For the 99 players _ Kenny Perry pulled out on Wednesday _ the goal is to finish in the top 70 in the standings to advance to Chicago and the BMW Championship. It’s far more tense for the 14 players that U.S. captain Corey Pavin has on a white sheet of paper he keeps in his pocket, all of them candidates to be among his four Ryder Cup picks.
Woods figures to be a lock. Zach Johnson is getting plenty of support as another pick. For the rest of them, the Deutsche Bank Championship is one last chance to make an impression on the captain, and even that might not be enough.
“There are no promises out there to anyone,” Pavin said. “I think everyone is mature enough to understand that.”
The players on his list were all invited to his barbecue during the PGA Championship, meaning they will get a phone call next week to say whether they made the team. The only addition was David Toms, a runner-up at Greensboro two weeks ago.
Pavin invited the eight players who qualified for his team _ Phil Mickelson had not yet arrived _ to dinner Wednesday night. He is soliciting their opinions, and said all the players are coming up with the same list of seven or eight guys who would be good picks.
“I think he’s got a pretty good idea who his picks are going to be,” Stricker said. “I mean, I think he still has some questions. I think it depends a lot on what happens here this week, and he wants to have some players step up and show him something. I don’t think anybody is set in stone yet, but I think he’s really looking forward to see what’s going to happen here.”
Stricker doesn’t have to worry about that, nor does Matt Kuchar, who made his first Ryder Cup team. They can think exclusively about the FedEx Cup for now, both in prime position to chase the $10 million prize.
“I go out there and tee it up to win the tournament,” he said.
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