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Brian Gay
Chris Carlson / AP
Brian Gay earned his fourth career PGA Tour title by winning the Humana Challenge.

MCGINLEY, THE PLAYERS' CAPTAIN
Godich: Paul McGinley was named Europe's Ryder Cup captain for 2014. McGinley is well-liked by the players, but give me another reason why he will (or won't) excel as the man charged with continuing the Europeans' dominance.

Van Sickle: He's captaining the better team.

Herre: McGinley's a tough little bugger who has the respect of the players. I wish the Euros would've given Faldo another go.

Shipnuck: It's a great choice because Europe's core players essentially chose him, and now they're very invested in his success.

Herre: Yes, the European selection process is messy and drama-filled, but they mostly get it right. As someone recently pointed out in this forum, the Americans handcuff themselves by requiring that the U.S. captain be a major-winner, which eliminates many excellent candidates.

Reiterman: Good point. Yes, McGinley made the winning putt at the 2002 Ryder Cup, but he only won four events, none in the U.S. and none of them majors. It's hard to think of the PGA ever picking a U.S. captain with those credentials.

Godich: Talk about extremes. McGinley has exactly two top-10 finishes in a major.

Van Sickle: Other modern Euro captains without majors include Sam Torrance and Bernard Gallacher and, of course, Monty. The PGA of America should continue to try to think outside the bun.

Hanger: McGinley might excel, but I still don't think he'll be a difference-maker. It all comes down to how the players perform, and the captain can't do much about that.

Dusek: I've never met Paul McGinley, but I was impressed with how methodical he seemed in his press conference. Humble, gracious and eager. He's got to know that his team will be strong, so his role will be to help them stay loose and keep distractions to a minimum.

Walker: It was smart of the Euros not to overreact to the Tom Watson pick. Why mess with success? But I still love the Tom Watson pick.

Morfit: I love that Watson is not the same age as the players he'll be selecting for his wildcard picks. He won't let sentiment muck up the hard choices before or after the Cup. You can't please all of the people, no matter how nice McGinley is.

Tell us what you think in the comments section below: How do you think McGinley will fare as Europe's Ryder Cup captain?

HOWELL COMES UP SHORT AGAIN
Godich: Brian Gay won a three-way playoff at the Humana, but I'd rather focus on one of the runners-up. Anyone who writes the bio on Charles Howell has to include the words potential and missed opportunities. At Humana, Howell finished second for the 14th time in his career. He also has eight third-place finishes. He has won only twice. Hard as it may be to believe, he's still only 33. So I ask: Can Howell still become a force on the PGA Tour, maybe pick up four or five more victories? Or has his ship sailed?

Herre: Sailed.

Dusek: Au revoir!

Shipnuck: I love Charles Howell, but if he was going to become a force, it would've happened a long time ago.

Van Sickle: We've been saying for 10 years that Howell's wedge game needed to get better. He finally accomplished that by working with Gary Gilchrist, and we're seeing the results. I think he can start winning again, yes. Phil didn't win his first major until he was 33, and Hogan was 34. I'm optimistic about Howell's upside, but he's not in that class yet. Bunker play is still a weakness.

Herre: Howell is also a very average putter.

Wei: His ballstriking is phenomenal. He's always in the mix and notches so many top 5s, but I'm sure he'd trade all those for a win and a trip to the Masters.

Walker: Howell said he made the move to Gilchrist last fall because he wanted to win more, and he's been playing really well since then. Definitely a player to watch in 2013.

Wei: Howell, who as we all know is very mechanical, also said Gilchrist has simplified things for him and also serves as kind of a "coach."

Godich: Howell has played a lot of good golf over the years. He just doesn't know how to close. Today was yet another example. That's too bad because he seems like a great guy.

Wei: It was actually surprisingly thrilling in the end...

Godich: You call that thrilling?

Wei: Well, in regulation, Howell needed to birdie 18 for the outright win, and Stallings dumped it in the water and was trying to get up-and-down for par. Zach Johnson, Richard H. Lee, Blake Adams and Will McGirt were all out there cheering Stallings on, living and dying with his every shot. It was cool to see players rooting for their friend. It doesn't happen that often.

Ritter: I'd like to apologize to Stallings, who I drafted for my fantasy team this year. His hooked 6-iron into the pond on 18, when anything near the green would've likely won him the tournament in regulation, was tough to watch. It took 72 holes, but my wretched fantasy karma finally struck him down. It wasn't your fault, Scott.

Wei: You also have to give Brian Gay credit. Talk about a guy who gets the most out of his game. There are only a few courses where Gay can win because he's not a bomber, and this is one of them. The fact that the guy has won four times on Tour is a testament to his talent.

Herre: After Stallings, and then Lingmerth in the playoff, went down in flames, I was torn between who to root for. Gay and Howell are two of the good guys on Tour. Gay is more reserved, but both are accommodating, humble and popular. Still, you just knew that Gay would not make the fatal mistake.

Tell us what you think in the comments section below: Will Howell ever take the next step? What are your thoughts on the Humana Challenge?

 

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