Webb Simpson to Get Captain’s Pick?


Since we ruled Webb Simpson likely out of the Ryder Cup team, a lot of things have happened that force us to reevaluate Webb’s chances. Notably, Webb has not played much better, but events outside Webb’s control have conspired to put him right back in the mix.

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First, the first nine automatic bids were handed out after the PGA Championship.
They were basically as predicted earlier:

Bubba Watson
Rickie Fowler
Jim Furyk
Jimmy Walker
Phil Mickleson
Matt Kuchar
Jordan Spieth
Patrick Reed
Zach Johnson

This is not exactly the same list because it contains Mickleson as an auto bid instead of a captain’s pick. Reed and Zach Johnson were on the bubble before, but they both get in now. So let’s look at the series of events that could potentially get Webb Simpson on the team.

1.Dustin Johnson gets suspended

Johnson was an auto bid, and Mickleson essentially became his replacement. If Mickleson had not made the auto-cutoff line, he would likely would have claimed a captain’s pick. Now that pick is free.

2.Tiger Woods still isn’t right

Though Tom Watson said he would grant a captain’s pick to a healthy Woods, it seems certain that Woods will not have put together enough solid recent work to merit serious consideration. Of course TIGER wants to play, but that is not his call. Woods, like Mickleson, likely was sitting on one of those captain’s picks. Now that pick should be in play.

Before we look at the next event, here are some notables on the Ryder Cup point list not with auto bids:

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  • 10. Jason Dufner
    11. Ryan Moore
    12. Brendan Todd
    13. Keegan Bradley
    14. Chris Kirk
    15. Webb Simpson
    20. Brandt Snedeker
    25. Hunter Mahan
    29. Steve Stricker

    In front of Simpson are two favorites, Jason Dufner and Keegan Bradley. Behind are some guys with Ryder Cup experience that could potentially leapfrog Simpson as captain’s picks. Stricker is the guy that everyone likes to partner with for his easy-going nature. Mahan has been on the last couple Ryder Cup teams. Yet there is an issue with Dufner.

    3.Jason Dufner may not be healthy enough.

    Dufner is suffering from bulging discs and that injury may keep him out of action past September. He would be a lock for a pick if healthy.

    Keegan Bradley will most likely be a captain’s pick. That leaves no one in front of Webb Simpson in the points list that has any Ryder Cup experience. Sometimes rookies are good for the Ryder Cup, because they are more motivated. However the trend has been to pick experience unless a young player is truly deserving.

    So that leaves two picks, which might be good enough to get Webb on the team. The only people who would be able to keep him off at that point would be two of Mahan, Snedeker, Stricker, or someone else. Simpson has a chance to raise his profile at the Wyndham, and that is as close to home turf as it gets for Simpson.

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