U.S.A.
Padraig Harrington: 2-2, Harrington seemed out of sorts often, and needed Ross Fisher to carry him in Sunday Fourballs.
Luke Donald: 3-1, Donald was nearly unbeatable at Celtic Manor, including two surgical foursomes victories.
Eduardo Molinari: 0-1-2, you can’t ignore the half point he and brother Francesco salvaged versus Cink-Kuchar on Sunday. He played well Monday but was no match for Woods.
Montgomerie’s grade: B. Donald was clutch, but most will agree Casey would have easily outplayed Harrington and Molinari. Perhaps Monty’s best pick was Sergio Garcia as an assistant captain. If Garcia finds a spark this winter and comes back gangbusters and leads the 2012 team, his role in Wales may be a big reason why.
Ryder Cup conclusion:
A home course advantage proved beneficial to the Europeans. Graeme McDowell won the Wales Open earlier this year on the European Tour staged on Twenty Ten.
Winner of the FedEx Cup, Jim Furyk was the American team’s weakest link with just half a point.
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