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September 05, 2012

Truth & Rumors: Davis Love's Ryder Cup picks too personal?

We know how this works by now. Davis Love picks four of the best American golfers in the world. We cry doom and injustice that he didn't pick one of the other best American golfers in the world. Then, we watch the Ryder Cup: If his guys win, Love's a golfing Bill Belichick; if they lose, he's Josh McDaniels.

Until then, though, let the rampant and unchecked speculation begin.

The most curious cry coming across the interwebs is this: Did Davis Love pick with his heart and not with his head? John Feinstein at The Golf Channel and ESPN's Michael Collins seem to think so. Both allege cronyism.

Feinstein, immediately after prefacing his thought by saying no one should accuse Love of "playing favorites," does just that, questioning the pick of Brandt Snedeker:

No one would ever accuse Love, one of the game’s good guys, of playing favorites but it’s worth pointing out that Snedeker and Love are both represented by the same company. Snedeker is part of what is known on Tour as the “Sea Island mafia,” – players like Love, Snedeker, Zach Johnson, Matt Kuchar and Jonathan Byrd who all live in Sea Island, Ga.

Another Golf Channel guy, Rex Hoggard, whose article features some great in-the-war-room color, quotes assistant Captain Mike Hulbert as saying that Love was thrilled to make his last phone call to Snedeker. "“He was most excited for Snedeker,” Hulbert told Hoggard. “Davis was pacing around the room he was so happy for him.”

Of course, it would be more fun to call a guy you picked than the five or six you didn't. According to Hoggard, Love called everyone in consideration: Hunter Mahan, the last man left on the bubble, Rickie Fowler, Nick Watney, Bill Haas, Bo Van Pelt…all the way down to Robert Garrigus. All of this happened late in the game, too: Love, according to Hulbert, was still 50/50 on his last pick until 6:45 on Monday night.

Meanwhile, Michael Collins is skeptical of another pick. He (quite adamantly) thinks that Love's selection of his friend Jim Furyk -- a surprise pick to many golf fans, based on his recent poor performances under pressure -- was the example of heart-clouding-head.

"Congratulations Captain Love, you made three really solid picks," Collins said on ESPN.com. "But one of them? You made a mistake. You chose a friend, over business, and that may cost us the Ryder Cup."

Collins makes his case in the video below:

I'm sure all parties involved will have a great time asking and answering questions about this over the next few weeks. The Ryder Cup hype machine is motoring along at full bore. And sorry, FedEx, your Cup is going to get caught in its long shadow.

Photos: The U.S. Ryder Cup Team | The European Team
Related: 2012 Ryder Cup Preview

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