- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 31, 2010

NORTON, MASS. (AP) - Too bad Ryder Cup eligibility is based on passports instead of property taxes. There still might be hope for Paul Casey, who has been living in Arizona for most of his adult life.

Ditto for Justin Rose, who makes his home in Florida.

Alas, those English-born stars were left off the European team when Colin Montgomerie had five worthy candidates as captain’s picks and could only take three. Montgomerie famously referred to his dilemma as an “embarrassment of riches.”

For U.S. captain Corey Pavin, there’s more emphasis on “embarrassment” than “riches” at the moment.

Some people thought Pavin was lucky he didn’t have to announce his picks the day after the PGA Championship, instead having three additional tournaments to allow players to state their case.

It isn’t getting much clearer.

Arjun Atwal won the Wyndham Championship at Greensboro. He was born and raised in India and now lives in Isleworth, making him eligible for the Tavistock Cup, but not the Ryder Cup. Turns out Atwal wasn’t even eligible for the FedEx Cup.

Then came The Barclays, where the only Ryder Cup chatter was the coincidence of a Scot _ Martin Laird _ leading the tournament. The winner turned out to be Matt Kuchar, who already is on the team.

The Deutsche Bank Championship, which starts Friday on the TPC Boston, could go a long way toward helping Pavin figure out his picks. Pavin will make the announcement a week from Tuesday at the New York Stock Exchange.

It’s looking very much like a bear market at the moment.

Tiger Woods figures to be a lock to make the team, for no other reason than he wants to play. And it helps that Woods took a significant step last week toward at least starting to resemble the world’s No. 1 player. Woods spent his final few minutes at Ridgewood cleaning out his locker and going over the possibilities of Pavin’s picks.

Like everyone else, he didn’t come to much of a conclusion.

Anthony Kim, the catalyst of the U.S. victory at Valhalla in 2008, won the Houston Open and was third at the Masters. Then he had thumb surgery, sat out for three months, and has made only one cut since his return _ at Firestone, which has no cut. He is all but forgotten now, although a good week at the TPC Boston might put him back on the radar screen. The Ryder Cup does not start until Oct. 1.

Most players believe Zach Johnson is the logical pick behind Woods. The former Masters champion has a splendid short game and won at Colonial, then finished one shot out of the playoff at the PGA Championship.

The rest of them?

Story Continues →