By petedirenzo
Wednesday, July 02, 2008

It’s too early to get excited about the Ryder Cup, but as Team US-eh starts to take shape, it’s not too early to get nervous. Ladies and gentlemen, your top 8
With Tiger nixed from the mix, Stewart Cink now sits atop the points list, unsettling when you consider that Cink, his torrid play not withstanding, is about as intimidating as Elmo. Seriously, he’s just too warm and fuzzy for the Ryder Cup, let alone to be the tip of the U.S. arrow. If I’m not scared of him, Paul Casey won’t be either.
Next up: Philly Mick, who wouldn’t surprise anyone if he showed up at Valhalla with eight wedges, five 2-irons and a telescope. You never know what kind of game Phil will bring either — actually, at the Ryder Cup, you kind of do. He has just nine wins in 25 matches.
In the No. 3 spot is white-hot Kenny Perry who everyone seems jazzed to have on the team given his recent wins and Kentucky-Fried roots. Frequently overlooked, however, is that Kenny has played in only one other Ryder Cup, in 2004. His record: 0-2-0.
Hard-nosed Jim Furyk is batting cleanup. It’s hard not to like Furyk, though it’s impossible to like his 30% win rate in 20 RC matches. Flimsy Jimsy is also a meager 2-3 when paired with the world’s two best players (Tiger and Phil).
In the fifth spot is Justin Leonard, the Brookline hero who drained a putt from Vermont to help halve his match and take back the Cup in 1999. Scary thing about J-Lo is he’s never won a Ryder Cup match. Not one in eight attempts.
Rounding out the top eight, is a trio of untested intrigue — Boo Weekley, Anthony Kim and Woody Austin. Each brings flash and flair, but none has whiffed a Ryder Cup, a tournament in which experience pays time and a half.
Tally up all those numbers and nuggets and you have a pack of players who have more Ryder Cup loses (34) than wins and ties combined (33), three golfers who have as much Ryder Cup experience as you, and one guy who’d rather be hunting wild turkeys than playing golf.
Somewhere, Monty is grinning.

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