August 10, 2012 in Sports

Davis Love III ponders captain’s picks for Ryder Cup

Teddy Greenstein Chicago Tribune
 
Associated Press photo

Webb Simpson is poised to make 2012 Ryder Cup team.
(Full-size photo)

Davis Love III is already thinking about Sept. 3.

That’s the night before he will announce his four captain’s picks for the U.S. Ryder Cup team. It’s also the night he will be breaking hearts.

“The hardest thing will be calling some guys to say they didn’t get picked,” Love said. “I’m trying to find a way to get out of that.”

He was half-joking.

The top eight in points through this week’s PGA Championship automatically make the team for the Sept. 28-30 matches at Medinah. So Bubba Watson, Jason Dufner, Webb Simpson, Phil Mickelson, Matt Kuchar, Hunter Mahan, Tiger Woods and Zach Johnson would have their tickets punched based on current standings. In the please-pick-me group would be Keegan Bradley, Rickie Fowler, Dustin Johnson, Steve Stricker, Jim Furyk, Bill Haas, Mark Wilson, Bo Van Pelt and David Toms, among others.

“Two will be obvious,” Love said. “There will be one hot guy and one experienced guy. After that we might look at pairings – Stricker and Woods is a great pairing and they have been beating people to death. We want some experience and potential future captains. And you have (the supremely talented) Dustin Johnson out there.”

Love doesn’t play fantasy football but said, “It’s almost like: Is it better to have a quarterback or a running back? It’s going to be a hard process, but it will be fun, too.”

One decision Love already made after consulting with assistant captains Fred Couples and Mike Hulbert – he will name two more later this summer – is to have alternate shot on Friday and Saturday mornings, followed by best ball.

Here’s the logic: Because best ball requires less teamwork – everyone plays his own ball – it’s easier to make pairings. So Love can use the morning matches to determine who is playing well and pair those players for the afternoon sessions.

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