I couldn't envision see the Webb Simpson selection but maybe it's just that I can't get his shank at the last Ryder Cup out of my mind. But considering that we've heard from Tom Watson about the importance of playing well leading into the Ryder Cup, and that the points list would be important to him, Chris Kirk's ommission seems downright strange.
Mark Lamport Stokes with the Reuters roundup of both announcements from the European and American captains for those of you who were not paying attention Tuesday.
Steve DiMeglio suggests things are looking up for Team USA compared to a month ago and following Tuesday’s selections.
Luke Kerr-Dineen considers the pros and cons of the picks and includes Phil and Keegan’s bonding moment GIF for the ages.
Michael Walker was at the SNL stage and notes the pomp but also points out Captain Watson's view that match play was critical in selecting Hunter Mahan.
Mahan, who won the Barclays tournament two weeks ago, made the team on the strength of his match-play performances, Watson said. In 2012, Mahan won the Accenture Match Play Championship over Rory McIroy and returned to the finals the following year before losing to Matt Kuchar.
“One of the things you look at is how you play match play -- Hunter Mahan has really shined,” Watson said. “Match play is a little different than medal play, you play the course and you play the man.”
Farrell Evans wonders if Kirk's comments hurt his chances with Captain Watson.
Kirk would have been the fourth rookie on the team if he had been selected. And the former University of Georgia star didn't do himself any favors by saying after his win that he wasn't entitled to a place on the team because he hadn't earned his way through the points race.
That sounds good in theory, but it's a lukewarm attitude to show to a captain who is faced with a difficult decision. Kirk should have been emphatic about his right to be on the U.S. team after his win at the Deutsche Bank.
Scott Michaux isn’t so sure, saying Watson went old school in his thinking instead of going with the hot golfer in Kirk.
Watson was supposed to be an inspired leader who would break the pattern of cyclical thinking that hasn’t worked very well for the United States in losing the cup 10 of the past 14 times and five of the past six. What was the point of waiting three weeks if those performances didn’t really matter?
“I’ve been looking at these statistics for a long time,” Watson said.
What stats? Clearly not performance if he can ignore a guy with two wins in past 12 months, who’s leading FedEx Cup by a lot, ranks No. 5 on the money list and has the most Official World Golf Ranking points gained in 2014 of all candidates as well as eight members of the European team.
This isn’t just about last week for Kirk, though that should have been proof enough. It’s about the last year where he distinguished himself above Simpson.
Tom Watson’s post-announcement chat with Rich Lerner was revealing because (A) he likes Jimmy Fallon (B) knows who Jimmy Fallon is and (C) felt the need to cap his team at three rookies, which sounds like it played into his decision to go with Webb Simpson over someone like Kirk or Ryan Moore.
A slideshow gallery of Team USA.