2021 Ryder Cup- Whistling Straits

cshea

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The Ryder Cup is back in about a month. Teams are starting to take shape. The US qualification period ended yesterday. Europe still has a few more weeks for qualification, I believe the cutoff is the BMW PGA in two weeks.

Team USA:

1. Collin Morikawa
2. Dustin Johnson
3. Bryson DeChambeau
4. Brooks Koepka
5. Justin Thomas
6. Patrick Cantlay
7. Tony Finau
8. Xander Schaffele
9. Jordan Spieth
10. Harris English
11. Patrick Reed
12. Daniel Berger

13. Webb Simpson
14. Scottie Scheffler
15. Sam Burns

The top 6 are locked in with Cantlay picking up the final spot yesterday/. I think it's likely that Stricker just picks 7-12. Patrick Reed is probably the biggest question mark. He's recovering from a bout with pneumonia. He did end up qualifying for East Lake next week so he could play if he's able too. Who knows. He's also Patrick Reed and there's a lot of baggage aside from possible health issues. In terms of picks if Reed or someone else is skipped, Webb is a guy with some experience and has played the role of babysitter in the past which could come in handy if we've got a bunch of crybaby aholes. Scheffler and Burns are the young guns, with Burns really making a push the past month or two.

Team Europe

1. Jon Rahm
2. Rory McIlroy
3. Tommy Fleetwood
4. Tyrrell Hatton
5. Viktor Hovland
6. Paul Casey
7. Lee Westwood
8. Matt Fitzpatrick
9. Shane Lowry

Sergio is in form so I would have to imagine he gets one of the captain's picks. Would think Poulter gets a pick given his history. That leaves 1 available spot on the European side. Bernd Wiesberger is the first man out on both the European and World points lists so would think he's in the mix. On the veteran front, Justin Rose isn't really close to qualifying and hasn't been great recently. Victor Perez, Bob MacIntyre area also right there and likely under consideration.

Anyways, should be a fun week as usual. The US looks much more talented on paper but we tend to have our heads stuck up our asses in this ting.
 

BaseballJones

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We always have a much better team on paper, but we always get buried by the Europeans. ("Always" is an exaggeration, but not by much.)

But man the Ryder Cup is awesome - my favorite golf event of them all.
 

SoxJox

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We always have a much better team on paper, but we always get buried by the Europeans. ("Always" is an exaggeration, but not by much.)
Surely you are limiting this characterization to matches played before 1985, because before that, the US dominated. Overall, the US is up 26-14-2. But since 1985, Europe is up 12-5-1

But it's my favorite golf event as well.
 

BaseballJones

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Surely you are limiting this characterization to matches played before 1985, because before that, the US dominated. Overall, the US is up 26-14-2. But since 1985, Europe is up 12-5-1

But it's my favorite golf event as well.
You mean matches AFTER 1985. And yes.
 

cshea

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Europe's top players tend to play their best golf in this thing and US tends to buckle under the pressure. Let's hope that changes this time around.
Fleetwood's been ass all year, can't wait for him to show up and go 5-0 or something. No, I'm not bitter at all.

Kinda interesting question was posed on the broadcast this weekend by John Wood- How do you handle Bryson?Just send him out for four ball so he can do his thing? Is it even possible for him to be part of a successful alternate shot pairing? He'd only be able to hit driver 7-9 times depending on the layout and par 3's so if you take that away he's not great with the irons and wedges but is an excellent putter. Is there anyone that can play Bryson golf with him? Is the different golf ball going to cause a meltdown from him?
 

Average Reds

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The Ryder Cup is back in about a month. Teams are starting to take shape. The US qualification period ended yesterday. Europe still has a few more weeks for qualification, I believe the cutoff is the BMW PGA in two weeks.

Team USA:

1. Collin Morikawa
2. Dustin Johnson
3. Bryson DeChambeau
4. Brooks Koepka
5. Justin Thomas
6. Patrick Cantlay
7. Tony Finau
8. Xander Schaffele
9. Jordan Spieth
10. Harris English
11. Patrick Reed
12. Daniel Berger

13. Webb Simpson
14. Scottie Scheffler
15. Sam Burns

The top 6 are locked in with Cantlay picking up the final spot yesterday/. I think it's likely that Stricker just picks 7-12. Patrick Reed is probably the biggest question mark. He's recovering from a bout with pneumonia. He did end up qualifying for East Lake next week so he could play if he's able too. Who knows. He's also Patrick Reed and there's a lot of baggage aside from possible health issues. In terms of picks if Reed or someone else is skipped, Webb is a guy with some experience and has played the role of babysitter in the past which could come in handy if we've got a bunch of crybaby aholes. Scheffler and Burns are the young guns, with Burns really making a push the past month or two.
I think he leans heavily on the final standings, but I have to say that, despite his return to form, Harris English is not one I would have confidence in for match play. I would understand the argument for both including him or leaving him off.

Fleetwood's been ass all year, can't wait for him to show up and go 5-0 or something. No, I'm not bitter at all.

Kinda interesting question was posed on the broadcast this weekend by John Wood- How do you handle Bryson?Just send him out for four ball so he can do his thing? Is it even possible for him to be part of a successful alternate shot pairing? He'd only be able to hit driver 7-9 times depending on the layout and par 3's so if you take that away he's not great with the irons and wedges but is an excellent putter. Is there anyone that can play Bryson golf with him? Is the different golf ball going to cause a meltdown from him?
Here's an instructive story: Caddies for the top pros make a nice living, but only those carrying for the top players make big dollars. And the others would kill for one of those slots.

Bryson's caddy walked away from him mid-tournament. Yeah, he's been professional about it and said that it was a mutual thing, but the reality is that Bryson is so difficult that his caddie said "no mas" to years of million dollar+ paydays and just walked away.

That's a long explanation for why I'd do exactly what you've outlined here - send him out for four ball and the singles match and keep him the hell away from alternate shot.
 

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I don't know if Reed is going to end up on the team or not, but I actually think that he and DeChambeau would be a good team. Not just because no one likes either of them, but because neither of them seems to really give a shit what other people think of them. It would be good theater and could be a pretty solid team.
 
If you're playing with Bryson in alternate shot - and can stand his personality, which is of course a huge caveat - wouldn't you be happy to play all of your drives from 30+ yards forward than you're used to? (I assume Bryson would be happy enough to play foursomes with a shorter hitter.)

FWIW, three of the par 3s at Whistling Straits are odd-numbered holes (3, 7 and 17). And all three par 4s under 400 yards in length are even-numbered holes (6, 10 and 14). So Bryson could bomb drives on the even-numbered holes, and theoretically give his foursomes partnership a big advantage - especially if the Americans choose tees which give him and nobody else a chance to reach the greens on those short par 4s.
 

RedOctober3829

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Fleetwood's been ass all year, can't wait for him to show up and go 5-0 or something. No, I'm not bitter at all.

Kinda interesting question was posed on the broadcast this weekend by John Wood- How do you handle Bryson?Just send him out for four ball so he can do his thing? Is it even possible for him to be part of a successful alternate shot pairing? He'd only be able to hit driver 7-9 times depending on the layout and par 3's so if you take that away he's not great with the irons and wedges but is an excellent putter. Is there anyone that can play Bryson golf with him? Is the different golf ball going to cause a meltdown from him?
Is there anyone on the team he's even remotely friendly with? The first thing with a pairing if you get along with the other guy. What about Bryson/DJ? Both can crush it, DJ is better with the wedges, and Bryson can putt it well.
 

cshea

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Bryson has played 3 team matches is team competition. In the 2018 Ryder Cup he played foursomes with Tiger and Phil, lost 5&4 in both. In 2019 he played a fourball match with Tony Finau and lost 2&1 to An/Scott at the PC. It probably says something that his 3 partners have been two legends that can handle anything and then Finau who's rep is "get's along with everyone." Guess they could go to the well with Finau again.

I'd sit Bryson out of foursomes. In fourball, I think Morikawa might work. If he's on (which is a question mark right now) Morikawa's going to hit fairways and greens at a ridiculous pace. I think that kind of player will be good for Bryson. Morikawa's going to keep it in play, Bryson can go bombs away and still feel covered if/when he launches one off the golf course. That might be a pretty heavy burden to put on a rookie though.
 

RedOctober3829

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Bryson has played 3 team matches is team competition. In the 2018 Ryder Cup he played foursomes with Tiger and Phil, lost 5&4 in both. In 2019 he played a fourball match with Tony Finau and lost 2&1 to An/Scott at the PC. It probably says something that his 3 partners have been two legends that can handle anything and then Finau who's rep is "get's along with everyone." Guess they could go to the well with Finau again.

I'd sit Bryson out of foursomes. In fourball, I think Morikawa might work. If he's on (which is a question mark right now) Morikawa's going to hit fairways and greens at a ridiculous pace. I think that kind of player will be good for Bryson. Morikawa's going to keep it in play, Bryson can go bombs away and still feel covered if/when he launches one off the golf course. That might be a pretty heavy burden to put on a rookie though.
With so many younger guys on the team, it may be better off that they don't know what they don't know in terms of Ryder Cup pressure. I'm sure the old guard felt the pressure mounting loss after loss and put too much on themselves to make up for past errors.
 

Average Reds

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If you're playing with Bryson in alternate shot - and can stand his personality, which is of course a huge caveat - wouldn't you be happy to play all of your drives from 30+ yards forward than you're used to? (I assume Bryson would be happy enough to play foursomes with a shorter hitter.)
If he's driving the ball well, sure.

FWIW, three of the par 3s at Whistling Straits are odd-numbered holes (3, 7 and 17). And all three par 4s under 400 yards in length are even-numbered holes (6, 10 and 14). So Bryson could bomb drives on the even-numbered holes, and theoretically give his foursomes partnership a big advantage - especially if the Americans choose tees which give him and nobody else a chance to reach the greens on those short par 4s.
Again, this is a smart strategy ... if he's driving the ball well.

The problem is that Bryson has no ability to throttle down and he thinks he's smarter than everyone. Which is why he does it his way and f*ck you if you don't like it. Which is not the ideal recipe for good team (alternate shot) play.

Edit: That said, the more I think about it the more I'm coming around to your POV. I think Stricker is going to focus on the upside, take the risk and play him five times. Which (once again) means it's all about Bryson. (Groan.)
 

cshea

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I'm loathe to defend Bryson, but I don't think there's a world where he doesn't drive it well. His bad or "off" days are still better than everyone else. He does not really care about accuracy. He led the tour in strokes gained off the tee the past 2 seasons. This year he is 182nd in driving accuracy. He'd rather hit a wedge from the rough than a 8-iron from the fairway. That's his whole game. He won the US Open by 6-shots and was DFL or close to it in fairways hit. I belie he only hit 6 fairways on the 60 he shot last week. He's prone to the occasional foul ball, like the one he hit into the creek in the playoff, but those are fairly rare.

That said, this could be an issue for alternate shot. His partner may not be as comfortable hitting wedges out of the rough. Bryson plays a different game than everyone else.It's hard to find someone who matches up well. And on the flip side, he's a good but not great iron player. He's 53rd in strokes gained approach, which he'd be hitting on half the holes. If I needed someone to stuff an approach shot, he'd be like my 9th or 10th pick from the US roster.

I just think from a golf standpoint, he's very hard to match up with someone in alternate shot. That's before you even get into Bryson the person.
 

terrynever

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How would Europe use a player like Bryson? Just on his own ball? Nobody has ever seen a player like him in the Ryder Cup before.
 

Average Reds

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I'm loathe to defend Bryson, but I don't think there's a world where he doesn't drive it well. His bad or "off" days are still better than everyone else. He does not really care about accuracy. He led the tour in strokes gained off the tee the past 2 seasons. This year he is 182nd in driving accuracy. He'd rather hit a wedge from the rough than a 8-iron from the fairway. That's his whole game. He won the US Open by 6-shots and was DFL or close to it in fairways hit. I belie he only hit 6 fairways on the 60 he shot last week. He's prone to the occasional foul ball, like the one he hit into the creek in the playoff, but those are fairly rare.

That said, this could be an issue for alternate shot. His partner may not be as comfortable hitting wedges out of the rough. Bryson plays a different game than everyone else.It's hard to find someone who matches up well. And on the flip side, he's a good but not great iron player. He's 53rd in strokes gained approach, which he'd be hitting on half the holes. If I needed someone to stuff an approach shot, he'd be like my 9th or 10th pick from the US roster.

I just think from a golf standpoint, he's very hard to match up with someone in alternate shot. That's before you even get into Bryson the person.
The bolded portions are exactly what I'm talking about. When I say "drive well" I mean the ability to hit the fairway. Bryson is a very unique golfer in the sense that he has prioritized distance/power over everything else, and if he can't adjust to a teammate who can't (or doesn't want to) power the ball out of impossible lies the way he can, that's a problem.

All professional golfers adopt a strategy that plays to their strengths. In alternate shot, this expands to a second golfer.
 

TFP

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There won't be any impossible lies at Whistling, it's not going to play like Le Golf National. The US will cut the rough down and encourage the bombing strategy, and hitting fairways <> "driving well". It's going to be Hazeltine 2.0, and Bryson will be a huge advantage for the US. But I agree with cshea's analysis that I'd just use him in Fourball and singles. Alt shot is too much of a team aspect and he just doesn't seem to pair well with anyone.

Ironically his most apt partner (from a golf perspective) for alt should would probably be...Brooks.

Does anyone have any insight as to how we are setting up Whistling Straits? Is there going to be less rough so we can just bomb it with no worries?
Yes. Short rough, easy pins, birdie fests.
 

Dduncan6er

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Am I crazy to think Bryson/Spieth is a good alternate shot pairing? Spieth sprays his driver sometimes and is used to playing out of the rough. Playing off Bryson's drives might still leave him in the rough but 30 yards further along. Both are good putters and Spieth's wedges are incredible.
 
I'm watching the Solheim Cup, and team golf really is the best. Why can't we see a lot more of it? If I were the commissioner of men's golf, I'd recognize that nobody gives a damn about the WGCs and turn them into team events (with big purses). I'd love to see more international events like the Ryder Cup, but let me throw out an idea: at the start of every calendar year, the Top 8 players in the world are all named captains of their own WGC teams, and with the help of whatever advisors they want to call upon, they do a snake draft and each golfer winds up with 20 or 25 players per team. The WGCs would then become team matches, with each captain and his 11 other highest-ranked players (at a cutoff point before each event) forming their 12-man teams. The eight teams would be divided into two groups, with the first three WGCs being the round-robin group matches (contested in a Ryder Cup/Presidents Cup style format) and the top teams in each group advancing to face off in the WGC Finals, with half of the prize pool in each event going to the winning team's players and the other half awarded based on each point a player wins. You'd watch that, right?
 

Comfortably Lomb

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I'm also very much not a fan of team golf. It's an individual sport. The Ryder Cup is fun enough, I guess, as a one-off novelty, but the President's Cup is a lousy knock-off and I image the drop-off would be precipitous from there. I'd watch a lot less golf if there were more team events.
 

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The team setup that you propose sounds artificial. It would be hard to get emotionally invested in the teams and the matches would be complicated to follow. For an intense golf follower it might be more interesting, but for the casual fan it could be bewildering, causing him or her to switch the channel to another sport.
 

BaseballJones

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Golf is an individual sport. Except that there are also huge team components as these guys make their way through to the PGA. High school and college golf is team oriented. Anyone watch the NCAA golf championship? The fact that it’s team play is a huge part of what makes it awesome.
 

luckysox

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Curious about Koepka’s injury and how it might impact the US side. I’d imagine Stricker would want to know relatively soon.
I hope it sidelines him. He's one of the less likable US players, and I HATE the stupidity of the Bryson/Brooks bullish*t. It'd be nice if we didn't have to hear about it/watch it at Whistling Straights. I am often torn on who I dislike more between he and DeChambeau, but I often think it might be Brooks. Then Bryson opens his mouth and I hate him the most again - it's really hard to say.

Also, let's hope Patrick Reed doesn't get picked, either. I'd hate to have to openly hope that 25% of the US team fails.
 

The Napkin

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Yeah, DeChambeau can be an ass but whatever, he's harmless and I can ignore it. Koepka is a bully picking on the "nerdy different" kid.
 

cshea

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They don't need to decide anything on Brooks just yet. He auto-qualified so they can leave him on there for a few weeks and then make the determination. I'm sure they'll make the 6 picks tomorrow plus quietly tell a player or two to stay ready.

As for the picks, I don't think much has changed. Reed is still probably the biggest question mark. He did end up playing in the Tour Championship and shot -2 over the 4 days. We'll see where this one lands. He's coming off a serious illness, has a ton of baggage and did not play well in the last 2 team events he was part of. Another problem is who to play him with. He's played with Spieth a ton but they seem unlikely to ever team up again. At the last Ryder Cup he played with Tiger who won't be there. In the 2019 Presidents Cup he played with Webb and they were a disaster. Barring something strange, I don' see Webb and Reed both making it either. Going further back, other partners in past RC/PC have been Kuchar and Fowler. who both won't be on the team either. In short, Reed is another difficult player to pair up and there are no obvious candidates.
 

RedOctober3829

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Captains picks are going to be announced at 10 am. My guesses are Finau, Schauffele, Spieth, English, and Berger. I'm leaving Reed off the team. There has been an outcry to add someone that plays with a lot of emotion like Kisner or Kevin Na, but I don't see Stricker doing it.

Stricker is also going to host as many players that want to come up to WS this Sunday-Monday to scout the course out and get familiar with the layout as not many of the younger players have ever played there.

https://www.golfchannel.com/news/us-ryder-cup-team-take-scouting-trip-whistling-straits-weekend
 

cshea

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Obviously JT and Spieth will pair together you would think. After that, would DJ/Cantlay work? Bryson/Morikawa? Koepka(if healthy)/Finau? Schauffele/Scheffler?
It's kind of impossible to predict the pairings, at least until the week of when they start practicing in front of the public.

JT/Spieth is probably a safe assumption given their history. Cantlay/Xander played 4 matches together at the 2019 PC and went 2-2. It would make sense to keep them together.

The rest of them you can just kind of throw against a wall and see what sticks.
 

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I got the amazing invite this year to Whistling Straits- will be on the grounds Friday through Sunday...anyone else going??
 
Very interesting to watch Bernd Wiesberger at Wentworth this week. If he finishes in the Top 50, and Shane Lowry finished outside of the Top 8 (and other guys further back don't storm through to win the tournament), Wiesberger would pip Lowry for an automatic qualifying spot in Team Europe and force Padraig to use one of his three captain's picks on Lowry, with the other two apparently almost certainly going to Garcia and Poulter. Wiesberger was +3 in the early going but just eagled the 18th to finish at -1 for the day, which is about the pace he needs but only just.
 

cshea

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I still think Na would’ve been a great pick. Need someone willing to mix it up.
There was a lot of buzz and support for Kisner and Na. They finished 18 and 19 in the overall standings so neither was particularly close to qualifying.

Na's been hot recently. Kiz has been more up and down but had a win in there. Whistling Straits is going to be a bombers paradise and both these guys are among the shortest players on tour. Kiz was 167th in driving distance and Na was 172. Scheffler, presumably the 12th man, was 36th in driving distance. On the scoring front, Scheffler was 7th in birdie or better percentage while Na was 40th and Kisner was 90th.

I'll take the longer hitter and the guy who make mores birdies/eagles.
 

Dave Stapleton

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There was a lot of buzz and support for Kisner and Na. They finished 18 and 19 in the overall standings so neither was particularly close to qualifying.

Na's been hot recently. Kiz has been more up and down but had a win in there. Whistling Straits is going to be a bombers paradise and both these guys are among the shortest players on tour. Kiz was 167th in driving distance and Na was 172. Scheffler, presumably the 12th man, was 36th in driving distance. On the scoring front, Scheffler was 7th in birdie or better percentage while Na was 40th and Kisner was 90th.

I'll take the longer hitter and the guy who make mores birdies/eagles.
I absolutely understand the logic and am operating from gut only. I just have a feeling he could be one of those Poulter types that just performs well in those circumstances.
 

benhogan

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I'm watching the Solheim Cup, and team golf really is the best. Why can't we see a lot more of it? If I were the commissioner of men's golf, I'd recognize that nobody gives a damn about the WGCs and turn them into team events (with big purses). I'd love to see more international events like the Ryder Cup, but let me throw out an idea: at the start of every calendar year, the Top 8 players in the world are all named captains of their own WGC teams, and with the help of whatever advisors they want to call upon, they do a snake draft and each golfer winds up with 20 or 25 players per team. The WGCs would then become team matches, with each captain and his 11 other highest-ranked players (at a cutoff point before each event) forming their 12-man teams. The eight teams would be divided into two groups, with the first three WGCs being the round-robin group matches (contested in a Ryder Cup/Presidents Cup style format) and the top teams in each group advancing to face off in the WGC Finals, with half of the prize pool in each event going to the winning team's players and the other half awarded based on each point a player wins. You'd watch that, right?
yes, I love that suggestion. More team events. I also watched Solheim Cup and got into it. What is it with Americans and team play?

Very interesting to watch Bernd Wiesberger at Wentworth this week. If he finishes in the Top 50, and Shane Lowry finished outside of the Top 8 (and other guys further back don't storm through to win the tournament), Wiesberger would pip Lowry for an automatic qualifying spot in Team Europe and force Padraig to use one of his three captain's picks on Lowry, with the other two apparently almost certainly going to Garcia and Poulter. Wiesberger was +3 in the early going but just eagled the 18th to finish at -1 for the day, which is about the pace he needs but only just.
Wentworth is a nice track, had a corporate membership there (via UBS) and a personal membership at Loch Lomond.

I will say that every time I played with my British friends it was always match play vs playing with my American friends who always play stroke.

Maybe they are playing a different "game" over there
 
Wentworth is a nice track, had a corporate membership there (via UBS) and a personal membership at Loch Lomond.
I can think of at least 15 or 20 courses in Surrey I'd rather play than Wentworth. (Not a fan of the Els redesign either, FWIW.) But Loch Lomond...I did get to play that once, shortly after it opened, and it's really cool to have such a good - not to mention beautiful - inland course like that in Scotland. Because there aren't many of them here.

Meanwhile, Wiesberger shot a 67 today and is tied for 19th in the BMW - he'll really need to trip over his shoelaces not to qualify for the European Team at this point. Not sure if that's a positive development for the USA or for Europe at this point; ironically, the man Wiesberger is most likely to bump out of Ryder Cup contention - Justin Rose, who I think would get the last of Padraig's three picks (after Garcia and Poulter) if Wiesberger were to crash and burn - is tied for 5th at Wentworth right now. Actually, I wonder if Padraig has the stones to drop Poulter, who missed the cut this week and whose game really isn't suited for Whistling Straits,