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Uneasy Ryder

by Mike Purkey

If the requirement to be a member of the U.S. Ryder Cup team is to have enough game to beat captain Tom Watson, the Americans at present would be a two-man squad. Rickie Fowler and Jim Furyk are about the only two of the top nine who are showing anything close to good form leading to the matches at Gleneagles in nine weeks’ time. And even Furyk is suspect.

Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell aren’t shaking in their shoes at the prospect of having to face Bubba Watson or Jimmy Walker or Dustin Johnson or Jason Dufner. Watson is going to have to use his captain’s picks on Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley, and none of the three are playing a lick.

The Europeans have every reason to feel as if a lopsided victory is just around the corner.

Furyk, who made a mess of the Ryder Cup two years ago at Medinah, finished fourth at the Open Championship. He was at the RBC Canadian Open because he wears the tournament sponsor’s logo on his shirt. And he couldn’t manage to hold onto a three-shot lead on Sunday, getting spun around by Tim Clark on the back nine.

Speaking of American teams, the U.S. foursome fell flat and didn’t make the Sunday singles at the inaugural LPGA International Crown, which was won by surprising Spain. If the LPGA can figure out how to include Michelle Wie and Suzann Pettersen in this event, they’ll have something.

Oh, and before you ask, Paul McGinley won’t make Bernhard Langer – who won the Senior Open Championship by 13 shots – a captain’s pick. Watson wishes he could.

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