The outlook for the US in the Ryder Cup is not pretty
The European Ryder Cup team is absolutely loaded -- there will be some tricky decisions for Tom Watson to navigate in the near future.
We need to talk about the Ryder Cup.
I don't want to talk about the Ryder Cup and after you read this you're going to wish I hadn't talked about the Ryder Cup, but we need to.
Gleneagles is just over three months away and the teams are starting to take shape.
Remember, nine golfers on each team qualify by earning points from various golf tournaments throughout the year and three are picked by the captains (Tom Watson and Paul McGinley).
Here's a look at the US team points race right now and the chances I give each golfer of being on the team come October.
|US Ryder Cup hopefuls|
|Bubba Watson||1||100 percent|
|Jimmy Walker||2||99 percent|
|Dustin Johnson||3||100 percent|
|Matt Kuchar||4||100 percent|
|Jordan Spieth||5||99 percent|
|Jim Furyk||6||95 percent|
|Rickie Fowler||7||85 percent|
|Jason Dufner||8||80 percent|
|Patrick Reed||9||50 percent|
|Phil Mickelson||10||99 percent|
|Chris Kirk||11||40 percent|
|Zach Johnson||12||80 percent|
|Harris English||13||50 percent|
|Kevin Na||14||25 percent|
|Brendon Todd||15||20 percent|
The points race is a semi-complicated formula that involves earning points for every $1,000 earned on tour. Majors count double -- you can read more here. Essentially, though, a guy like Rickie Fowler is about $1 million ahead of Mickelson. So if Mickelson plays in and wins a tournament Fowler isn't playing in then Mickelson would leap over him.
I put 99 percent for Lefty, though, because even if he doesn't make the team on points he'll almost certainly be a captain's pick.
Those other names, though, yikes. Are we realy going to take Kevin Na, Brendon Todd, Chris Kirk, and Patrick Reed over to Scotland for a massacre?
And the ones at the top don't exactly inspire. This will be Jimmy Walker's first appearance and Jordan Spieth's as well.
The interesting thing is going to be who Watson uses his three picks on. Tiger Woods is currently 67th in Ryder Cup points so that's not happening and if he's healthy you have to think Watson will pick him.
Watson really needs Mickelson to qualify in points so he doesn't have to pick him. You also have names like Webb Simpson, Keegan Bradley, and Ryan Moore lurking just outside the top 15.
To me the ideal situation is Mickelson or Johnson jumping inside the top nine, picking the other, taking Tiger, and then picking one of Simpson, Bradley, and Snedeker.
I'm also glad that Fowler is firmly in the conversation now. He'll be useful and won't be scared of anybody from Europe.
There's a lot of time left, though. Erik Compton just jumped from 59th to 19th based on his second-place performance at the US Open so you could conceivably see somebod like Jason Bohn (36th) or Chris Stroud (39th) win a major and vault into the automatic nine group.
On to the Europeans.
|European Ryder Cup hopefuls|
|Victor Dubuisson||1||100 percent|
|Thomas Bjorn||2||90 percent|
|Henrik Stenson||3||100 percent|
|Jamie Donaldson||4||99 percent|
|Rory McIlroy||5||100 percent|
|Martin Kaymer||6||100 percent|
|Sergio Garcia||7||99 percent|
|Luke Donald||8||95 percent|
|Justin Rose||9||99 percent|
|Joost Luiten||10||80 percent|
|Ian Poulter||11||90 percent|
|Miguel Angel Jimenez||12||80 percent|
|Stephen Gallacher||13||70 percent|
|Gonazlo Fernandez-Castano||14||40 percent|
|Francesco Molinari||15||50 percent|
The European points race is a little bit more wonky -- there are actually two lists on which you can qualify then the three captain's picks are made after that (see here).
The European team is actually a bit more stable right now. Of the guys in the top nine, most have played in a Ryder Cup before and the captain's picks are easy when Poulter is just outside automatically qualifying.
The interesting part will be where Graeme McDowell and Lee Westwood finish up. They're both just outside this list and McGinley will have some tough decisions to make if they drop any further.
This team is just loaded, too. I mean loaded. When Justin Rose is borderline to automatically make the suqad, you know you've got it going on. Goodness.
Somehow you can bet on the European team at -110 at the moment so you might want to go put the deed to your house on that.
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