Ryder Cup

69 Reasons Kevin Kisner Should Not Be On The 2021 US Ryder Cup Team

Ignorant, asinine, and baseless suggestions that Kevin Kisner should be chosen with one of Team USA’s 6 Captain’s Pick selections have perpetuated the Twittersphere over the last 24 hours, so I’ve taken it upon myself to bring sense and logic into the discussion with the exhaustive list of reasons below why Kevin Kisner should not be chosen over Tony Finau, Webb Simpson, Harris English, Scottie Scheffler, Jason Kokrak, or Phil Mickelson (amongst many others) to represent Team USA on a 7,800 yard track in Whistling Straits. Please don’t misconstrue this article for me being any less bullish that Kevin Kisner wins the Wyndham Championship this weekend. He still will. But he will in part because Sedgefield Country Club plays 700 yards shorter than Whistling Straits. Okay here we go!

Competition

  1. 6 players automatically qualify for the team based on points (Collin Morikawa, Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas, Xander Schauffele)
  2. 6 Captain’s picks are open for Steve Stricker to freely choose from
  3. The presumptive favorites for those 6 open spots based on quality of play are Jordan Spieth, Patrick Reed, Patrick Cantlay, Daniel Berger, Tony Finau, and Harris English
  4. The final two spots (speculating to be held for Finau and English) seem to be the ones up for grabs
  5. Players like Webb Simpson, Scottie Scheffler, Jason Kokrak, and Phil Mickelson all bring compelling cases for a captain’s selection.
  6. On a second tier, players like Billy Horschel, Sam Burns, Max Homa, and Kevin Na are fiery Ryder Cup newcomers who have won on Tour this season and would bring a spirited new edge to the team to go along with their superior recent form to that of Kevin Kisner’s
  7. Billy Horschel also won the WGC Dell Match Play this year, which should launch him ahead of Kevin Kisner for consideration on the basis of Match Play strength in 2021
  8. Billy Horschel is also a devoted West Ham United fan so maybe not
  9. On a third tier of Ryder Cup consideration, we have some proven veterans who have shown elite flashes this year like Bubba Watson, Stewart Cink, and Brian Harman
  10. These players would also present the US with a better case to win than Kevin Kisner
  11. Stewart Cink has two wins on Tour this season and he still isn’t even in serious consideration
  12. On a fourth tier, we have young players like Will Zalatoris and Matthew Wolff who bring a fresh new competitive edge to the Ryder Cup team
  13. Then, and only then after each of those players, we get to Kevin Kisner on a fifth tier
  14. He joins the likes of Gary Woodland and Matt Kuchar, who have shown flashes of great play in prior years, but have not been able to tap into their past form in 2021.

Statistics

  1. Kisner is 52nd OWGR, behind 24 other Americans
  2. Kisner is 23rd on the Ryder Cup points list
  3. Kisner ranks 126th on Tour SG: TOT over the 2021 season
  4. Kisner ranks 202nd on Tour SG: T2G over the 2021 season
  5. Kisner ranks 217th on Tour SG: BS over the 2021 season
  6. Kisner ranks 198th on Tour SG: OTT over the 2021 season
  7. Kisner ranks 214th on Tour SG: APP over the 2021 season
  8. Kisner ranks 114th on Tour SG: ARG over the 2021 season
  9. Kisner ranks 22nd on Tour SG: SG over the 2021 season, but ranks behind Captain’s Pick considerations Jordan Spieth, Brian Harman, Patrick Reed, Webb Simpson, Harris English, and Kevin Na
  10. Kisner ranks 183rd on Tour SG: TOT over the 2021 season on courses 7,400+ yards
  11. Kisner ranks 150th on Tour SG: T2G over the 2021 season on courses 7,400+ yards
  12. Kisner ranks 158th on Tour SG: BS over the 2021 season on courses 7,400+ yards
  13. Kisner ranks 162nd on Tour SG: OTT over the 2021 season on courses 7,400+ yards
  14. Kisner ranks 142nd on Tour SG: APP over the 2021 season on courses 7,400+ yards

Match Play Form

  1. Kevin Kisner has an excellent career Match Play record (14-5-2), however all of these results have come at Austin Country Club and Liberty National, which play to his strengths as short courses under 7,200 yards
  2. Kevin Kisner failed to advance out of the first round of the WGC Dell Match Play this March, losing a win or go home match with Matt Kuchar
  3. Matt Kuchar entered the WGC Match Play in arguably the worst form of his career with 0 T30 finishes in his first 11 starts of the 2021 Tour season
  4. With win or go home stakes on the line, this “Gamer”, “Fierce Match Play Competitor”, lost. To Matt Fucking Kuchar.
  5. Nobody on the Euro Ryder Cup Team is worse than 2021 Matt Kuchar.
  6. Ian Poulter and Sergio Garcia, other Match Play specialists, came into the 2021 WGC Dell Match Play in just as poor form as Kevin Kisner and advanced from their opening group stages, stepping up to the moment and proving themselves in a Ryder Cup year.
  7. Kevin Kisner blew his chance to prove himself at a Match Play event in a Ryder Cup year.
  8. If there is a case to be made for an out of form American veteran who pops up in Match Play and looks revitalized at the Wyndham Championship, we should be talking about Matt Kuchar
  9. Matt Kuchar at least finished T7 at the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits
  10. The closest simulation to Match Play on the PGA Tour beyond the WGC Dell Match Play would be a sudden death playoff
  11. Kevin Kisner found himself in a sudden death playoff at the RSM Classic earlier this season, a short course in his backyard that suits him perfectly.
  12. He lost that playoff to Robert Streb
  13. Robert Fucking Streb.

Course Fit

  1. In his one professional appearance at Whistling Straits at the 2015 PGA Championship, Kisner missed the cut, shooting 75, 72.
  2. There are plenty of players on the cusp of Ryder Cup selection who performed well at Whistling Straits in 2015
  3. Matt Kuchar finished T7
  4. Tony Finau finished T10
  5. Russell Henley finished T12
  6. Phil Mickelson finished T18
  7. Whistling Straits is one of the longest pro courses in America at 7,800 yards
  8. Team USA has intentionally chosen Whistling Straits due to its competitive distance advantage over the Euros with the likes of Bryson, Brooks, DJ, JT, and Xander on the team
  9. Kevin Kisner is on record as saying he intentionally skips longer tracks on the PGA Tour schedule because he knows he is disadvantaged by his lack of distance
  10. Kisner ranks 225th in Driving Distance on Tour
  11. There are only 275 measured players on Tour
  12. Kevin Kisner has not finished inside the Top 20 on a course over 7,400 yards in length since the BMW Championship in August 2019
  13. It’s been 2 full years since Kevin Kisner played well on a long course

Potpourri

  1. Kevin Kisner’s game of hitting fairways and greens fits a European classical style that Team USA is strategically trying to cater the course set up against
  2. This Ryder Cup is being played on US Soil
  3. The next time the Ryder Cup goes to Europe, Kisner will be worth some consideration as a road bulldog
  4. All of Kisner’s strong play this season (RSM, Travelers, Rocket Mortgage, Wyndham) have come on short courses that suit his game.
  5. Even his strong Match Play results have come on short venues (Austin CC, Liberty National) that suit his game
  6. Even if (when) Kisner wins the Wyndham Championship and plays well at The Northern Trust next week at Liberty National, it will still not change the fact that Whistling Straits is an awful course fit for him
  7. As a reminder, the Top 6 spots on the team are automatically locked
  8. Bryson and Brooks are on this team like it or not, that’s how the system works
  9. Combatting years of disappointing Ryder Cup history by rostering inferior talented players is a wholly illogical concept
  10. At the 2018 Ryder Cup, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, and Bryson DeChambeau combined to go 0-9-0 in their matches
  11. 3 years later, Phil and Tiger will be replaced and Bryson has transformed into an entirely different person, tailor-made for the length of Whistling Straits
  12. Webb Simpson and Tony Finau, who are ahead of Kevin Kisner in line for Ryder Cup consideration, were strong in the 2018 Ryder Cup, each going 2-1-0
  13. Team USA won the last Ryder Cup on US soil in 2016 at Hazeltine
  14. Going back to another long track in 2021 should not be reason to panic
  15. Overall, Kevin Kisner has been bad at golf in 2021