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Monday
Jul282014

Poll: Why Not Bernhard Langer For A Ryder Cup Pick?

On Morning Drive today we had a lively chat inspired by Bernhard Langer's record 13-stroke victory in the Senior British Open. I'm of the view that he should be considered for a Captain's pick by Europe's Paul McGinley, Gary Williams scoffed at the notion because of Champions Tour field strength. Bill Fields, a huge admirer of Langer who put the win in perspective here, also thinks it's a reach. (Monty also continued to make a case, Martin Dempster reports here.)

Yet consider the options the Captain has for his three selections among those currently on the outside looking in:

Graeme McDowell - with his French Open win, probably a lock

Thomas Bjorn - playing very well, currently in but could be bumped

Stephen Gallacher - Scotland's hope having a steady year

Miguel Angel Jimenez - great run this spring, has cooled off since

Ian Poulter - Ryder Cup master hasn't had a top 10 since April

Lee Westwood - since Malaysia win, form hasn't been there

Francesco Molinari - T15 at The Open first sign of life in a while

Jonas Blixt - second at the Masters, quiet since

Bernhard Langer - tons of experience, top 10 at Masters, just won a tournament by 13

Remember, you get three votes!

If the Ryder Cup selections were made today, which three would you select?
  
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Reader Comments (63)

Geoff

If he played some regular Euro Tour events and we saw some results then maybe consider him.
07.28.2014 | Unregistered CommenterViz
Thomas Björn is absolutely in via the Points List. I have no idea why you included him.

The Langer discussion is ridiculous. He can compete. On fast and firm courses where you need lots of experience. In Gleneagles? Not so much
07.28.2014 | Unregistered CommenterRyan
How many Senior Majors (TM) would Poulter and Westwood have won this year?
07.28.2014 | Unregistered CommenterLouis Friend
I'm surprised Poulter is running second in the poll. He has to be a pick. The RC would not be the same without him.
07.28.2014 | Unregistered Commenterfyg
How come Jiminez wasn't in the poll or did I miss something?
07.28.2014 | Unregistered Commenterfyg
In order I'd take...

Poulter
GMAC
Angel-Jiminez**
Blixt
Langer
Westwood
Molinari
Gallacher


**Bjorn & Angel-Jiminez would be dead heat on my list but Thomas already on team as noted by Ryan.
07.28.2014 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
Thanks Ryan. I included him because I think there's a chance he gets bumped the next few weeks.
07.28.2014 | Registered CommenterGeoff
@Geoff - he won by 13 on a 6000yd course against Seniors. If he was playing full time on a regular tour he'd be hard pressed to keep a card, which all of the aforementioned "youngsters" in your poll are managing to do. I get the sentimentality of it, but point of RC is to take your best players, not guys who can no longer compete on the regular tour.
07.28.2014 | Unregistered Commenterelf
elf,
6901 yards actually and Tom Watson said it was playing tougher than Hoylake.
07.28.2014 | Registered CommenterGeoff
But it was playing firmer than Hoylake which shortened the course by a lot.

If you think Björn is going to be dumped, you should have included Luke Donald as well who is way behind Bjorn in the final spot
07.28.2014 | Unregistered CommenterRyan
Based on the glut of choices above is the U.S. even in this by Sunday?
07.28.2014 | Unregistered Commentermunihack
They are playing on an american style course munihack but they have their work cut out for them...I'm all in for Europe ...can't abide anymore USA USA USA chanting...besides the Euros are just way more interesting
I'd love to see Langer get picked. If statistics are to be believed, he's only about 2 yards shorter than Furyk off the tee. And Langer knows how to close. I'd absolutely tune in to watch him, especially if the RC course is set up a little shorter.
07.28.2014 | Unregistered CommenterGinGHIN
The vote for GMAC, Poulter, and Westwood is the vote for the 3 best players in the field, without regard for referring to recent form. The question is, which is the best criteria to use ? I'll take those 3 top dogs vs a group that includes 2 Senior tour members and some mostly journeymen (Blixt, Gallacher, and Molinari). Same concept as the idea that Tiger and Phil might be better picks than Brendon Todd/Ryan Moore/Chris Kirk/Patrick Reed.
07.28.2014 | Unregistered CommenterBrianS
Spot on @BrianS, exactly what i was thinking. Although Patrick Reed would make a nice pick even though his game has been in the witness protection program since late March. He's a fiery guy out there! Don't see Watson going against picking Tiger/Phil for sure. Only debate I see is who gets the 1 pick left...Keegan?
07.28.2014 | Unregistered CommenterViz
With the two most significant senior majors notched on his substantial belt this summer in the span of 10 weeks...

...compounded by the fact he is arguably the single greatest Ryder Cup performer in his-to-ry...

...why isn't Colin Montgomerie part and parcel to this discussion?!?
07.28.2014 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
GMAC, no brainer, and Poulter has to be given the nod based solely on his performance last time, otherwise he is definitely not in form, but could change. I like MAJ, who wasn't in the poll so I had to choose Molinari, just because he's got to be worth a few points in the team room and he also seems to play better in the big events. The Langer pick is intrigueing but the added pressure and eyes on him would be overwhelming. I don't think it bothers MAJ and even though he's technically a senior, he's only played in one or two events. Plus, I always hope to see the warm-up routine from him.
07.28.2014 | Unregistered Commenterol Harv
He's hoping to make himself part of it...
07.28.2014 | Unregistered CommenterJS
Old nerves would not do well in a Ryder Cup and for that reason Langer would be a bad pick. He would also have additional pressure/media attention from being the old guy who got a pick. I don't see it working out.
07.28.2014 | Unregistered CommenterDFIddle
Fun thread! (appears some didn't get the memo).
I mirrored ol Harv's picks. Surprised to see so many votes for Westwood. He seems really lost these days.
07.28.2014 | Unregistered Commenterdbh
Is Westwood still living in Florida? Who is his coach these days?
07.28.2014 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
Agree @DTF I'd pick Monty before Langer insanely as it sounds.
07.28.2014 | Unregistered CommenterViz
I'm surprised almost no one picks Gallacher. Maybe because Geoff undersold him in the description? He's got the best form of all Euros on the list and you just have to look at his results in the Johnnie Walker Championship why he must be picked by McGinley
07.28.2014 | Unregistered CommenterRyan
Some of the comments are hard to understand:
Ryan / elf (I notice elf hasn't responded since Geoff cleared up some misunderstanding on the yardage etc.) you talk about the senior open player firmer - therefore shorter. First, it's not like Hoylake was a swampy mess, there was still a lot of run out in the course. Second, along with the firmer conditions, that makes the course play shorter, comes a lot more bounce and less predictability in the approach shots. So when a course gets firmer and shorter it also gets more difficult because of balls bouncing and rolling out much more.

Langer would not struggle to keep his card if he chose to play the regular tour. He would beat half the field on a regular basis and probably finish in the top 10 quite often.
07.28.2014 | Unregistered CommenterPress Agent
@PressAgent, would you say that Langer met your predicted standard in 2006-2007? He has some very nice finishes in 2007 (over a short-ish season) but his 2006 doesn't, IMO, live up to what you think he would be doing in 2014.
07.28.2014 | Unregistered CommenterCarl Peterson
I am with DTF and Viz

How can you leave Monty out of this conversation?

And a Scotsman to boot! Talk about local interest!
@ Viz - yes, I'd say Keegan or whoever from that list I had does the best over the next month.
07.28.2014 | Unregistered CommenterBrianS
I picked Gallacher, Westy and Langer. Because I'm an American, see, and I want our side to win....
@ Pro - Monty is out of the running because he had the nerve to win his 2 major events in any time that was not LAST WEEK. All prior to last week is forgotten. Phil Mickelson went 2 for 2 in Scotland just a year ago, including possibly the best major Sunday in a decade, but now he should be off the team because he hasn't had enough Top 10's this year, and Brendon Todd should be in there instead of Tiger -who I dislike immensely, but lets face it, who would you rather put against Rory in Sunday singles - Tiger or Brendon Todd ? Because he has been injured all year up until 2 weeks ago. Only last week is important, you forget that. Here's an idea - why don't we just take the top 12 guys off the leaderboard at the PGA for each side ? That way you are sure to get the "hot golfer".
07.28.2014 | Unregistered CommenterBrianS
BrianS
07.28.2014 | Unregistered CommenterIs The Man!
@Brian S

Do you think Brendon Todd has as good chance to beat Rory or TW with the state of his game? This won't happen by any stretch of the imagination, but I would bet on Todd vs. TW right now. Not talking about TW of last year, or 5 years ago, or 14 majors ago, but now, today!

But you are probably correct, TW has 2 weeks to pass everyone on the U.S. Ryder Cup consideration list. Funny, they are not talking about the best "current players" when they speak of TW. For they talk about 5 wins last year, 14 career majors, and all the RC experience he brings (forget his past record because that is not relevant in this argument).

The talking points that benefit TW being on the Team are the subject of a lot of conversations.

Does anyone want to offer the odds of Watson choosing Tiger? What do the punters say?

BTW, I would still take Monty over TW, but that is not the choice is it?
@ Pro - I am just saying, if I had to bet (today) on who has a better chance to beat Rory at Sunday singles in this Ryder Cup, no freaking way would I bet on Brendon Todd vs. Tiger. All factors considered. And that is what I think should drive Watson's decision.
07.28.2014 | Unregistered CommenterBrianS
Sorry - and btw, nothing against Todd. I would substitute his name with any of the guys (with the possible exception of Keegan) currently outside the Top 12 of the points list vs. Tiger. And, again, not a fan of Tiger.
07.28.2014 | Unregistered CommenterBrianS
Mickelson would struggle to beat Westwood who is rightly described above as lost. BrianS, why do you focus on Mickelson's lack of top-10s -- just focus on the fact that he's having his worst full season as a professional.
07.28.2014 | Unregistered CommenterCarl Peterson
"BTW, I would still take Monty over TW, but that is not the choice is it?"

Me too.

Pro, if Tiger doesn't win Bridgestone or The PGA to me odds are 0% for Captain Tom making him a pick.
07.28.2014 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
In the only course the Champions Tour has played that rivals the difficulty of
a regular tour event (Oak Tree US Senior Open). Monty won and Langer t-9.

At Oak Tree
#2,4,6 9,17, and 18
played 1-2 tees forward.
As someone mentioned on an earlier post, Langer is dominating on courses that Westwood and others would shred.
For the record, if I were captain, I would consider him, but for calm and leadership more than just Champions Tour
record.
07.28.2014 | Unregistered CommenterOffered
Since I'm rooting for the Americans, it is my hope that Poulter doesn't get picked. But I don't think McGinley would be that foolish to not pick him.
07.28.2014 | Unregistered CommenterPA PLAYA
Please. TW is already picked. Just go back to the thread about Hoylake ratings being down and any other post and thread about ratings being down when TW not in the mix. This exhibition is DOA in PBG and NYC without TW on Team USA!
07.28.2014 | Unregistered CommenterAmen Coroner
So Carl, do you not consider Mickelson one of the top 12 American players right now?
07.28.2014 | Unregistered Commenterol Harv
I don't consider him worthy of a Captain's pick.
07.28.2014 | Unregistered CommenterCarl Peterson

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