This is a Ryder Cup year when U.S. captain Davis Love III simply could take the players ranked 1 through 12 in the point standings and call it good. Except …
• There’s a guy named Jim Furyk (above), a nine-time Ryder Cup player. He’s 15th on the point list despite missing seven months from fall to spring because of a wrist injury. Yes, his career Ryder Cup record is 10-20-4, but he was second at the U.S. Open, has top-10 finishes his past two times out — including a PGA Tour-record 58 shot at the Travelers Championship — and is experienced, steady and a possible captain’s pick if he continues to play well. “That 58 was a great round, but I think there’s a lot more that goes into it,” Furyk said, referring to Love’s decision.
• Furyk will be at Hazeltine National either way: He and tour veteran Steve Stricker are two of Love’s five vice captains. Fourth at the British Open, Stricker said Wednesday he remains hopeful he can play his way into a captain’s pick. “I am trying to make a statement,” Stricker said. “I still got hope. It’s fun trying to play well and trying to make that team still.”
• European captain Darren Clarke says his team, with five Ryder Cup rookies already, needs experience, which makes pal Lee Westwood and two-time major winner Martin Kaymer likely captain’s picks. Scotland’s Russell Knox has won twice since November, including this month at the Travelers Championship, but his victory in Shanghai didn’t count toward the qualifying process because he hadn’t joined the European Tour yet. At age 31, he’d be a sixth rookie. “I feel like I’ve done everything I could,” Knox said. “I played my best. I’ve made my case and hopefully it’s good enough.”