The wait is over: U.S. Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin has announced his picks for the 38th Ryder Cup. Without further ado, here they are:
Tiger Woods: It's Tiger Woods. Put all your complaints about Woods' poor match-play record and his off-course actions in the closet and forget about them.
Zach Johnson: The former Masters champ has been reliable if not spectacular, this year as every year, and he's got the mindset to stay calm amid what will be a roiling gallery. At the press conference announcing the picks, Pavin said that he wanted players who could compete at a high level and play well in the Ryder environment, and Johnson fits both those categories.
Stewart Cink: A steadying veteran presence who will offset the youth of the team, which is filled with multiple Ryder rookies. He's also got the demeanor and the sense of humor not to get too rattled by the pressure; recall that he did fairly well the last time he faced a long putt in the United Kingdom.
Rickie Fowler: A great pick, an unconventional one but also a perfect PR/talent move. After a hot summer, he's cooled off a bit, but he still brings a youthful energy without manufactured attitude that the game needs. Could he be this year's breakout star, a la Anthony Kim in 2008?
So there you have it. (For the record, we picked three of four.) The biggest names left off the list were Anthony Kim and Lucas Glover, both of whom desperately wanted on this team, but neither of whom played well enough to justify a pick. Still, the U.S. is going to battle -- if you want to call golf that -- with a youthful yet stacked lineup, and this bodes well not just for the upcoming Ryder Cup, but for the future of golf in the United States as well.