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September 4 2012

12:20 AM

Ryder Cup: Who gets U.S. call?

By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM

NORTON, Mass. – After Monday’s finish of the Deutsche Bank Championship, the waiting game began for American players hoping to get one of the four captain’s picks from U.S. Ryder Cup Captain Davis Love III.

Love will announce his four picks at 10:15 a.m. ET on Tuesday ( the announcement will be carried live on RyderCup.com .) But Phil Mickelson seemed to indicate that the picks are fairly well set. He said he has spoken to Love recently.

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“I’m not going to say anything,” Mickelson said what Love told him. “That’s up to him. But I think I have a decent idea.”

Indications are that Love would make his phone calls Monday night instead of waiting until Tuesday morning.

“Davis has got such a tough job on his hands,” said Deutsche Bank winner Rory McIlroy, who will be an interested spectator Tuesday as a member of the opposing European team. “He’s got six or seven guys to choose from for four spots. … I really wouldn’t want to be in Davis’ position tonight trying to decide who to pick.”

Here’s a look at seven of the primary candidates after Monday’s finish of the Deutsche Bank Championship:

BRANDT SNEDEKER: If Love wants a hot hand, here’s one of the hottest. Snedeker followed up his second at The Barclays with a sixth-place finish at the Deutsche Bank, shooting 65-67 on the weekend.

The pressure of hearing about a potential Ryder Cup pick forced Snedeker to turn his phone off, just so he wouldn’t have to keep talking about it.

“Just got tired of hearing about it,” he said. “I did a pretty good job of staying in the tournament and not thinking about it. I was obviously really very nervous today on the golf course. Today was a very big day. If I played bad today, it might sway him one way or the other.”

Snedeker said he would be disappointed if he doesn’t get a pick, but that he would only have himself to blame.

“I had two years to qualify, or (win) the PGA (Championship),” he said. “I played bad at the PGA. Anybody that’s got a problem with that needs to re-evaluate their goals the last two years. “

DUSTIN JOHNSON: The only other candidate besides Snedeker with top-10 finishes in both FedExCup Playoff events, Johnson backed up his tie for third at The Barclays with a tie for fourth at the Deutsche Bank, shooting 65-70 on the weekend.

“I’ve had a good past two weeks, so I think I’ve made my case pretty solid,” Johnson said. “… I really think that I can help the team, and it’s something that I really enjoy doing.”

JIM FURYK: The veteran went undefeated last year at the Presidents Cup and has partnered with Tiger Woods in the past. He tied for 13th at the Deutsche Bank, shooting a third-round 65 to move up the leaderboard.  He missed the cut last week at The Barclays but put himself in position to win two big events earlier this year – the U.S. Open and the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational.

“Last week didn’t help my cause,” Furyk said. “… but I feel like I played solid this week.

“I know they want some hot players, they want some guys that are playing well, and I guess guys like Strick (Steve Stricker) and I are going to be hopeful they also want some battled veterans and guys that have been there before.”

STEVE STRICKER: As Furyk mentioned, Stricker also could provide a veteran presence and has been successful with Woods as a partner. And he also finished tied for 13th at TPC Boston with four consistent rounds.

A week ago, Stricker finished tied for 54th at The Barclays , but had three top-10 finishes in his previous four starts.

HUNTER MAHAN: Won twice earlier this year but has cooled off lately. His tie for 39th at the Deutsche Bank was his best result on American soil since a tie for 8th at the AT&T National.

“You want to make the team,”  Mahan said after shooting a final-round 71. “It’s plain and simple.”

RICKIE FOWLER: Shot a 5-over 76 in Monday’s final round to finish tied for 74th; just two players finished below him on the leaderboard. Fowler hasn’t had a top-10 finish since a tie for firth in May at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial. He was on the Ryder Cup team two years ago and played with Mickelson.

NICK WATNEY: Entered the conversation after winning The Barclays last week and backed it up with a tie for 20th at the Deutsche Bank.

Now it’s your turn. Which players do you think will become the four captain’s picks?

WATCH TUESDAY’S ANNOUNCEMENT LIVE ON RYDERCUP.COM AT 10:15 A.M. ET

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