Your Ryder Cup - if Tourney starts next week


Alright… you are cap’t Jim Furyk. The tourney starts next week. Who are your 4 captains picks?

Already on the team via Auto Qualify:

  • JT
  • DJ
  • Phil
  • Spieth
  • Kuchar
  • Brian Harman
  • Woodland
  • Rickie

(Note: I dropped Koepka out as i’m assuming he will at some point fall out of the auto qualifier and have to earn his way back in. So I added Rickie. You can add Koepka, but he will have to be a captains pick).

After much debate, my captains picks if the tourney starts next week:

  • Tiger (yes, taking a chance. He will be there anyways. Not worth leaving him off).
  • Patty Reed ( I will admit, sure would be nice if he would have made this pick easier by being in contention every once and a while!)
  • Kisner (he’s a fighter. Paired with Harman and you have two angry little bulldogs)
  • Berger

almost made it: Pat Perez, Xander,


Going with your auto picks, although I do think there will be significant movement there. My captain’s picks would be:

  • Cantlay
  • Finau
  • Berger
  • Captain America, Patrick Reed

I love Finau and Cantlay’s games. So far this year they’ve been consistent, and I just don’t think either of them would get rattled.


A little more fun to answer this question by choosing 12 instead of 4, so I’ll cheat and say this would be my ideal U.S. Team…

  1. JT
  2. DJ
  3. Spieth
  4. Phil
  5. Kuchar
  6. Reed
  7. Rickie
  8. Kisner
  9. Tiger
  10. Koepka
  11. Berger
  12. Cantlay

and if Koepka’s injury keeps him from great form, let’s add Xander.


Harman gets no respect, but his results are getting hard to ignore. I fully expect to see the Gritty Little Bulldog in Paris.

  • Reed is in, obv, we’re picking 3
  • I’m not worried about experience at all. We have a few old heads on the auto-qualify list and even the younger guys have been through a lot
  • I’m not taking Tiger yet. I would love to see him out there - he just hasn’t shown enough so far to get in there. Plus he’s still a higher injury risk and getting hurt at the Ryder Cup is bad news
  • I’m taking Xander. He’s just good. He’s got a good demeanor. He’s quiet but could be a long-term Ryder Cup guy
  • Cantlay…I need to know how much of an asshole he is. He’s got the game, he just seems like a major league prick who isn’t capable of having a normal, friendly conversation. If his personality checks out, he’s in. If not, enjoy the Bubba treatment
  • Kisner…IN. I think he won’t choke, which is what you’re looking for from the bottom guys.
  • If Cantlay is too much of a dick, it’s a tough call. I’d just go with the hot player. I don’t trust Finau at all. Maybe Berger - just set up these guys to all play in the next 5 Ryder Cups. Or the hot guy from the bland mediocrities like Steele, Chappel, List…


Berger is out on my list, otherwise I like where your head is at. I would give serious consideration to Kevin Na simply due to the fact that he would infuriate his opponents by slow-play.

It’s a shitty tactic, but if you put him against someone who is easy to get off their game it could steal a point.


Good topic. This is tough.

But right now I’d go with Bubba, Xander, Berger and Harman.

Tiger - would obviously love it selfishly but still hasn’t shown enough for me. If he can repeat Honda multiple times this year he’s in.

Kis - to me he is basically the same as Harman but Harman is playing better right now, still a long way to go

Finau - until he wins or shows up big in a major, I have to leave him off even though he’s Uber talented

Cantlay - needs to continue to show good form this year, could potentially be a toss up with Berger depending on who’s playing better come August


I’m just not sold on Cantlay. Sure, I jnderstand the amatur career, the talent, the beautiful swing and all the potential… but to me, its still just potential. And thats not enough to pick him over some of the other more proven tourplayers.


Right now I’d go Pat Reed, Finau, Kis, and AK.

Captain America for obvious reason. Kis you already have a partner in Phil. Finau is really talented and probably has a future on the team, get him in there to gain some experience. When AK doesn’t return my phone call, text, email, TV shoutout, or telegram and my search party can’t locate him, then either Xander or Berger.

Later in the year with some more time to prove himself, maybe Cantlay. Just not quite there yet if it were next week. Tiger not even gonna entertain it yet.


Cantlay is an absolute lock. He simply must be on the team. The dude hardly ever misses a cut, he wins, and he is an absolute ice man. I think winning tournaments is overrated in Ryder Cup. Winning is somewhat random and a result of a great stretch of 4 rounds. All they guys we are talking about are capable of winning any week. I like the guys who show up every time and play well week after week. They might not have the fire power to beat peak Rory but who does (P. Reed - obviously) but in general you have to beat the average round of a top 40 player or so to win your match.

Cantlay is ELITE in this skill. Looking at the Sagarin ratings his record against top 50 opponents is better than every US player except DJ, Spieth and Fowler. Any lineup without Cantlay is leaving money on the table. The stupid points system we use means he may have to be a captain’s pick but if he is left off it is a big mistake.


You haven’t been paying careful attention. Since he returned his record is as good as DJ’s. Was hoping this would show up in response to “not loving Cantlay” post.


Love the Bubba play. I know I’m probably in the minority here…


Oh I’ve been watching. He is consistently comes out strong on Thursdays, easily makes it to the weekend, but slowly fades out of contention by the time we get to Sunday afternoon. I don’t think he has broken 70 on Sunday once this year (until last weekened when he was WAY back and backdoored his way into T-30).

I’m not saying he is going to great and eventually break through. I bet he will. He is obviously super taltented and has all the right makeup.
But what I am saying is that if the Ryder Cup is next week, I am not using a captains pick on a guy based on potential/talent, a stellar amateur career and a win at the Shriners.


If we go back to the original premise of (JT, DJ, Phil, Spieth, Kuchar, Harman, Rickie, Woodland) being locks who do you pick. here’s mine:

Koepka (assuming form after injury)
P. Reed (gotta have him)

Here’s a little data over the last 12 months derived from Sagarin ratings against the top 50 Sagarin players. I compute points won percentage (2 for a win, 1 for a tie, 0 for a loss), normalizing by # of matches * 2 to give a percentage of “points won” metric against top 50 players. In theory the 25th “best player” should be about .500.

Koepka .650
Cantlay .617
Xander .507
Reed .452 (not picking him for this - but for his stellar match play record at RC)

Tiger could get interesting if he keeps playing well, I don’t feel his stats are “stabilized” yet so I’m taking a wait and see on him.

For comparison here are some numbers for players other people favor:
Kisner .470
Berger .415
Woodland .383
Harman .476
Finau .523
Perez .517
Na .383
Bubba .403

Note that Woodland, Bubba, Na and Berger don’t belong by this metric at this time. I think that is a pretty fair assessment.


Good data but Bubbas stats are kind of misleading giving that last year was such an outlier. I think he’s back in form this year. Certainly not a huge fan of his but can’t see leaving him off this time after winning Riv.


I admit Bubba looked great at Riv, if he looks anything like that going forward he’ll make the team and should. I just don’t see him getting a pick, giving that they snubbed him previously when he was a top-10 player and he has less than a stellar “travel record”, to France in particular.


Blockquote I am not using a captains pick on a guy based on potential/talent, a stellar amateur career and a win at the Shriners.

I’m picking him only because he is elite at outscoring top 50 players. If he comes in as a captain’s pick he probably ends up playing something like the 9th-12th “best” EURO. This is about the equivalent of the 30th “best” player in the world. I recalculated his “points won” percentage against the 11-50 ranked players and he wins .707 of the points against 11-50 for the last year. It is 3rd best world wide. Nothing to do with his potential, amateur record, his win at the Shriner (only to the extent he had a great week). He is an absolute stud but the OWGR and his limited schedule and his inability to play the majors last year is hurting him. If Furyk can’t see that he doesn’t have the right stats people helping him.

I do think your point is valid that his Sunday play has not been great and that may be relevant since RC is “more tense” than a typical Sunday in contention. I always take the numbers over the grit but I’m a stats guy.


I’ll go with the Euros because it’s easier, less controversial, and I think their team is soundly underrated (looking at you @Soly)

Assuming rankings and points didn’t matter - just the top 12 guys I want in battle:

Sry Casey


Alright I’m changing my mind - Tiger is definitely on my team now


No Casey. Are you nuts? Seriously, he plays essentially entirely on the PGA tour (which is significantly more difficult than the Euro tour) and he performs incredibly solidly week in and week out. I think he is one of their best players. He does not win and I’m sure that is what you are responding to, but he is elite at outplaying the top talent in the world.

Based on the Sagarin records he wins .710 of the points against top 50 players, .731 of the points against 11-50 both of these are best on the euro team and best in the world… For comparison, Ross Fisher wins .381 against the top 50 and .399 against 11-50. Fisher over Casey is pure insanity for the Euro’s.

I actually like the rest of the team you chose and I agree they are formidable.