- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 21, 2006

TIGER WOODS

Age: 30

Birthplace: Cypress, Calif.

World rank: 1

PGA/Euro victories: 58

National teams: 8

Overall record: 17-20-3

Ryder Cup (‘97, ‘99, ‘02, ‘04)

Presidents Cup (‘98, ‘00, ‘03, ‘05)

Four-balls: 5-11-0

Foursomes: 7-7-2

Singles: 5-2-1

Partners: Mainly Furyk with perhaps a four-ball set with a rookie like long-knocking Wetterich

Skinny: Forget Tiger’s pedestrian record in the four-balls and name a man you rather would have by your side. Since neither Jesus nor Zeus is available, Woods is the favorite with anyone against anyone, anywhere, in any format.

PHIL MICKELSON

Age: 36

Birthplace: San Diego

World rank: 2

PGA/Euro victories: 30

National teams: 11

Overall record: 18-20-10

Ryder Cup (‘95, ‘97, ‘99, ‘02, ‘04)

Presidents Cup (‘94, ‘96, ‘98, ‘00, ‘03, ‘05)

Four-balls: 9-7-4

Foursomes: 6-8-3

Singles: 3-5-3

Partners: DiMarco is a guarantee and quite possibly Toms; frankly, anybody but Tiger

Skinny: Mickelson dominated alongside DiMarco (3-0-1) at last year’s Presidents Cup. He should be a force again this week, especially in the four-ball format, because nobody makes more birdies.

JIM FURYK

Age: 36

Birthplace: West Chester, Pa.

World rank: 3

PGA/Euro victories: 12

National Teams: 8

Overall record: 11-15-2

Ryder Cup (‘97, ‘99, ‘02, ‘04)

Presidents Cup (‘98, ‘00, ‘03, ‘05)

Four-balls: 2-8-1

Foursomes: 3-7-0

Singles: 6-0-1

Partners: Primarily Woods, though he might do well with similarly intense Taylor

Skinny: The Internationals got a heavy dose of Furyk/Woods (2-0-1) at last year’s Presidents Cup. Furyk’s singles record speaks for itself; nobody from Europe wants to see the American’s heart and soul grinder on Sunday.

CHRIS DiMARCO

Age: 38

Birthplace: Huntington, N.Y.

World rank: 15

PGA/Euro victories: 3

Overall record: 8-4-2

Ryder Cup (‘04); Presidents Cup (‘03, ‘05)

Four-balls: 2-1-2

Foursomes: 3-3-0

Singles: 3-0-0

Partners: Mostly Mickelson with a possible foursomes cameo from Johnson or Cink

Skinny: The fiery DiMarco was man-of-the-match in last year’s U.S. Presidents Cup victory, posting a 4-0-1 record and holing the event’s clinching putt. There’s nothing pretty about his game other than the results, but DiMarco is an outstanding putter with a massive ticker.

DAVID TOMS

Age: 39

Birthplace: Monroe, La.

World rank: 16

PGA/Euro victories: 12

National teams: 4

Overall record: 6-10-1

Ryder Cup (‘02, ‘04); Presidents Cup (‘03, ‘05)

Four-balls: 1-5-0

Foursomes: 3-3-1

Singles: 2-2-0

Partners: Taylor, Cink, Verplank, Campbell, Mickelson

Skinny: The streakiest player on the U.S. team, Toms makes tons of birdies (third on PGA Tour) and like Cink is compatible with the bulk of the roster. A former World Match Play champion (2005), Toms has the game to be a huge factor, though his pedestrian length makes him stronger in the foursomes format.

CHAD CAMPBELL

Age: 32

Birthplace: Andrews, Texas

World rank: 22

PGA/Euro victories: 3

National teams: 1

Overall record: 1-2-0

Ryder Cup (‘04)

Four-balls: 0-2-0

Foursomes: 0-0-0

Singles: 1-0-0

Partners: Henry, Cink, Wetterich, Toms

Skinny: A solid tee-to-green player who struggles immensely with the flat stick, Campbell is actually a nightmare partner in that he makes few birdies, putts poorly and sprays it a bit off the tee. Pair him with a reasonably long hitter in the four-balls and pray.

STEWART CINK*

Age: 33

Birthplace: Huntsville, Ala.

World rank: 23

PGA/Euro victories: 4

National teams: 4

Overall record: 7-7-2

Ryder Cup (‘02, ‘04); Presidents Cup (‘00, ‘05);

Four-balls: 2-1-2

Foursomes: 4-3-0

Singles: 1-3-0

Partners: The United States’ universal donor — any partner, any format

Skinny: The sturdy Cink was an obvious wild-card pick in that he has lots of team match-play experience and his game lacks any glaring flaws. Expect him to play in both sets of foursomes.

SCOTT VERPLANK*

Age: 42

Birthplace: Dallas, Texas

World rank: 37

PGA/Euro victories: 5

National teams: 2

Overall record: 4-3-1

Ryder Cup (‘02); Presidents Cup (‘05)

Four-balls: 1-1-0

Foursomes: 2-1-1

Singles: 1-1-0

Partners: Johnson, Toms

Skinny: A short hitter who batters fairways and wields one of the roster’s more reliable putters, Verplank is an obvious foursomes stalwart. He and Zach Johnson, by far the two shortest and straightest hitters on the U.S. team, are a lock to see action together in at least one foursomes series, probably both.

ZACH JOHNSON

Age: 30

Birthplace: Iowa City, Iowa

World rank: 42

PGA/Euro victories: 1

National teams: Rookie

Partners: Verplank, Toms

Skinny: A virtual Verplank clone. Barring major struggles in U.S. form, Johnson won’t play outside of the foursomes.

VAUGHN TAYLOR

Age: 30

Birthplace: Roanoke

World rank: 60

PGA/Euro victories: 2

National teams: Rookie

Partners: DiMarco, Toms

Skinny: Taylor is a bit on the short side and has a tendency to get wild with his irons, but he’s also a superb putter who makes bunches of birdies. He should get a least one start alongside a veteran in the four-balls.

J.J. HENRY

Age: 31

Birthplace: Fairfield, Conn.

World rank: 64

PGA/Euro victories: 1

National teams: Rookie

Partners: Wetterich, Campbell, Cink

Skinny: The rookie from Connecticut is long off the tee and one of the squad’s better iron players. Like Campbell, he’s a suspect putter, and his overall short game is the worst on the team. Henry will not be in a foursome.

BRETT WETTERICH

Age: 33

Birthplace: Cincinnati

World rank: 68

PGA/Euro victories: 1

National teams: Rookie

Partners: Woods, Henry, Cink

Skinny: The affable bomber ranks fourth on the PGA Tour in driving distance (308.4 yards) and makes birdies by the bushel, guaranteeing him two four-ball starts, possibly one with the similarly long Woods. Wetterich also is the most relaxed member of the U.S. team, another reason he might gel nicely with Woods. Wetterich is far too wild off the tee to see foursomes action.

*Captain’s choice

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