Hot? U.S. Ryder Cup team, LPGA, Cheyenne Woods. Not? Pressel, G-Mac, AK

From left to right: Jason Dufner, Matt Kuchar, Rickie Fowler and Bubba Watson are likely to be part of a strong U.S. Ryder Cup team this fall.
Getty Images

1. The U.S. Ryder Cup team. Who have been the hottest players in golf so far this year? The Duff, Kooch, Bubba, Hunter and Rickie. Maybe the Yanks won’t get blown out after all.

2. The LPGA. Everyone complains about slow play, so you have to applaud the courage it took to call a penalty at such an important juncture in a big-time tournament.

3. Cheyenne Woods. After a stellar career at Wake Forest, Tiger’s niece just turned pro and signed with Steiny. Her Tweeps know her to be a fun, feisty, flirty personality. Hopefully the grind of tour life won’t change that.

4. Paul Lawrie. OK, we now forgive him for chickening out on the U.S. Open, because after storming off after a loss at the Euro tour Match Play, Lawrie later apologized for not stopping to talk to reporters. It’s nice when a tour player acknowledges the obvious: interviews are simply part of the job, so handle them like a pro.

5. Aza Munoz. Charismatic, telegenic, great swing, tough competitor…what’s not to like?

1. Morgan Pressel. It’s one thing to be assessed a semi-historic slow-play penalty. It’s quite another to have it happen while wearing a frock that looks like it was made from my grandma’s tablecloth.

2. G-Mac. Twas a nice run at the Match Play, but as his winless streak hits a year and a half, moral victories are nothing to celebrate.

3. Russell Knox. In the British Open qualifier in Dallas, there was a four-man playoff for the final three spots, and this young lad from Scotland was the odd man out. The only bright side? He doesn’t have to eat English food for a week. Freeedom!

4. J.J. Henry. I’ve seen guys make 5 on the par-3 17th at the Nelson before, but never without hitting it into the water.

5. A.K.. From bad to worse: he’s now on the shelf for at least four months because of chronic tendinitis in his left arm and a right elbow injury. Remember when Kim and Dustin Johnson were the future of American golf? It’s a tough sport for, er, free spirits.