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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Early Presidents Cup Thoughts

Last year at this time I took a stab at who I thought would populate the 2012 U.S. Ryder Cup team. As luck would have it, I went nine for 12. Considering there were only four events with points accumulated at that point, it was a pretty nice percentage.

Glancing at the current U.S. Presidents Cup standing that began in September of 2011, there is much more information to make informed predictions on how this year's team will look come September of 2013. The major difference is that there are 10 automatics for the Presidents Cup versus eight for the Ryder Cup. Point values for 2011 and 2012 were one point per dollar, but that doubles for events in 2013.

Here are the current top 20:

1. Tiger Woods
2. Brandt Snedeker
3. Jason Dufner
4. Hunter Mahan
5. Bubba Watson
6. Zach Johnson
7. Phil Mickelson
8. Webb Simpson
9. Keegan Bradley
10. Matt Kuchar
11. Bill Haas
12. Jim Furyk
13. Nick Watney
14. Steve Stricker
15. Dustin Johnson
16. Bo Van Pelt
17. Robert Garrigus
18. Rickie Fowler
19. Kevin Na
20. Ryan Moore

With double points for the entire 2013 season, anything can still happen. Looking at this list, here's what jumps out:
  • Tiger's a lock, and may be the only one.
  • Bill Haas won the FedExCup in 2011, but failed to make the Ryder Cup team in 2012. In fact, he wasn't really even in the conversation. Snedeker looks good now, but is essentially only about $1.2 million in 2013 money from being oustide the top 10. He's looking good, but not a lock.
  • Mickelson feels less than safe.
  • Fortunately for those inside the top 10, I don't seen anyone in the 11-14 range making a big charge. Haas might.
  • Dustin Johnson will be on the Presidents Cup roster, and will do so by playing his way on.
  • BVP, Fowler and Ryan Moore are also worth a close eye.
  • Those outside the top 20 that may factor include Scott Piercy (21) and Bud Cauley (29).
  • There's always the chance a rookie like Luke Guthrie or Russell Henley have huge years and earn a captain's pick, but it's hard to see them starting from near scratch to earn a card.
All that to say, here is my very vanilla prediction at the 2013 U.S. Presidents Cup team:
  1. Tiger Woods
  2. Keegan Bradley
  3. Bubba Watson
  4. Jason Dufner
  5. Dustin Johnson
  6. Brandt Snedeker
  7. Hunter Mahan
  8. Matt Kuchar
  9. Webb Simpson
  10. Bo Van Pelt
Captains Picks: Phil Mickelson and Bud Cauley

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