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(a) A Hall of Fame player with vast Ryder Cup experience who hasn't won
in three years.
(b) A fiery young gun who didn't qualify for the team but had three top-10s in the month of August.
(c) Automatically choose No. 11 on the Ryder Cup points standing.
(d) John Daly, if he's playing even remotely well.
Whichever answer you choose, credit yourself with a correct choice. There is no pat answer, which explains what the captain's choices are all about. When I captained the Ryder Cup team in 1983 and '87, the U.S. wasn't entitled to captain's picks. However, at the Presidents Cup I've leaned toward veterans with maturity and competitive experience, which is why I chose Jay Haas and Fred Funk in 2003. I'm all for young, talented players who are running hot, but keep in mind a full month transpires between the PGA Championship (captains make their at-large picks at its conclusion) and the Ryder Cup. A lot can happen in a month.As for John Daly, he would have made a very good choice this year because he's played well and has shown some consistency. Oakland Hills suits his game nicely, and he's not the type of player an opponent would relish seeing on the first tee. 4. In the foursomes competition, partners tee off alternately on successive holes. As captain, you send out a two-man team with one player a very long driver but erratic putter, the other a shorter hitter but superb iron player and excellent putter. Examine the scorecard at Oakland Hills and advise: Who tees off on No. 1?
(a) Send your best players out early, except for your toughest
competitor, whom you put in the anchor position.
(b) For insurance, place all of your strength at the end of the lineup.
(c) Sprinkle your best players evenly throughout the lineup.
We've heard a lot about "front-loading," or putting the best players out first to establish early momentum. That's what European captain Sam Torrance did on the final day at The Belfry in 2002, and it worked very well. But Sam's strategy would have been too big a gamble for me. I like to spread my six best players fairly evenly in two-player parcels. I want two excellent players at the beginning, two in the middle and two at the end. Good players in the middle of the lineup are crucial. First, it helps prevent too many losses in succession, which has an immense effect on the other team's momentum. Second, they have the comfort of knowing there are two more lions there to pick up the slack if they don't happen to play well. It also works well for the weaker players in your lineup, as they go out knowing they're sandwiched between great players. So the best answer is (c).6. It's the last day of competition, and you're playing one of 12 singles matches. In which situation(s) do you concede a straight, level two-foot putt?
(a) Last hole, last match, your opponent needs to hole the putt for a
tie in the overall competition. Your team holds the Cup and will retain
it if you concede the putt.
(b) To halve the fifth hole and maintain a tie in the first singles match.
(c) After you just blew a three-footer that would have won the 14th hole.
(d) Last hole, last singles match, your opponent needs to hole the putt to win the Ryder Cup.
I would only concede the putt for sure in situation (a). That scenario played out exactly in my 1969 match against Tony Jacklin. My decision to give Tony a two-foot putt didn't sit well with a couple of my teammates, but the concession was the right call. The Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup certainly are about winning, but more important is the emphasis on sportsmanship. Remember, my concession to Tony meant we kept the Cup. If Tony had been putting for his team to win, I'm afraid I would have made him earn it. The same goes for the other three situations -- I'd let my opponent have a go at the two-footer. This is a competition, after all, and they keep score for a reason.7. At the par-3 third hole, the hole is cut on the back-left part of the green, over a dangerous bunker. You play a conservative shot pin-high and 20 feet to the right of the hole. Your partner says, "Because you're safe, I feel like taking it right over the bunkers and knocking it stiff. Is that OK with you?" Your reply:
(a) "Let's be smart. Aim right at my ball."
(b) "It's your call."
(c) "That's fine, but be careful."
(d) "Leave me out of this."
The correct answer is (b). You have to let your partner play the game he likes to play and allow him to hit the shot he feels compelled to hit. That doesn't mean I won't interject a bit of advice on club selection or point out there's a bit of headwind, but as far as letting him hit the type of shot he sees in his mind, you don't want to disrupt his thinking. If you demand that your partner back off from an aggressive shot and play it safe, you'd be surprised at how often he proceeds to play the safe shot poorly. This happens because it's difficult for him to approach it with the same level of comfort and commitment.8. Two of your players' games are suited well for four-balls competition. However, they've made it known they don't like each other. Do you pair them anyway?
(a) "Fine. Get some rest and we'll see you on Sunday."
(b) "This is the Ryder Cup. Suck it up and get out there."
(c) "Let's get your teammates' thoughts on this."
When I captained the 2003 Presidents Cup team, Davis Love III approached me before I made the pairings for the second day's foursomes matches. He said he wasn't feeling well. "I can go if you want me to, but I'd rather have the rest so I'm ready to go on Sunday." I didn't hesitate to tell Davis to go ahead and get the rest. Look, players in these competitions are so fired up that if they're sick or slightly injured and ask for a rest, they truly must need it. If I shamed them into playing anyway, I might get their best effort, but I might not get their best performance. And I'll be darned if I'm going to put their health at risk. So the correct answer is (a).Golf Digest's Guy Yocom contributed to this article.