Las Vegas, Nevada (September 7, 2010)–There were said to be at least three Las Vegas residents under consideration for the one of the four Captain's picks for the U.S. Ryder Cup team. The good news: one Las Vegas golfer was picked. The bad news: two Las Vegas golfers weren't. Rickie Fowler, who purchased a home in Las Vegas about this time a year ago, was picked by Captain Corey Pavin, while fellow Las Vegas Golf Region residents Charley Hoffman and Nick Watney were left off the team. Each of the three play and practice at Las Vegas golf courses, but Fowler isn't the only tie to Las Vegas for the team.–By Brian Hurlburt.
The four Captain's picks were Tiger Woods, Stewart Cink, Zach Johnson and Fowler. Since moving to the Las Vegas area last year just prior to Las Vegas' PGA Tour event, the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, Fowler has made a big name for himself, coming close to winning a couple PGA Tour events and qualifying for the 2010 FedEx Cup playoffs. Fowler has alos promoted Las Vegas because many of his photo shoots or television appearances have eminated from near his Summerlin home or taken place on the Las Vegas Strip. Fowler and many of the other tour pros who have strong ties to Las Vegas golf courses play and practice at the resort TPC Las Vegas, a PGA Tour-owned Las Vegas golf course. TPC Las Vegas is open to all Las Vegas golfers and you can click to the official website to reserve your tee times in Las Vegas.
Some of the other ties to the Las Vegas Golf Region for the U.S. team are that three of the team members work with Las Vegas resident Butch Harmon, generally regarded as the world's best instructor. Harmon operates the Butch Harmon School of Golf at Las Vegas golf course Rio Secco Golf Club, and works with Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson and Cink. Harmon also worked with Woods for many years before parting ways. As an aside, Harmon also works with Watney, and Hoffman works with Greg Labelle, a Harmon disciple. You can click now to view the official website of the Butch Harmon School of Golf where all golfers–not just the world's best players–are welcome to come for instruction and golf schools. You can also click to Rio Secco Golf Club, a Rees Jones design, to reserve your Las Vegas golf tee times or Las Vegas golf packages. Rio Secco is also the home to the beautiful T-Mates female caddies.
Fowler will be a Ryder Cup rookie, and finished 20th in the points standings qualification process used to detemine the team. The top eight point qualifiers earned spots onto the team without the need of a Captain's pick. Fowler probably will be the most talked about choice of Pavin, but the Captain is confident in the young gun, despite his limited experience and a resume of zero PGA Tour victories. "I think, obviously, he's deserving," said Pavin during a press conference in New York. "There's a lot of guys deserving to be on the team. Like I said, there were a lot of people in the mix. I've said that before, and it's absolutely true. We talked a lot about it last night, the three of us here, and as I said, I spoke to Jeff Sluman on the phone, as well. It just came down to feelings. I had a gut feeling about Rickie. He has a good Walker Cup record, 7 and 1. He's a very good player. There are a lot of very good players that I had to look at, but that's the way I went."
"I have to thank Corey for giving me the opportunity to go over there," the 21-year-old Fowler said during the press conference via telephone. "Being a young player, it's a pretty special opportunity and the last time I played overseas on a team event was for the Walker Cup, so hopefully I can take a little bit of knowledge that I learned there and help the team." The event takes place at the Celtic Manor Resort Club in Wales October 1-3. Fowler is an avid 'tweeter' but as of this writing hadn't posted any thoughts on his inclusion on the team. But fellow teammate Bubba Watson had posted a simple, "RYDER CUP!!!!!", tweet to Fowler.