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We’ve got just one week left until one of the best events that the world of golf has to offer. Ahead of the 2023 Ryder Cup, which will take place at Marco Simone in the Italian capital of Rome, it’s time to take a look at the teams. This time it’s the turn of the 2021 winners, who will now be looking to defend their title on foreign soil? Who did captain Zach Johnson select? Who are the new guys? Are there any big names missing? Let’s get stuck in and find out.
Johnson brings Ryder Cup experience in spades
First and foremost what the US have in droves is winning experience at the head of affairs. Zach Johnson is a Ryder Cup veteran, one who has enjoyed some success success in this competitions over the years. The two-time major champion had his first taste of the Ryder Cup back in 2016, where he won 1.5 points for Team USA. it took the former Open and Masters champion five attempts to be on the winning team but he was always a consistent point scorer for the US, which is why he continued to be picked time after time. In 2016, he picked up two points as the US won the Ryder Cup in Minnesota.
Joining Johnson as vice captains are former Ryder Cup winners Steve Stricker, Davis Love III, Jim Furyk, Fred Couples, Stewart Cink, who between them have several Ryder Cup successes, not to mention four Major wins.
Who missed out on a spot in the USA’s Ryder Cup team?
There are some quite notable omissions from Zach Johnson’s list of chosen players this time around. Two-time major winner Dustin Johnson, who has played in five Ryder Cups, winning two of those, is perhaps biggest name to not be included, though he’s far from the only absentee of note. Bryson DeChambeau, who was on the winning side in 2021 also misses out, as does Patrick Reed, who has previously been something of a hero at the Ryder Cup.
Who’s in the team?
As is always the case at the Ryder Cup, the teams are made up of six players who qualify automatically based on rankings and performances throughout the season, while the other six players are chosen by the captains. In the case of the United States, world number one Scottie Scheffler qualified as automatic pick, as did US Open winner Wyndham Clark and Open Championship winner Brian Harman, both of whom will experience the Ryder Cup for the first time.
Joining those three as qualifiers are Patrick Cantlay, who makes the team for the second renewal in a row having been on the winning team on Ryder Cup debut back in 2021, while both Max Homa and Xander Schauffele went straight in too. Like Cantlay, Schauffele is due to play in the Ryder Cup for the second time after being part of 2021 winning team, though Homa makes his debut after forcing his way in thanks to some excellent recent form.
Familiar names among Johnson’s wildcard picks
Completing the USA team are six wildcard picks, players who have been selected because of what they’re known to be capable of despite not necessarily scaling the heights of the game in recent times. Two-time major winner Justin Thomas returns for his third taste of the Ryder Cup, while fan favourite Rickie Fowler is back for a fifth bite of the Ryder Cup cherry.
Joining Fowler and Thomas is another player back for more in Collin Morikawa, who was also involved in the USA’s win back in 2021. Ryder Cup rookie Sam Burns will get his first taste of this competition. The world number nine has impressed over the last two seasons, racking up no less than five PGA Tour wins in less than 24 months.
The final two spots on the team have been reserved for two players who can say that they’ve pretty much been there and done everything in golf. One of those two is Brooks Koepka, who will be making his fourth appearance at the Ryder Cup after being involved as a winner in 2016 and 2021, as well as a loser in 2018. Finally, Jordan Spieth gets the nod, which is something of a no-brainer given that the three-time major winner has been on the winning team multiple times and is one of the best in the business on his day.
Team USA in full
Here’s the full line-up for Team USA at the 2023 Ryder Cup:
Scottie Scheffler (Ryder Cup record of 2-0-1)
Patrick Cantlay (Ryder Cup record of 3-0-1)
Brooks Koepka (Ryder Cup record of 6-5-1)
Collin Morikawa (Ryder Cup record of 3-0-1)
Wyndham Clark (Ryder Cup rookie)
Brian Harman (Ryder Cup rookie)
Rickie Fowler (Ryder Cup record of 3-7-5)
Xander Schauffele (Ryder Cup record of 3-1-0)
Jordan Spieth (Ryder Cup record of 8-7-3)
Justin Thomas (Ryder Cup record of 6-2-1)
Max Homa (Ryder Cup rookie)
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