Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The 3Jack Golf 2012 U.S. Ryder Cup Team - Jan. 2012

For starters, here are my 'not so obvious picks' for the Sony:

Jerry Kelly (40 to 1)
Carl Pettersson (50 to 1)
Brian Gay (66 to 1)
David Hearn (80 to 1)
Scott Piercy (100 to 1)
Blake Adams (125 to 1)

Throughout this year, I will go thru a list of the top 12 players I would like to see on the U.S. Ryder Cup team. As the year progresses, the list will change. I will base these picks on the use of advanced metrics, much of which was discussed in the 2011 Pro Golf Synopsis.

Here are some basic guidelines:

1. Favor players with a good track record in the Ryder Cup.

2. Favor young, unknown players over veterans with a poor Ryder Cup record.

3. Look for Good Putters

4. Favor players who are better at avoiding bogeys than those players who are good at making birdies.

So, for right now…based upon the 2011 metrics, here is what I have.


Adjusted Scoring Avg: 2
Money Rank: 2

Clubhead Speed: 113.9 mph
Advanced Total Driving: 28

Birdie Zone: 48
Safe Zone: 62
Danger Zone: 38

Overall Zone Play: 35

Putts Gained: 57

Short Game: 37

I would like even better putters than Simpson and I would watch out for his Putts Gained metric throughout the season. But, I feel he is too good of an overall player to not have on the team at this moment.


Adjusted Scoring Avg: 5
Money Rank: 3

Clubhead Speed: 117.9 mph
Advanced Total Driving: 31

Birdie Zone: 23
Safe Zone: 125
Danger Zone: 5

Overall Zone Play: 16

Putts Gained: 12

Short Game: 6

I think a lot of people forget how good of a season Watney had. His weak performance in the majors in 2011 would worry me a little. But, that may have been due to some collapses in majors before last year.


Adjusted Scoring Avg: 4
Money Rank: 6

Clubhead Speed: 110.2 mph
Advanced Total Driving: 67

Birdie Zone: 20
Safe Zone: 11
Danger Zone: 56

Overall Zone Play: 11

Putts Gained: 37

Short Game: 54

One of the more impressive things about Kuchar is that he has continued to increase his clubhead speed over the past 3 years. Furthermore, his 37th in Putts Gained was an ‘off year’ with the putter by his standards.


Adjusted Scoring Avg: 3
Money Rank: 8

Clubhead Speed: 110.2 mph
Advanced Total Driving: 80

Birdie Zone: 4
Safe Zone: 55
Danger Zone: 95

Overall Zone Play: 25

Putts Gained: 2

Short Game: 24

A great putter and sound ballstriker and already a good Ryder Cupper and Presidents Cup player. His age is a little bit of a concern since you have to pick and choose your spots when to use him. But, his game provides a captain with a lot of flexibility from a strategic standpoint.


Adjusted Scoring Avg: 9
Money Rank: 10

Clubhead Speed: 106.2 mph
Advanced Total Driving: 12

Birdie Zone: 91
Safe Zone: 12
Danger Zone: 1

Overall Zone Play: 2
ATD & Zone Play: 4

Putts Gained: 18

Short Game: 48

Another excellent ballstriker and typically a great putter. He doesn’t hit it long, but in alternate shot he may work very well with a longer hitter who is pretty decent from the Birdie Zone, like JB Holmes or Dustin Johnson.


Adjusted Scoring Avg: 13
Money Rank: 14

Clubhead Speed: 110.5 mph
Advanced Total Driving: 49

Birdie Zone: 75
Safe Zone: 61
Danger Zone: 59

Overall Zone Play: 53

Putts Gained: 10

Short Game: 140

Another consistently excellent putter. So far he’s the worst on the team in avoiding bogeys, but still finished 35th in that category. If I were to use him in alternate shot, I would probably try to stick him with a golfer who does not miss a lot of greens, so we don’t have to worry about his Short Game. David Toms (70.2%) or Webb Simpson (69.8%) would be good partners. Nick Watney doesn’t hit as many greens (66.9%), but his Short Game could make up for any missed greens Snedeker has.


Adjusted Scoring Avg: 18
Money Rank: 44

Clubhead Speed: 106.7 mph
Advanced Total Driving: 53

Birdie Zone: 10
Safe Zone: 30
Danger Zone: 39

Overall Zone Play: 10

Putts Gained: 11

Short Game: 40

Another good Ryder Cup player and consistently a great putter. Gives the captain a lot of flexibility because he can play with ballstrikers who can’t putt, bombers and short but accurate and good putter players.


Adjusted Scoring Avg: 20
Money Rank: 36

Clubhead Speed: 114.5 mph
Advanced Total Driving: 93

Birdie Zone: 68
Safe Zone: 100
Danger Zone: 10

Overall Zone Play: 33

Putts Gained: 31

Short Game: 125

The only problem for him is that he makes a lot of bogeys (144th). So in best ball format, I would stick him with a golfer who doesn’t make many bogeys and hits a lot of greens. I think Matt Kuchar would be a great fit here because Kuchar finished 5th in Bogey Avoidance and 44th in Birdie rate. In alternate shot format, I would probably find a player who can hit greens, like a Chad Campbell type.


Adjusted Scoring Avg: 45
Money Rank: 40

Clubhead Speed: 109.4 mph
Advanced Total Driving: 129

Birdie Zone: 19
Safe Zone: 48
Danger Zone: 137

Overall Zone Play: 69

Putts Gained: 3

Short Game: 38

I’m not overly nutty about his Danger Zone play and driving of the golf ball. But, he’s arguably the 2nd best putter on Tour behind Luke Donald over the years. I think in alternate shot, I would put him with a bomber who can keep him out of the Danger Zone. But, I think he’s probably best suited for the Best Ball format.


Adjusted Scoring Avg: 15
Money Rank: 17

Clubhead Speed: 121.8 mph
Advanced Total Driving: 17

Birdie Zone: 173
Safe Zone: 95
Danger Zone: 29

Overall Zone Play: 101

Putts Gained: 142

Short Game: 120

I don’t think it’s bad to have at least 1 bomber in the group and we probably need at least 2 bombers. Out of the main guys, Woodland, Bubba, Holmes and Mickelson…I trust Woodland the most purely on the metrics. I think he also gives us the best flexibility because he played well on par-3’s, par-4’s and par-5’s and was 48th in Bogey Avoidance. He could make an excellent pairing with Molder on alternate shots.


Adjusted Scoring Avg: 17
Money Rank: 15

Clubhead Speed: 111.6 mph
Advanced Total Driving: 41

Birdie Zone: 103
Safe Zone: 84
Danger Zone: 116

Overall Zone Play: 100

Putts Gained: 13

Short Game: 116

His iron play concerns me, but he improved quite a bit with the flatstick and I think he may have been focusing more on the greens in 2011 and that took a bit away from his ballstriking. He may be in store for his best season as a pro.


Adjusted Scoring Avg: 51
Money Rank: 5

Clubhead Speed: 121.0 mph
Advanced Total Driving: 7

Birdie Zone: 83
Safe Zone: 83
Danger Zone: 2

Overall Zone Play: 17

Putts Gained: 171

Short Game: 156

He’s too long and too good of a ballstriker to pass up on. He’s also an excellent wind player. His putting was terrible in 2011, but he had shown that he can putt in previous years. His Bogey Avoidance was poor last year (145th), but he had the 3rd highest rate of birdies made in 2011. Thus, he’s a much better fit in the Best Ball format. In the Alternate Shot format, I like him with Watney, Toms, Snedeker and Kuchar because each of them are good from the rough, putt well, hit greens and avoid bogeys.


Bubba Watson
J.B. Holmes
Charles Howell III
Brian Gay
Bill Haas
Spencer Levin
Ben Crane
Ryan Moore
Kyle Stanley
Phil Mickelson
Jerry Kelly
Chad Campbell


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