US Ryder Cup captain Paul Azinger urged to plump for
Scott Verplank at Valhalla

If Scott Verplank sinks the putt that wins the Ryder Cup for the United States later this month, London golfer Brian Davis had better steer well clear of Nick Faldo and his European team.

American captain Paul Azinger was today set to reveal his four picks who will complete a 12-man squad seeking to end a run of three successive European victories at Valhalla in Kentucky on 19-21 September.

And if he has listened to Davis, Verplank will be among those joining Stewart Cink, Phil Mickelson, Kenny Perry, Jim Furyk, Anthony Kim, Ben Curtis, Justin Leonard and Boo Weekley, who have already qualified by right. Davis, son-in-law of former Tottenham and England goalkeeper Ray Clemence, played alongside Verplank in the Deutsche Bank Championship at the TPC Boston won last night by Fiji's Vijay Singh.

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Scott Verplank

Impressive: Brian Davis would pick Scott Verplank for the US Ryder Cup team.

And he was mightily impressed by the 44-year-old Texan. Davis, who finished in a tie for 50th place, 13 better than Verplank, said: 'I've heard Azinger is going to go for long-ball hitters but if I had to pick someone, I'd go for Scott.

'He's got an unbelievable Ryder Cup record [four wins, one half and one loss from two appearances].

'He defeated Padraig Harrington in Ireland two years ago and Lee Westwood at The Belfry six years ago.

'The way he putts under pressure, he'd definitely be a pick for me even though he's not one of the longer hitters. He's such a gritty competitor. That's why I think he would be a good acquisition for the Americans.

'The modern game is a power game but the Ryder Cup is slightly different because it comes down to who can hole the putts under pressure.

'It's no good hitting it 360 yards off the tee if you then get a six-footer and don't even get it to the hole.

'You've got to have someone who you can rely on with the putts coming down the stretch.'

Steve Stricker, who finished one spot outside the top eight on the US qualifying list, is thought to be a certainty for an Azinger pick, especially after finishing with a solid 68 to take 13th position in Boston.

But unlike Faldo, who had several quality players contending for his two selections, Azinger, robbed of the presence of Tiger Woods, has had a problem packing his side out with other in-form golfers. Kim, the young charger who will make his Ryder Cup debut at Valhalla, said: 'There are so many guys and nobody has really broken out. It's going to be a tough selection.'

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