US to have one of its tallest Ryder Cup teams

NEW YORK — Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III caused a few murmurs at the Nasdaq Market Site on Tuesday when making his picks.


He announced Dustin Johnson, Jim Furyk and Brandt Snedeker before getting to the fourth and final pick.

“And then last but not least – and if you read between the lines, not in any particular order except that we are doing it by height,” he said.

Rickie Fowler?

No, it was Steve Stricker, who is listed at an even 6 feet in the PGA Tour media guide, which made him the shortest of the picks. Stricker has never been considered short, except when compared with a Ryder Cup team that is getting taller all the time.

“We’re getting bigger and bigger athletes,” Love said.

BUSY STRETCH: Graeme McDowell started the FedEx Cup at No. 27 and now goes to Crooked Stick needing a strong tournament to reach the Tour Championship. This is only his second year as a PGA Tour member during the FedEx Cup era, and he still hasn’t quite figured it out.

Not the points – the emotion.

McDowell hasn’t won this year, but he was in the final group at the U.S. Open and had a chance on the back nine of the British Open.

“I’ve just been fatigued the last few weeks,” McDowell said. “I haven’t switched on since the PGA Championship.”

TAVISTOCK TRAVESTY: What started as a made-for-TV exhibition between clubs in Orlando, Fla., is on verge of getting silly, if it weren’t already there.

Lake Nona against Isleworth made sense because Orlando is home to so many PGA Tour players who belong to one of those clubs. Then, the two-day matches expanded to include a course in the Bahamas and Lon­don. And now, the Tavistock Cup is growing even more with two “teams” in other parts of the country – Oak Tree, just north of Okla­homa City, and Primland, based in Virginia.

The bigger problem is that the Tavistock Cup will be played next year the week of the Shell Houston Open, a tournament that dates to 1946 with a title sponsor that has been important to the PGA Tour for a long time (it also sponsors the World Golf Hall of Fame). How many players in the Tavistock Cup, where the rich get richer, will play Houston (even though Houston in 2013 is two weeks before the Masters Tournament)?

At least the tour kept the field size at 24 players. Instead of four teams of six players, the six teams will have only four players.

But here’s where it could get goofy. Augusta native Charles Howell lives at Isleworth, yet there’s a chance he could play for Oak Tree (Oklahoma State alumni are honorary members). Bo Van Pelt lives in Oklahoma, yet he might end up playing for Isleworth (where he has a membership for the winter months).

As for Primland? It’s located in Virginia, not far from Charlotte, N.C. Among the players who are mentioned for that illustrious team are Webb Simpson, Bill Haas, Jay Haas and Fred Couples, whom every club in America would like to claim.

MAKING THE CUT: Ian Poulter was proud as ever when he walked out of the scoring trailer Saturday after signing for 71. After speaking briefly about his new Ferrari, he looked back and said what sounded like, “I’ve made a year’s worth of putts.” Guys say that all the time.

What he actually said was, “I’ve made a year’s worth of cuts.” And indeed he has.

Poulter missed the cut at the Deutsche Bank Championship last year, and that was his last one. That’s 23 tournaments since then, and 23 times earning a check.

Even better news?

There is no cut at the BMW Championship next week, or the Tour Championship if he qualifies. Depending on his schedule the rest of the year, the next tournament he plays that has a cut will be the Australian Masters, where he is the defending champion.