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Teeing Off: Breaking down Davis Love III’s Ryder Cup team and picks

Jay Busbee
Devil Ball Golf

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The man's bag. (Getty Images)

Welcome to Teeing Off, where Devil Ball editor Jay Busbee and head writer Jonathan Wall take a day's topic and smack it all over the course. Suggest a future topic by writing jay.busbee@yahoo.com, or hit us on Twitter at @jaybusbee and @jonathanrwall. Today, we second-guess the hell out of Davis Love III.

Busbee: So the Ryder Cup field is set. Twelve on twelve. We'll wait for a bit to make our overall picks, so for now let's just focus on the makeup of the American team. What are your thoughts so far? See any potential issues with the makeup of the squad?

Wall: First off, congratulations to Davis Love III for making the right picks yesterday. It seems like every couple of years there's at least one or two picks that are debatable, but this time around you didn't hear a peep from the golf world.

As far as the team in concerned, I think it's incredibly solid. You have length off the tee (Bubba and Dustin Johnson) to combat Medinah's length; experienced Ryder Cuppers (Tiger, Furyk, Stricker, Mickelson); short game wizards (Zach Johnson, Mickelson); the hottest putter in the sport (Snedeker); and to top it off, everyone on the team, with the exception of Furyk, has at least one win this season.

I know the European squad is loaded with talent, but on paper, I think this American squad has all the tools to take the Cup back. What do you think?

Busbee: Here's what concerns me: inconsistency. I see a lot of guys who, if they're hot, are unbeatable, but if they're cold, you're better off sending out the caddies. I know not every player will fade at once, but the Ryder Cup, moreso than any other event, is a cascade of emotion, and if one guy utterly bombs a match, particularly one he's expected to win, the effect can avalanche right on back down the course.

Who, in your mind, is under the most scrutiny? I'm looking at Snedeker. You're right, the guy is putting like the hole is the size of a bike tire, but how will he handle being in this kind of pressure? And how many times will he get the "why you and not Hunter" question over the next two weeks? He'll learn a lot about himself before the month's out, that's for sure.

Wall: I agree Snedeker will likely be under the most scrutiny in the weeks leading up to the Ryder Cup. Jose Maria Olazabal is already trying to poke holes in the decision to take a Ryder Cup rookie over Mahan, so you know he's going to be under a microscope all week.

Snedeker is the easy pick because he's the new guy, but I think there's someone else on the team who cold be under more scrutiny, and that's Jim Furyk. Tell me, what exactly did he do to earn a spot on this team? Sure, he has seven Ryder Cup appearances, but don't forget he also choked away two Sunday leads this year at the U.S. Open and Bridgestone. Plus, he's the only member of the team without a win this season. If Furyk has a poor week, I think you'll have people questioning the decision to add him to the team.

Busbee: That's a great point. Furyk was brought in for his clubhouse steadiness, but he wasn't exactly rock-steady himself at Olympic. I also wonder about Dustin Johnson — man, we're nitpicky here, aren't we — who seems to be as hot-and-cold as they come. Thing is, though, would you trade any of these guys for Hunter Mahan? I wouldn't.

Wall: I'm with you. There isn't a guy on this team I'd trade for Mahan. Forget the fact that he has one top-10 since his second win this season at the Shell Houston Open; the main reason I'd have a tough time putting him on this team is because of the pressure he would've faced. Not only would there have been the pressure to justify his inclusion coming off a poor finish to his season, there's also the pressure to make up for that stubbed chip at the 2010 Ryder Cup that cost the Stars and Stripes a big win at Celtic Manor. And on top of all that you expect him to now go out and perform? I know he's a professional, but that would've been a lot of extra baggage for one man to carry around for the week.

All right, your turn. Your thoughts on the Ryder Cup picks? Have your say.

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