Golf Magazine

Should Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson Be Automatic Ryder Cup Picks?

By Golfforbeginners
With three tournament wins this season for Tiger Woods and top ranking in the FedEx Cup rankings, exclusion from the Ryder Cup would be out of the question. For Phil Mickelson, however, an automatic qualification should not have necessarily been clear-cut.
The eight official automatic 2012 Ryder Cup picks by Team USA Captain Davis Love III are (not necessarily in order of popularity):
1. Tiger Woods:  Three wins in 2012 but struggled most recently at the PGA Championship and in the majors in general. Of course Tiger's "C" game is akin to most tour players' "A" game.
2. Phil Mickelson: One win at the ATT Pebble Beach Pro-Am, M/C three times and slid in to 14th place on the money list with a lackluster season. Perhaps it's time for Mickelson to turn in the spikes for cleats?
3. Bubba Watson: A Masters win this season and being top-8 in the Official World Golf Rankings makes the second lefty on the list more of a shoe-in than likeable Phil but cuts at both the Memorial and the U.S. Open (when the pressure was on) makes Bubba questionable as well.
4. Jason Dufner: This was definitely Dufner's year with wins at the Zurich Classic and at the HP Byron Nelson. Second place at the Crowne Plaza Invitational with a follow-up 4th place at the U.S. Open makes Dufner a rising star on the PGA Tour.
5. Keegan Bradley: Aside from being a very likeable fellow, Keegan is also a solid golfer and good clutch player. He also recently won the WGC-Bridgestone and just tied for third place at the PGA Championship. Right now, he's hot.
6. Webb Simpson: Winner of the 2012 U.S. Open....enough said.
7. Zach Johnson: Two wins this season and 4th on the PGA Tour money list. Johnson's stats include ranking 11th in putting and second place in strokes gained in putting.
8.  Matt Kuchar: Cut from the PGA Championship but first in top-10 finishes this year and 9th in scrambling from the rough on the PGA Tour.
These players are Team USA's representation at the Ryder Cup and I will be cheering them on to victory and to getting the Cup back onto US soil. Team Europe won the 2010 Ryder Cup matches by a score of 14.5 t0 13.5. Team Europe will most likely include Rory McIlroy and Luke Donald but the final decisions are to be made after the Johnnie Walker Championship.
Tiger Woods may not have won a major and may have struggled this season to regain his form but he still shows signs of progress and remains a strong contender for Team USA. Mickelson will once again have to prove to himself, more than to his loyal fans, that he still has what it takes to compete against the up and coming golfers on the PGA Tour.
The four final spots for Team USA 2012 Ryder Cup will be chosen on September 4th with Captain of the Love boat considering Hunter Mahan, Steve Stricker (one of my personal favorites and the golfer who almost bumped Mickelson off the Ryder Cup team) and Jim Furyk who Love said were "high on the list." The Wyndham Championship this week may be a deciding factor for Brandt Snedeker and Bill Haas. Love said, "we want to see how they play. Obviously, we don't have to go tell them that they are under the gun."
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