Tiger Woods and The Other Three Picks Pavin Needs to Make For Ryder Cup

Ron FurlongAnalyst IIAugust 17, 2010

Pavin's first choice in a no-brainer
Pavin's first choice in a no-brainerJamie Squire/Getty Images

With eight players already in, captain Corey Pavin now needs to make his choices for the four captain's picks to round out his team for the Ryder Cup.

Something tells me when he does make the picks he isn't going to sit down with Jim Gray and announce his decision.

The eight already in are important to look at when deciding the four you want to add to this group.

The thing that most jumps out at you when looking at the eight is youth and inexperience.

Four of the eight will be making their first ever Ryder Cup appearance; something to definitely consider when picking the last four.

The eight are: Phil Mickelson, Hunter Mahan, Bubba Watson, Jim Furyk, Steve Stricker, Dustin (what bunker?) Johnson, Jeff Overton, and Matt Kuchar.

Mickelson, Furyk, and Stricker provide your experienced, veteran leadership. The other five provide what could either be called youthful exuberance or a great lack of experience.

The only one of the five with Ryder Cup experience is Hunter Mahan.

Johnson, Watson, Overton, and Kuchar are Ryder Cup rookies.

So, who should the four be?

Pavin has almost a month to make his decision, and a lot could unfold on the golf course between then and now.

There are some interesting choices.

Anthony Kim was having a great year before the injury. But missing three months will not help his chances. He has not looked good in the two events since returning. Kim was a member of the 2008 winning team.

Zach Johnson has been playing well of late. He moved up from 23rd to 11th in Ryder Cup points with his third place finish at the PGA Championship.

Stewart Cink is experienced and steady, but has had a disappointing year.

How about Fred Couples?

There is talk Bernhard Langer might get a nod from Colin Montgomerie on the Euro side because of his fantastic season on the Champion's Tour.

Couples has had a solid year as well, and should be considered.

Sean O'Hair, Lucas Glover, Nick Watney, Ricky Barnes, and Bo Van Pelt would all be okay choices, but none of these guys brings a ton of experience to the table, and considering the makeup of the top eight, I think you can pick no more than one of these guys.

And then there is the Tiger Woods equation.

So, here are my four.

First, since I already gave it away in the title of the article, Pavin needs Tiger Woods.

Experience is the No. 1 overriding factor here. No one on this team other than Mickelson has come even close to the big time matches Woods has played in his career.

He showed some signs of life at the PGA Championship, and he just has too much game to be left off.

Also, it's not like we're picking one guy here to represent us.

We are sending 12 to Wales in October.

That is called a team. We're asking Tiger to fit into a team. Right now, more than ever in his life, Tiger wants and needs to be on a team. to get away from the individuality right now.

It is what he needs, and it might be what the Americans need to rally around.

They will be huge underdogs at this Ryder Cup.

Why not have a something to rally around.

In the end, Tiger is one of them, and this may represent his and his teammates greatest chance to bring him into that circle once and for all. Now more than ever he is one of them, and he wants to be.

It is a no-brainer, and Pavin knows it. Tiger gets the first pick.

The other three should go to Zach Johnson, Stewart Cink, and Lucas Glover.

The two I had the most trouble leaving off were Fred Couples and Anthony Kim.

I think Kim can still play his way onto the team in the next few weeks.

Glover would be the guy on the bubble, but Cink isn't far from that bubble either. I think Woods and Zach Johnson are safely in.


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