A look at the players locked in for America ahead of the Ryder Cup next month
With one month to go until the Ryder Cup in France, the first eight Team USA players have been confirmed following the conclusion of the PGA Championship.
With the top eight players selected from points gained at every PGA Tour event, WGC and major, the remaining four slots will be down to the team management over the next few weeks.
Here, we take a look at the players named in Jim Furyk’s squad.
A fascinating year for the 28-year-old. With a third major win in 14 months, he now surely deserves serious recognition among the golf public after his stunning victory at Bellerive. The World No2’s devastating game off the tee and razor-like short game has parachuted him into being the leading figure in the current crop of star players – and based on current from, he will be difficult to stop in France.
The 33-year-old has the most complete game in the sport and will be a pivotal figure when America set out to retain their Ryder Cup title next month. The Florida resident has missed only one cut in 16 starts this year, including three top-5s, top-10s and three tournament wins. It may be another year without a major win for the best player in the world but Johnson has the tools and desire to improve further in 2019.
The World No3 may not be the same household name as Justin Spieth and Dustin Johnson, but has proven to be equally as influential. It’s hard to imagine the 25-year-old has yet to play in the Ryder Cup, despite a career to date in which he has won eight PGA Tour titles, the FedEX Championship and a major. With two top-5s, four top-10s, seven top-25s and two tournament wins this season, the Kentucky native will be a serious addition to Furyk’s side next month.
The Masters champion would have been part of the team regardless of his ranking, given his history in high pressure matches. He is unbeaten in singles (2-0-0) and fourballs (3-1-0) during his two Ryder Cup appearances. The 27-year-old has secured one top-5 and two top-10s in his 10 tournament starts since his triumph at Augusta. Has the confidence and potential to be a consistent top-10 ranked player for years to come.
The 39-year-old famously missed out on the 2016 edition despite holding a top-8 raking at the moment. Stepping in as a vice-captain, the Florida man used his presence to help the Americans to a first title since 2008. Four missed cuts in the last seven tournaments, including the Open and PGA Championship, will surely disappoint him but expect him to hit top form come golf’s premier match play competition.
Results may have not gone his way over the past 12 months but the 24-year-old is still a three-time major winner. Has proven to be a force with Reed in their last two Ryder Cup appearances and if he can improve his putting – his biggest strength in previous years – then expect him to add to his 11 career Tour wins before September’s showpiece. Recent results may be off his overall expectations, but if Spieth can replicate his final round form at Bellerive, then he could be a serious force in the French capital.
A career best second at the Masters earlier this year will have boosted the confidence of Fowler, who makes the team for a fourth time – at just 29. Has shown a penchant for heating up on the grand stage and will be bidding to better his 2-4-5 record in previous Ryder Cups. At present, his form looks solid, with three top-10s eight top-25s over his last 18 starts – including three missed cuts. Still chasing that elusive major win.
The Players Championship winner has finished in the top-20 of each major this season. His win at Sawgrass was perhaps his finest as he jumped from 29 to nine in the Ryder Cup rankings. The 33-year-old will make his third appearance for America and looks to have hit a fine run of form at the right time ahead of next month’s showdown.