We've lost three straight, and five of six. Throw out The Miracle Comeback at Brookline in 1999, and we haven't beat the Euros since 1993.
Finally, at the spurring of Captain Paul Azinger, the American point system and selection process was tweaked to more of a "what have you done for me lately" system. In 2006, guys like JJ Henry, Vaughn Taylor, and Brett Wetterich made the team due to wins in the spring/early summer, then hung on to get the last couple automatic berths, even though they were playing like shit once September rolled around. We had no chance.
Also, 'Zinger gets four Captains picks now instead of the previous two. Top 8 points qualifiers make it instead of the top 10. Also, 'Zinger gets to make his picks two weeks later than normal to make sure he's really got the hottest golfers.
The changes should help. They can't hurt.
As dominant as he is in stroke play events, not having Tiger really doesn't worry me. He's 10-13-2 in his Ryder Cup career, and most of those ten wins are in the Sunday individual matches. He's been downright bad on Friday and Saturday at this event.
As it stands now, we got four guys locked in ...
The last four auto qualifier spots right now are ...
Spots about 5 through 15 are real tight though. Guys on the cusp right now are ...
But outside of his automatic qualifies, Zinger has said repeatedly he's not even going to look at points. He wants the hottest golfers on Sept 2 when he has to decide. He's said he'd take a guy from the Nationwide Tour if he's won 3 of four tourneys going in. He also said he's going to consult with his eight auto qualifiers. While having the 12 best will be the goal, Zinger also said he doesn't want any guys there that people on the team don't want to play with for personality reasons.
If its my call, today, I go with ...
Zach Johnson - One of the bright spots in '06. Great under pressure. Gritty.
Rocco Mediate - Infectous attitude. Hitting the ball as well as he has in his life. Just went through as grueling a pressure situation as you can individually, and thrived.
Bubba Watson - The big bomber is playing well, US always shys away from picking these types, the young guys that hit the ball three miles.
Chris DiMarco - Buried on the money and points lists because a shoulder surgery put him on the shelf, but DiMarco has been the heart and soul of past American Ryder and Presidents Cup teams. Starting to finally play like his old self again.
Also would consider Steve Stricker, Brandt Snedeker, Hunter Mahan, Jeff Quinney, Sean O'Hair, Ryan Moore, Scott Verplank, and David Toms.
One of my favorite sporting events of the year. Back on our soil at Valhalla, a Nicklaus design in Kentucky. Hopefully we can get it done this year.