From the Rough

Golf without discretion

Did the media criticize the wrong captain’s pick?

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Rickie Fowler will be under the Ryder Cup microscope for the next couple of weeks whether he likes it or not. The fact that he’s a rookie — on the team, as well as the PGA Tour — and a captain’s pick made it easy for the media to scrutinize the choice more than any other on Tuesday morning.

While everyone has a right to criticize Pavin’s decision, there seems to be a following out there that believes Fowler wasn’t the worst pick of the lot.

As Golf Digest’s John Strege noted on the Local Knowledge blog, Pavin’s decision to include Stewart Cink as one of his four captain’s picks was never questioned during Tuesday’s press conference.

It was a decision that didn’t go unnoticed by one reader.

A comment written by a jrogan1 in response to this analysis, that U.S. Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin took a gamble on selecting Rickie Fowler, raised an interesting point: that Pavin was not asked to defend his selection of Stewart Cink.

“In fact, it’s a stunning indictment of the lack of seriousness of the sports press that no one is openly making Pavin defend the Cink choice on the basis of past performance in the event for which he was chosen,” jrogan1 wrote.

He (or she) has a point. Cink’s record in four Ryder Cups is 4-7-4. He’s 1-3 in singles and 2-4-1 in foursomes. Only in fourballs does he have a winning record, and at that it’s only 1-0-3.

Seriously, did we just forget about Cink because he won a British Open? While Tiger Woods usually gets a pass for his Ryder Cup record based on his overall success and Zach Johnson gets one for his middle-of-the-road record in the event, Cink has been around the block a couple of times and has never fared well in the Ryder Cup.

You’d have to assume he was included due to his experience playing in the event on foreign soil. That’s about the only reason I can come up with for including a golfer who’s 4-7-4 lifetime in the event when there were better options still left on the board.

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Written by Jonathan Wall

09/09/2010 at 12:47 am

Posted in Ryder Cup, Stewart Cink

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