Maybe O'Toole pick wasn't so crazy

Imagine you're sitting on your couch, heavy episode of "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and you wait for the announcement of Rosie Jones' captain's picks for the U.S. Solheim Cup team.

Ok, maybe there were eight of us in the country that did that, but yours truly nearly fell out of his sofa when Jones pegged Ryann O'Toole as one of her two selections.

Even Jones acknowledged it as a "wild" wild-card pick and when she said it, I thought maybe teenager Lexi Thompson, or maybe Meg Mallon, or Dottie Pepper or a Nancy Lopez. I'd have been less shocked if she took my mom for the team.

As I stated on twitter (@JimboBrighters) the other night, this decision needed time to marinate before it could properly be discussed. This is not quite 48 hours later, but the opinion has been formulated.

Why not?

There are two definitive schools of thought on this and there's no middle ground. It's like strawberry milk, either you think it's brilliant or hideous.

For those that think this pick is, as I said to fellow golf editor Kevin Currie on Sunday night, "the worst pick in international team golf history," there are several items to back up that position.

First, O'Toole has played all of seven LPGA Tour events this season and eight total. That's just seven more than Annette O'Toole competed in this year, so in what way has she distinguished herself in such a short period of time to warrant selection to this team? Ryann, not Annette.

Seven events is a fine barometer for qualification for selection. That's assuming of course there are something like 15-200 other events that pre-date the Magnificent 7.

How can O'Toole seriously feel prepared for an event of this magnitude having just teed it up in seven LPGA Tour events? How can Jones think she would be? Experience can be somewhat overrated come these team matches, but you can't claim that for someone as inexperienced as O'Toole.

It's not like her seven 2011 tournaments have been earth-shattering, either. O'Toole took ninth at the U.S. Women's Open and this is where Jones admitted O'Toole caught her attention. She tied for fifth at the Safeway Classic, the final qualifying event.

O'Toole was on Golf Channel's "Big Break" series and next time, Rosie, if you're going to select a reality television star, maybe one of the Kardashians or perhaps a hoarder.

This is the mindset of some, including me, until further reflection.

In an effort to be diligent, I began writing some information about prospective picks for Jones. After about 30 minutes of accumulating data, rage took over.

And that's why the O'Toole selection isn't really all that crazy.

Who didn't get picked that has a reasonable gripe?

The talent pool Jones had to work with was pathetic. It's a good thing for the most part since that means the best players already qualified, but this was as dreadful a group to pick from as possible.

You had Juli Inkster who all but begged American golfers to step up and take her spot on the team. She accepted an assistant job on this team and swore she wanted nothing to do with playing at the age of 51.

No one could take her spot. Inkster was ninth heading into the final qualifying tournament and couldn't be caught. She had two top 10s all year.

Christina Kim was 10th and please drop me a line if you can recall her contending in 2011. She was the only automatic qualifier in any jeopardy, but those closest in the standings wilted.

Kim has zero top 10s in 2011, same number as Annette O'Toole, yet no one could take her spot?

A 51-year-old and another player without a single top 10 were guaranteed spots on Jones' team, so how thin is the remaining pool for her selections?

Who's got a complaint?

Katie Futcher? She has no Solheim Cup experience and pundits pointed to her great record in majors this year. Yes, Futcher shared third at the Kraft Nabisco, but her ties for 14th at the LPGA Championship and Women's British Open aren't eye-opening. When it mattered the most at the Safeway Classic, Futcher went 76-78 and missed the cut by a country mile.

Pass.

Pat Hurst? She owns one top 10 in 2011, earned Solheim Cup points in one other event this year and, like Futcher, didn't get it done at the right time. Hurst played in five Solheim Cups, but Inkster, Cristie Kerr and others can provide whatever Hurst could in terms of leadership.

No thank you.

Natalie Gulbis? Kristy McPherson? The fact remains that no single player stood out in any substantial way to make Jones take notice. Vicky Hurst did well at the Safeway, she made the team and the same goes for O'Toole.

In the absence of quality, what's wrong with taking shot on a young player, who hits it a ton (fourth on the LPGA Tour)? Jones' team is very strong on top with Kerr, Morgan Pressel, Stacy Lewis, Paula Creamer and Michelle Wie.

Jones took a big-time shot here and chances are, the Solheim Cup won't come down to how well Ryann O'Toole plays. Whoever got tabbed with that pick wouldn't have been a game changer.

O'Toole gets some experience, her length might intimidate a young European and who knows what you get. It couldn't be worse than anyone else Jones could've picked.

Except, maybe Annette O'Toole.

RANDOM THOUGHTS

- Interesting to see Fred Couples backtrack a bit from his hardened stance that Tiger Woods would be on his Presidents Cup team. Couples wants Tiger to play some more, which would be fine except he can't play on the PGA Tour again before Boom Boom picks. Couples repeatedly stated with Tim Rosaforte on Golf Channel that Woods was the best player in the world for 12 years. Thing is, he's not right now. It's also worth noting that Jim Furyk, Rickie Fowler and Keegan Bradley aren't on this team yet either and some long-shot could get hot in the playoffs and steal a spot. Still don't see how Woods should be on this team.

- Playoffs are too hard to pick a winner.

- Movie moment - Didn't see a single movie in two weeks. I read a book though.