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Tour Report: Discuss: U.S. spots down to wire

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Brandt Snedeker is coming off a runner-up finish at The Barclays.

Chris Condon/PGA TOUR Brandt Snedeker is coming off a runner-up finish at The Barclays.

By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM

Davis Love III, you’re (almost) up.

With Jose Maria Olazabal making his two captain’s picks Monday, Love will announce his four selections the day after the final round of this week’s Deutsche Bank Championship.

Judging by what Love said during the PGA Championship, Steve Stricker and Jim Furyk, who finished 10th and 11th, respectively, on the Ryder Cup points list, figure to have a pretty good chance of both being on the team — though nothing is of course certain until Love makes his announcement.

With that in mind, though, let’s take a look at who else Love might select and how they’ve fared up to this point.

Hunter Mahan: Mahan finished ahead of Stricker and Furyk in points and has two wins this season. But he’s also missed his last two cuts and hasn’t finished in the top 20 since the British Open. It’s hard to imagine Mahan not being on the team — even Love found it perplexing Mahan didn’t qualify on his own given two victories — but it’s anyone’s guess what will happen, especially if Mahan struggles again this week.

Rickie Fowler: He finished right behind Furyk in points and has had a good season with a win at Quail Hollow that was followed by a runner-up finish at THE PLAYERS Championship. During that stretch, Fowler reeled off four straight top 10s — but he’s cooled considerably since with just one top 25 since the beginning of June. Another thing to keep in mind: Fowler has Ryder Cup experience from 2010 when he earned a couple of crucial halves.

Brandt Snedeker: Next in points was Snedeker, who looked awfully impressive in the final round of The Barclays, where he finished second. Another key factor when considering Snedeker’s chances is his putting. He leads the PGA TOUR in strokes gained-putting and that can be a deadly attribute in match play. He’s also played well much of the year with a win, a second, a third and two other top 10s.

Bo Van Pelt: Eight top 10s, zero wins. That’s Van Pelt’s season, which has been very good but lacks an important W. Now he’ll have to rely on being a potential captain’s pick. Van Pelt has never played in a Ryder Cup, but he bleeds red, white and blue and there’s enough experience around him that it shouldn’t be a concern. Like Snedeker, he rolls it well and there aren’t really any other holes in his game with Van Pelt ranking in the top 40 in driving distance, accuracy, greens in regulation, strokes gained-putting and scoring average.

Dustin Johnson: Few could argue Johnson’s prodigious talent, and had he not missed nearly three months to injury he might very well have qualified on his own. But Johnson’s season is what it is. Will he be a pick? He has Ryder Cup experience and is coming off a tie for third at The Barclays. With Love emphasizing the desire to have a player who’s on a hot streak, if Johnson plays well in Boston that may very well answer the question.

Who do you think will make the U.S. Ryder Cup team? Discuss below.


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