The Deutsche Bank tournament starts tomorrow in Boston. It is the second leg of the FedEx Cup playoffs and it becomes the next opportunity for Webb Simpson and his Ryder Camp chances, which seem to have decreased since his finish at the Wyndham two weeks ago. In an article, several writers for the PGA Tour were asked for their potential Ryder Cup picks. Only one of the five of the five took Simpson, while the others passed him over for various other golfers. There were a few trends worth noticing.
First, all the writers took Keegan Bradley. This is something that I thought would happen anyway as Bradley’s game has certain elements (length) that can’t easily be replicated elsewhere. Bradley also has a history of getting along well with other members of the team.
Second, all the writers took Hunter Mahan. Mahan won the Barclay’s last week and represents the greatest threat to a Webb Simpson Ryder Cup bid. Mahan has experience in the Ryder Cup, and his win last week could suggest he is playing better golf at the right time. If he maintains that level of play, it will be hard to keep him off the team.
Third, the PGA writers mostly seem to prefer Brandt Snedeker over Simpson since four writers chose the Nashville native and only one took Simpson. This points back to the final round of the Wyndham, where Simpson had the chance to outplay Snedeker in almost match play conditions and they both shot the same score. The logic for taking Snedeker over Simpson relates to Snedeker’s streakiness. When Snedeker gets hot, he can really get hot. The down side of course is what happens if he doesn’t get hot.
Webb Simpson will have to show something if these PGA writers’ collective opinion is anything like the mind of Tom Watson. There are few remaining chances to do so, and that makes Simpson’s Boston experience that much more important.