Captain Davis Love III rounded out his roster for the Ryder Cup on Tuesday, selecting Jim Furyk, Steve Stricker, Dustin Johnson and Brandt Snedeker. No problem with the first two, both Ryder Cup veterans with a history of pairings with Tiger Woods. But the second two choices, not so sure.
Better picks would have been Hunter Mahan and Rickie Fowler. In selecting Johnson and Snedeker, Love favored recent results over Ryder Cup pedigree, which is never a good strategy.
As a Ryder Cup rookie in 2010, Johnson lost all three matches in which he was paired with another American. Teamed twice with Phil Mickelson, the supposed power duo lost both matches 3 and 2, which had much to do with the narrow defeat of the U.S., 14 ? to 13 ?. Johnson is a huge talent and likeable, but his happy-go-lucky persona doesn't work in the high-intensity Ryder Cup.
Snedeker, 31, is a Ryder Cup rookie and a likely one-and-done. Yes, he's a brilliant putter (ranking No. 1 in strokes gained) and in the midst of the strongest stretch of his career, but the guess is that the moment will be too big for him.
Mahan had the infamous chili-dip in the last Ryder Cup, but he has two PGA wins this year and was 2-0-3 in the 2008 Ryder Cup, the only win the U.S. has had in the last five competitions. This American team needs more players like him.
- Kevin Dunleavy