Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Player Worth Considering For The Ryder Cup

With the US Ryder Cup picks coming up this Monday, there has been one player I have been keeping an eye out for that I think could make a good Ryder Cup player. However, I have yet to see any experts consider him for the Ryder Cup or just discuss him in general.

This player has had a better season and has played better recently than many of the top considerations for picks and is also a young talent that may be worth the shot of trying to develop as a long standing Ryder Cup player.

First, let’s take a look at the player’s metrics for this season:

Adjusted Scoring Average Rank: t-32nd
Earnings: 32nd
Victories: 1

Cuts Made: 18/23 (78%)
Top-10 finishes: 4
Top-25 finishes: 10

Advanced Total Driving: 14th

Birdie Zone Play: 165th
Safe Zone Play: 101st
Danger Zone Play: 17th

Putts Gained: 40th
Short Game Play: 140th

Who is this player?

PGA Tour rookie, John Huh

Now, I’m not saying he should be a lock as a captain’s pick. However, he should be getting more consideration than he appears to be receiving.

Huh was born in NYC and grew up in Los Angeles. He’s currently ranked 25th on the US Ryder Cup Standings.

Obviously, some of his metrics are a bit disconcerting. Such as his poor Birdie Zone play and struggles with the Short Game. However, Medinah is a long course that I would be willing to bet will favor good driving and Danger Zone play as it is scheduled to play at a whopping 7,657 yards.

My research typically shows that once courses get over 7,300 yards on Tour Danger Zone becomes one of the top-2 factors towards the general success of players. The last 3 Major championships held at Medinah were won by Hale Irwin and then twice by Tiger Woods (1999 and 2006). Irwin was noted as one of the all-time great drivers of the ball and in 1999, Woods was a great driver of the ball. In ’06 in the Haney era, Woods was arguably the greatest Danger Zone player that ever lived while being a mediocre driver of the ball.

With all of that, I presume that success and Medinah will come down to driving, Danger Zone play and putting.

Rickie Fowler is getting plenty of talk this week about possibly making the Ryder Cup team as a captain’s pick.

But, let’s take a look at the metrics (Huh’s metrics are in parentheses to provide a comparison}:

Adjusted Scoring Average Rank: 46th (32nd)
Earnings: 17th (32nd)
Victories: 1 (1)

Cuts Made: 17/20 85% (18/23 78%)
Top-10 finishes: 5
Top-25 finishes: 7

Advanced Total Driving: 41st

Birdie Zone Play: 70th
Safe Zone Play: 66th
Danger Zone Play: 66th

Putts Gained: 141st

Short Game Play: 116th

To me, Fowler runs more hot and cold than Huh does as he’s had a higher percentage of top-10 finishes, but a lower percentage of top-25 finishes. Fowler has been striking it very well this season, but his putting has been poor and his Short Game play has been mediocre. Fowler also has a higher Adjusted Scoring Average than Huh. So does Phil Mickelson.

I personally would prefer to see Davis Love III take Stricker and Brandt Snedeker and then consider the last two picks with regards to who is putting and playing well going into Monday. But I think it would be a poor move to not give Huh some serious consideration.


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