A Quick Nine: Who are your Ryder Cup picks?

By T.J. Auclair, Interactive Producer
Published on

Ah… Can you feel it? The 38th Ryder Cup at The Celtic Manor in Newport, Wales, is just around the corner. Before Captain Corey Pavin and the U.S. team hop over the pond to attempt to defend the Ryder Cup for the first time since 1993 at the Belfry, they need to round out the 12-man team with four wildcard selections.

Pavin will make those four selections on Sept. 7 in New York City. The eight automatic bids were secured at the conclusion of the 92nd PGA Championship.

Here's what the top 8 look like:

Phil Mickelson, Hunter Mahan, Bubba Watson, Jim Furyk, Steve Stricker, Dustin Johnson, Jeff Overton and Matt Kuchar.

As you can see, there are more than a few big names not included on that list and will have to rely on Pavin for the nod. While we won't know until after Labor Day who exactly those four will be, it's always fun to speculate, isn't it?

That's why for this week's "A Quick Nine" feature, we asked you: Who do you think Captain Corey Pavin should pick with his four wildcard selections?

The answers were wide-ranging. Some of you chose one player, some chose four and some chose guys who were already in the top 8!

Anyway, here are the top responses we received.

1. Tiger Woods. Surprise, surprise. Who'd a thunk it? As everyone knows by now, Tiger failed to make the team on points, but admitted he would accept a captain's pick from Pavin if called upon. When points closed, Woods was No. 12.

Keep in mind, Woods was NOT on the U.S. team when it won in 2008. In fact, in his five previous Ryder Cup appearances, Tiger has only been on one winning team - 1999 at Brookline.

Facebook fan quotes:

"Tiger Woods for the fans, for TV ratings and because he is still the number one player in the world! The team just wouldn't be the same without him." -- Kenneth Graham Jr

"People don't want Tiger purely because he's not been at his peak. If you watched the PGA, you know he's coming back to his prime and golf is becoming his #1 priority again. Put him on the Ryder Cup team... enjoy the show... then watch out next year when he wins 2 of 4 majors. When a person like Tiger has FUN with the game, his focus, his intensity, and his will to win cannot be rivaled." -- David Wooley

2. A look at the Champions Tour. Tom Watson had that runner-up finish at Turnberry in 2009. Fred Couples has been the Boom-Boom of old. That's why many of you rightfully pointed out that Pavin should give them some consideration.

Facebook fan quotes: "I would love to see Freddy, one more time." -- Glenn Griffie

"Tom Watson and Fred Couples." -- Bud Mathews

"If Pavin is smart he will exclude Woods from this trip, Woods brings a lot of baggage and who needs the distraction (a media circus). Pavin should focus on players that are team performers and Woods does not fit the profile. The last cup was a great USA victory and did not include Woods. Freddy should be a must pick, the man is solid and will be a great asset for the US team. Nough said." -- Javier Plasencia

"Couples, definitely! He is a real 'golfer's pro', in these events- everyone loves' Boom Boom!'" -- Michael Morrison

3. The next four on the list. It would be hard to argue with Captain Pavin if he did just that, seeing as the next four players on the list look like this: Anthony Kim, Lucas Glover, Zach Johnson and Tiger Woods.

Facebook fan quote:

"The next 4 on the U.S. Ryder Cup points list are Anthony Kim, Lucas Glover, Zach Johnson and Tiger Woods. I think that should round out the team and not play favorites because of someone's off course actions." -- John Barrios

4. Nick Watney. Watney finished at No. 17 in the standings. Will he be one of the picks? Possibly. However, it might be difficult for Pavin to overlook what happened in the final round at Whistling Straits. Watney had a three-shot lead with 18 holes to play. After an 81 in the final round, he instead tied for 18th.

Facebook fan quote:

"Nick Watney, that's all I got so far." -- J.t. Hubbard

5. Make a phone call to a Facebook fan. Seriously… Are you reading Captain Pavin? It sounds like Facebook fan Farid Abed has it all figured out.

Facebook fan quote:

"Look at it the easy way. Tiger and Zach are locks to be picked by Corey Pavin. That leaves I feel 4 golfers fighting for 2 spots. AK has the Cup experience but we'll find out the next 2 weeks how healthy he is. Stewart Cink has the experience too but has not had a great year, and he'd be the first to admit it. Lucas Glover also hasn't had a solid year, but may be turning it around after a great weekend in Greensboro. Again the next 2 weeks are important here. Lastly is who I think should be a shoo in as Tiger and ZJ are. That's Rickie Fowler. Rick has got everything right, except a win under his belt right now. His game is right for team competition and could make immediate impact at Celtic Manor. 1 other thing. Don't tell me for 1 second a Sunday singles match between Rory McIlroy and Rickie with the point deciding the cup would not be anything other than a classic. 2 top 10 finishes in NJ and Boston wraps this pick up. Mick, Stricks, Furyk and Cink provide the vet leadership… Zach, Tiger and Hunter provide a little moxie… Rickie and Bubba are the best of friends and know each other's games well enough to make a natural pairing... DJ, Jeff and Matt along with Bubba and Fowler are the new kids on the block and need to prove they belong… My picks again are Tiger, Zack, Fowler and Cink…" -- Farid Abed

6. Boo Weekley. You've got to go all the way down to No. 46 on the list to find Weekley, just one spot above the captain himself. These last two years, Weekley has battled injuries and struggled to put four consistent rounds together. However, you can't look past what an asset he was to the team and the atmosphere at Valhalla.

Facebook fan quote:

"BOO WEEKLEY!!!!!!!!!!!!" -- Marshall Collette

7. Sir Charles. Believe it or not, Charles Barkley got more than a few of your picks. Folks, have you seen his swing? Have you watched the Haney Project?

Facebook fan quote:

"Is Charles Barkley available?" -- Carlos León

8. Rickie Fowler. The young gun will certainly have to be a big consideration for Pavin. He finished 20th in the standings. Though Fowler has yet to win on Tour - and that could change before Pavin makes his pick - he's shown that he is the future of the sport.

Facebook fan quote:

"Fowler for sure!" -- Jared Rohmann

9. Anthony Kim. The next two weeks are huge for Kim. Is his right thumb healing? Can he swing without pain? He was forced into a long break to recover from thumb surgery. Prior to the surgery, he was No. 2 in the standings. Kim has only played two events since returning to the Tour and dropped to No. 9 in the standings. We know he wants to be on the Ryder Cup team. Will Pavin pick him?

Facebook fan quote:

"If AK is healthy he is a great pick." -- Rick J Lecker