Ryder Cup countdown: Haas, Bradley will give U.S. team new look; Stricker hopes to avoid surgery

Only 221 days until the opening matches at Medinah:

It certainly was a thrilling finish Sunday. Hard to remember watching two players drop key putts on 18 to get into a playoff. Then Bill Haas’ winning putt on 10 capped a memorable day.

Besides Haas’ victory, the tournament opened a window of what we can expect from the U.S. Ryder Cup team at Medinah. Just take a look at the new points standings. Trailing No. 1 Phil Mickelson are Haas in second and Keegan Bradley in third.

Two years ago, those players were nowhere to be found on the U.S. Ryder Cup team at Celtic Manor. Now in 2012, they will be counted on to be key members of captain Davis Love III’s crew against the Europeans.

It isn’t just Haas and Bradley. Kyle Stanley, now fourth, also looks to be a good bet to make the team, and Johnson Wagner is sitting in the sixth spot. I think you’re looking at the possibility of four rookies being among the top 8 players that automatically earn spots on the team.

Ouch: Steve Stricker hopes to ditch surgery and avoid having surgery on a herniated disk in his neck. At age 45, he doesn’t want to give up a shot to play in the Ryder Cup. He currently is fifth in the standings.

Gary D’Amato from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports:

“After Hawaii, I was kind of leaning toward surgery again,” said Stricker, who first felt symptoms associated with the cervical injury – weakness in his left arm and tingling in his hand and fingertips – in December 2010.

“I struggled in the (Sony Open) so even though it was a good trip I came home a little bit frustrated with my arm.”

After more consultations with doctors, however, Stricker decided to stick with his treatment plan of rest and physical therapy. He said he didn’t touch his clubs for three weeks after Hawaii and his condition improved.

“The doctors said, ‘Let’s just hold off. We’re seeing little signs of improvement,’ ” he said.

Here’s the latest points.

1 Phil MICKELSON 2,637.074
2 Keegan BRADLEY 2,386.217
3 Bill HAAS 1,878.471
4 Kyle STANLEY 1,872.053
5 Steve STRICKER 1,683.076
6 Johnson WAGNER 1,654.298
7 Brandt SNEDEKER 1,628.962
8 Dustin JOHNSON 1,337.902
9 Mark WILSON 1,239.250
10 Jason DUFNER 1,174.477
11 Ben CRANE 1,016.850
12 Robert GARRIGUS 870.060
13 Kevin NA 828.116
14 Webb SIMPSON 781.669
15 Harrison FRAZAR 767.710
16 Bo VAN PELT 764.776
17 John ROLLINS 745.168
18 Spencer LEVIN 741.589
19 D.A. POINTS 689.043
20 Bubba WATSON 688.183
21 David TOMS 662.000
22 Ricky BARNES 635.894
23 Jimmy WALKER 587.963
24 Jonathan BYRD 560.400
25 Ryan PALMER 545.949

Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)