I was never an “All-Star” jock, but I’ve always enjoyed participating in team sports. I’ve been on wrestling squads, baseball teams, varsity basketball and soccer, and was always considered to be an athlete. Luckily, I never had to endure the emotional challenges of being “LKP” (the last kid picked) for kickball. But I sure felt sympathy for that kid…the last one standing on the sidelines as the team-choosing process came to an end. And I always hoped that “LKP” would rise heroically and perform beyond expectations of the hopelessly conceited team captains.
As Captain Tom Watson and PGA of America President Ted Bishop took the “Saturday Night Live” stage in New York City, I was reminded of those team-picking, elementary school feelings…although the element of pity was certainly not present. The final decisions have been made, and the USA Ryder Cup Team has now been fully determined. The “last kids picked” by Watson??
- Keegan Bradley (first Captain’s pick)
- Hunter Mahan (second Captain’s pick)
- Webb Simpson (third and final Captain’s pick)
- Hasn’t won in 2 years, but went 3-0 when paired with Phil Mickelson in 2012 Ryder Cup
- Watson cited Bradley’s “unbridled passion” for the Ryder Cup…serious motivation
- Made trip to GlenEagles this summer for practice round with Watson (must’ve played well!)
- Only pick to have been on a winning Ryder Cup team (2008)
- Huge desire for ‘redemption’ after losing decisive match against McDowell in 2010
- Big (& very timely) Barclays win against a very strong field at Ridgewood CC
- Literally the ‘last pick’, Simpson was a bit of a “gut” feeling from Watson
- Two 5&4 victories (while paired with Bubba Watson) in the 2012 Ryder Cup
- Coming into form?...had a Top-10 finish last week in the Deutsche Bank event
So you can have some pity for Chris Kirk, Brendan Todd, Ryan Moore and the others who were overlooked…but don’t worry about Keegan, Hunter & Webb. The “LKP” trio may well be among the strongest kids on the playground, and they have something to prove! The 3 ‘picks’ will play harder than anyone and push to prove their value to Team USA & Captain Tom. The 2014 Ryder Cup Matches at GlenEagles in Scotland are sure to provide exciting theater later this month…I can’t wait!