Stories of interest you might have missed…
Rickie Fowler, Newsday columnist Mark Herrmann writes, “probably is a lock for the [U.S. Ryder Cup] team,” notwithstanding his back-nine collapse at the Barclays on Sunday. “The other United States players like him. So does captain Davis Love III, who gets to pick four players to fill out the squad.
“Given what we saw Sunday, and all spring and summer, I’m not so sure that is a good idea. Fowler is the guy you want as your buddy, your neighbor, a guy in your foursome. I never will forget seeing him at a youth clinic at Huntington Crescent Club before the 2012 Barclays, giving encouragement and individual instruction to every kid. I also give him points for signing all those caps and souvenir flags. I’m not convinced he is the right answer for a U.S. team that needs a karma makeover after years of being dominated by Europe.”
Thomas Pieters making Darren Clarke’s job tougher
Thomas Pieters has thrown a wrench into what otherwise might have been an easy decision for European Ryder Cup Captain Darren Clarke. Russell Knox of Scotland is 20th in the World Ranking and would have joined Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer as Clarke’s three captain’s picks. Now?
“Russell Knox…faces extremely stiff competition from Thomas Pieters in the battle for a Ryder Cup wild card after the young Belgian produced a brilliant finish to win the final event in Europe’s year-long qualifying campaign for next month’s match at Hazeltine,” Martin Dempster of the Scotsman writes.
In the last three weeks alone, Pieters finished fourth in the Olympics, second in the D+D Real Czech Masters and won the Made in Denmark, and in the latter shot 62 in the first round playing alongside Clarke.
Seattle’s own Bernhard Langer?
Bernhard Langer of Germany won on Sunday the Boeing Classic in the Seattle area where he has become all but an honorary citizen.
“When Langer converted a birdie putt from within three feet to beat Kevin Sutherland and Woody Austin in a playoff Sunday, the gallery reacted as if Langer had learned to play golf on the same Seattle metro courses where [Fred] Couples polished his game,” Tacoma News-Tribune columnist John McGrath writes, noting that in 2010 Langer defeated Couples in the U.S. Senior Open at nearby Sahalee, won the Boeing three weeks later, and now this.