Ryder Cup Misguided Pairings: Where Are Jim Furyk and Zach Johnson?

Richard LeivenbergContributor IIIOctober 1, 2010

NEWPORT, WALES - SEPTEMBER 30:  Jim Furyk of the USA looks on during a practice round prior to the 2010 Ryder Cup at the Celtic Manor Resort on September 30, 2010 in Newport, Wales.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

I cannot believe Corey Pavin knows anything about pairings. Or momentum. Or even consistency.

I mean, even his reasoning is faulty.  If his first pairings are any indication of his coaching acumen, the U.S. team could be in trouble at the Ryder Cup. 

How in the world could he not include Jim Furyk, the guy who just won $11 million and the Fedex Cup, the guy with three wins spread out over the season, the eagle-nosed vet with the steely demeanor?

And where the heck is Zach Johnson?  Wouldn't that have been a great pair: Zach and Jim, a couple of pure ball-strikers and straight-shooters and—did I mention—major winners?

Johnson had another steady albeit boring year.  He won once, missed only two cuts in 24 tries and ran off with almost $3 million in winnings.  His best and most telling stat: ranked fifth in putting.  But, he had some good momentum to end his season.

Why, oh why are Furyk and Johnson not there in place of Bubba Watson and Jeff Overton? 

Coach Pavin, when asked about the rookie pairing, which anchors the four-ball competition, said he wanted the rooks to get out on the course because they were "chomping at the bit."  OK Corey, you can't control the kiddies so you let them out to play...in the street.

Not to say Watson and Overton, two of the game's big hitters, who had excellent years on the tour, aren't good enough to play; they are plenty good.

But, wouldn't you want true anchors to anchor the day?  Are there two steadier guys on the team than Furyk and Johnson (maybe Stricker)?

I had to laugh when I saw the names of the rambunctious Watson and emotional Overton as cleanup hitters but I guess Coach Pavin was looking for power in the fourth position.  I hope someone reminds him this is golf, not baseball.