Old Glory for Tiger

TIM MCKAY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:14 AM ET

And now the least-surprising news of the season involving the world's No. 1 player: Tiger Woods has been named as a captain's pick for the coming Ryder Cup.

For that, we shall name American team leader Corey Pavin Captain Obvious.

If you thought Pavin was going to go with anyone else, give your head a shake. Some of the players who were outside the automatic picks that also could have been considered include Bo Van Pelt, Ricky Barnes and Nick Watney, among others.

Good players all, but hardly of the ilk of Woods.

With his personal life and his golf game on the mend, it seems like the Ryder Cup may be the perfect spot for Tiger's redemption.

And, he has something to prove. Woods has not won on the PGA Tour this season (you could have gotten some pretty good odds if you had been willing to make that bet before November of last year), and his Ryder Cup record has been spotty at best.

He comes into the event, Oct. 1-3 at Celtic Manor in Wales, having a 3-1-1 record in singles play, but is a lacklustre 6-12-1 in team competition.

And those numbers are from the days when other players cowered at the very thought of being stalked by Tiger. But the world has changed and the Euros come armed with three of this season's major championship winners: Louis Oosthuizen (British Open), Graeme McDowell (U.S. Open) and Martin Kaymer (PGA Championship).

The American public loves a comeback story, especially if it's Woods restoring old glory, draped in Old Glory.

Ames needs help

Stephen Ames managed to hang in the FedEx Cup playoffs race, but just barely.

The 46-year-old Calgary resident went into the Deutsche Bank Championship needing a decent result to be among the 70 players moving into this week's BMW Championship.

After solid opening rounds of 67 and 68, a disappointing third-round 75 followed by an even-par 72 meant Ames had to wait until the tournament ended and the dust settled in the ranking to see where he stood.

At some points during the final round, Ames was projected to be outside the Top 70, but when it was over, Ames neither gained nor lost ground, holding at No. 69.

Now, the lone Canadian left in the FedEx Cup hunt will need a big week at Cog Hill, where he has won before (2004 Western Open), winning or finishing near the top to get into the Top 30 and advance to The Tour Championship.

The always outspoken Ames recently told the Vancouver Sun that his game has been "crap," and that he was looking forward to meeting up with his swing coach, Canadian Sean Foley, who has been working with Woods since the PGA Championship.

It was Ames who first started working with Foley before other golfers (Hunter Mahan, Justin Rose, Sean O'Hair and, of course, Woods) got on board.

Ames said he simply hadn't been able to hook up with Foley before last week.

"Sean and I just haven't been at the same places at the same times this year," he said. "I've been struggling a bit, and on my own, so it has been difficult."

Cruelty in numbers

The Nationwide Tour is a mean grind for those hovering in and around the Top 25.

With a PGA Tour card on the line, it's tough to imagine the pressure these golfers must be under, with $10,000 possibly being the difference between joining the world's best and toiling in the game's minor leagues.

David Hearn of Brantford, Ont., and fellow Canadian Jon Mills, of Oshawa, both tied for ninth at last week's Mylan Classic in Cannonsburg, Penn., but in a cruel twist of the rankings, Hearn actually fell from 19th to 20th.

Mills, on the other hand, moved up from 35th to 29th.

Gong show

A great clip has been making its way around the Internet, showing European Tour players attempting to ring a gong from 200 yards, across water.

Whether or not it's real (a debate that can be had with almost any video on YouTube) is unknown, but it seems authentic and it's a testament to just how accurate professional golfers are.

After several near strikes, some balls skipping on the water and missing the cymbal by inches, David Howell finally hits the target. Check it out at http://tinyurl.com/gongshot.


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