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Ryder Cup 2004: Cink and Haas

So, Hal Sutton chose Jay Haas and Stewart Cink. They finished 37th and 17th, respectively, in the PGA Championship.

Stewart Cink I'm not too happy about, but I can't think of anyone I could justify using before him. He's a lowly 52nd in driving distance but 152nd in accuracy. If you want to put pressure on in a match play situation, you have to be able to do a lot of things well, and putting the ball in the fairway is one of those. Stewart is 4th in putts-per-round, but 52nd in greens in regulation. So, if you miss the green a lot and chip close, your putting stats are going to be better. At least he's 9th in scoring average.

Jay Haas played very well this weekend. He finished 37th only due to a last-round 77 and is 50 years old. He can handle the pressure and has several times before. His stats are okay, but his driving statistics are rather worrisome. Not only is he a shorter driver of the ball (he is 50 after all), but he's not as accurate as his distance (167th) should put him: 68th. At least his game is good right now - 5 over at Whistling Straits in four rounds (and even through three) implies that he's got at least some control of his driver.

The value of Jay Haas, though, is perhaps quite immaterial. He's a father figure, a tough competitor, and someone whom the others can rally around. He's steady and has fun playing the game. He'll pump up his teammates and hold his own.

It should be a great Ryder Cup.

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