Ryder Cup Hopefuls
Eight players have earned a spot on the United States Ryder Cup team, which so far features a blend of veterans (Phil Mickelson, Stewart Cink, Kenny Perry, Jim Furyk and Justin Leonard) and rookies (Anthony Kim, Boo Weekley and Ben Curtis).
On Sept. 2, Paul Azinger will make his four captain's picks to round out the squad. The players on this list appear to be in the best position to get serious consideration.
World ranking: 10
Final Ryder Cup points standing: 9
Stricker, the winner of the 2007 Barclays, has seen his world ranking fall from a career-high No. 3 a year ago to 10th today. Still, he's earned five top 10s this season, performed well last year in the Presidents Cup and is known as a solid putter. If Azinger selects him, no one will be surprised.
2 of 9Fred Vuich/SI
World ranking: 41
Final Ryder Cup points standing: 10
Austin teamed with Phil Mickelson to form a potent duo at Royal Montreal during the Presidents Cup. However, Aquaman has yet to win since his victory at the Stanford St. Jude Championship in June 2007. While his putting leaves a lot to be desired, Austin's scrappy attitude makes him a tough match-play competitor and a guy who could help rally the troops in the locker room.
3 of 9Robert Beck/SI
World ranking: 78
Final Ryder Cup points standing: 11
The winner of the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic in January, Trahan also turned in a solid performance at the U.S. Open, finishing in a tie for fourth. However, he has only two other top-10 finishes this season and has missed five cuts.
4 of 9Al Tielemans/SI
World ranking: 39
Final Ryder Cup points standing: 12
Mahan nearly repeated at Hartford this season, coming in tied for second, but he has missed eight cuts in 2008. He is a greens-in-regulation machine, ranking seventh on the PGA Tour in that category, and in match play that could translate into success. At last year's Presidents Cup, Mahan proved that he was capable of getting it done on a big stage. A controversial interview with GOLF Magazine may not help his cause.
5 of 9Robert Beck/SI
World ranking: 36
Final Ryder Cup points standing: 13
The winner of the PODS Championship in Tampa, O'Hair tied for third at the Canadian open and 12th at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. While he was never a factor at Oakland Hills, a solid performance in the FedEx Cup playoffs could put him on his first Ryder Cup team.
6 of 9Fred Vuich/SI
World ranking: 52
Final Ryder Cup points standing: 14
A good friend of Azinger's, Mediate would be an interesting pick. Aside from his magnificent performance at the U.S. Open, his only other top-10 performance this season was a tie for sixth at the Memorial in June. Still, Rocco showed at Torrey Pines that he could handle pressure and big situations.
7 of 9Al Tielemans/SI
World ranking: 44
Final Ryder Cup points standing: 15
Short off the tee and not known for hitting a lot of greens in regulation, Snedeker relies on his trusty putter to keep him in contention. Since U.S. teams have not putted well in recent years, Snedeker's flat stick is attractive. While he's earned five top-10 finishes this season, his best performance since tying for ninth at the U.S. Open is a tie for 24th at the PGA Championship. If he turns in a solid performance in the FedEx Cup playoffs, no one would be surprised to see Snedeker on the team.
8 of 9Robert Beck/SI
World ranking: 33
Final Ryder Cup points standing: 16
One of the lone bright spots on the 2006 Ryder Cup team at The K Club, it's been a tough year for Johnson. The 2007 Masters champion has earned only one top 10 (a tie for ninth at Doral), so unless he wins one of the three playoff events he might be watching the Ryder Cup from home.
9 of 9Robert Beck/SI
World ranking: 55
Final Ryder Cup points standing: 17
Holmes, who won the FBR Championship in a playoff against Mickelson, is a native of Kentucky who was an All-American at the University of Kentucky. His length off the tee could make him formidable in match play. His performance in the final round of the PGA Championship was disappointing, but don't be surprised if Azinger gives him a shot and pairs him with Kenny Perry to give the home crowd something to cheer about.
More Ryder Cup Content:
• Ryder Cup Special Section
• America's Eight Automatic Qualifiers
• What Ryder Cup Pressure Feels Like
• Five Tough Questions: Paul Azinger
• Five Tough Questions: Nick Faldo
You May Like
More Tours & News
Sign Up for Newsletters
Receive insider analysis, swing tips, equipment news, special offers and much more.