The U.S. is currently locked in a battle with Europe for control of the Ryder Cup, which is held every two years. The last time it was held was at the Belfry in 2010, when the U.S. won by 14 points to 10. This year, the contest will be held at the Le Golf National in Paris, France, on September 28-30.
The 2014 Ryder Cup will be held at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Illinois, USA, over the weekend of 17-19 September. The USA team will be determined by points earned through the 2013-2014 PGA Tour, the 2012-2013 PGA Tour, the 2012-2013 European Tour, the 2012-2013 PGA Tour Qualifying Series (Q-School), the 2012-2013 Web.com Tour, the 2012-2013 PGA Tour Latinoamérica, and PGA Tour Canada.
Over the past few days, a number of people have contacted me to discuss their opinions on who should be a member of the U.S. Ryder Cup team. Even before the U.S. played its last match of the 2013 season, the topic of the team was a hot topic. In this article, I will discuss the pros and cons of the candidates.
ATLANTA, Ga. — The previous two weeks have seen a rush for the last automatic spots on the United States Ryder Cup squad, which may have made captain Steve Stricker’s job a little easier.
Since the start of the FedEx Cup playoffs, a lot has changed. The Northern Trust was won by Tony Finau in a playoff over Cameron Smith, while the BMW Championship was won by Patrick Cantlay in a six-hole sudden-death playoff against Bryson DeChambeau.
Cantlay’s win moved him up to the sixth and final qualifying place, displacing Finau, who had occupied that spot a week before. Finau is in sixth place and seems to be a lock for one of Stricker’s selections.
Both were not necessarily a lock for a selection a few weeks ago, which speaks to the magnitude of their wins and the manner in which they were achieved.
Collin Morikawa, Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas, and Patrick Cantlay are the six automatic qualifiers.
In selecting his next six, Stricker is unlikely to stray too far from the final points list. Jim Furyk, Davis Love III, and Zach Johnson (may Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods be added?) are Stricker’s vice captains (to this point). With the selections coming on Sept. 7, you have this week to sort it out. The Ryder Cup will be held at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin from September 24 to 26.
The remaining players not in the top six are listed here, in order of their final rankings.
7th place in the standings
FOR With a clutch back nine and a sudden-death win at the Northern Trust, he addressed a lot of doubts and all but sealed his place in the field. Finau is regarded as a team player, and his ability to score birdies in best-ball situations is a valuable asset.
AGAINST There’s no reason not to go with the player who ended seventh in points and is now playing well. Finau had a hit-or-miss summer prior to the Northern Trust. But leaving him off now would be a shock.
8th place in the standings
FOR The Olympic gold winner was just pushed out of sixth place two weeks ago after seeming to be a lock throughout the summer. Despite not winning on the PGA Tour and receiving no points for his Olympic triumph, Schauffele has been a regular top finisher in the majors and had a strong Presidents Cup pairing with Cantlay.
AGAINST It’s tough to think of any drawbacks at this time. Schauffele is the world’s fifth best player.
9th place in the standings
FOR With a win at the Valero Texas Open and seven more top-10 performances, he’s had a fantastic comeback season. Following the Farmers Insurance Open, he rose from 92nd to 14th in the world.
AGAINST At this point, there’s no reason not to go with Spieth. He finished 3-1 alongside Justin Thomas in France, and he is one of the few American players with a winning Ryder Cup record (7-5-2 total).
Getty Images/Stacy Revere
10th place in the standings
FOR English has won twice, finished third at the US Open, and finished fourth at a WGC tournament in a stellar season that has propelled him into Ryder Cup contention. It’s difficult to watch someone who has won, is ranked 11th in the world, and has 10 points miss out on the team.
Michael Collins gets you ready for the last stop of the FedEx Cup playoffs and the Tour Championship in the season finale of America’s Caddie. ESPN+ is currently offering a live stream of the event.
AGAINST He has never competed in the Ryder Cup or the Presidents Cup. So, if lack of experience is a factor, it would seem to be a stretch to dismiss him.
11th place in the standings
FOR After all, he is “Captain America.” He’s one of the most dedicated American players, who thrives on competition and is energized by the prospect of competing in such a setting. He has a remarkable winning U.S. record of 7-3-2, and he is 3-0 in singles. Regardless of any apparent bonding problems, it’s difficult to see him being left out.
AGAINST If Stricker needed another reason to pass on Reed, he now has one. It wasn’t a huge issue that he couldn’t play in the Northern Trust because of an ankle ailment. However, being admitted to the hospital with double pneumonia and missing the BMW Championship is cause for worry. Reed has now missed three events that he had intended to compete in, raising questions about his Ryder Cup viability, which may not be worth the risk.
Icon Sportswire/Robin Alam
12th place in the standings
FOR Berger, a feisty player who dropped out of the top 100 in the world in 2019 because to injuries, returned last year after the pandemic shutdown and has been in the top 20 all year. He won the Pebble Beach Pro-Am, finished seventh in seven additional tournaments, and went 2-1 in the 2017 Presidents Cup.
AGAINST Berger doesn’t have a lot of flaws. You might argue about his lack of Ryder Cup experience or whether or not he’s a good fit for the team, which seems doubtful.
13th place in the standings
FOR Simpson has a lot of Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup experience, and he seems to be able to work with anybody. If asked, he could play that position well alongside DeChambeau, and his putting skill is a valuable asset at the Ryder Cup.
AGAINST Simpson’s prospects have been harmed by the rise of Cantlay and Finau in recent weeks. This year, he fell from sixth to twentieth in the global rankings. Stricker must be considering Simpson for a particular position in order for him to be selected.
Getty Images/Michael Reaves
14th place in the standings
FOR In his two-plus years on the PGA Tour, Scheffler has seemingly done everything except win, competing often, demonstrating a wide range of abilities, and climbing into the top 20 in the world. Scheffler should be on the list of players to consider if the US team is seeking for experience for any of its young players.
AGAINST A captain’s selection is very unusual for a player who has never won on the PGA Tour, and Scheffler has no experience in either the Presidents Cup or the Ryder Cup. (Rickie Fowler received a selection in 2010 but didn’t win, although he did well.)
15th place in the standings
FOR In fourball, it would be interesting to see the long-hitting Kokrak partnered with someone like Dustin Johnson or Brooks Koepka to see how many birdies they could make. Kokrak, a two-time champion, has hit his groove in the last year. Stricker will be considered if he tries to go outside the box and make the most of his choices. His stature is ideal for the Whistling Straits.
AGAINST His greatest flaw is a lack of expertise in these contests. Despite winning twice this season, he is still without a point lead, and he has been very quiet since his victory at Colonial.
Getty Images/Rob Carr
16th place in the standings
FOR His first win at the Valspar Championship propelled him from 154th to 25th in the world. He also finished second at the Byron Nelson and was eliminated from the WGC-FedEx St. Jude in a playoff. The prospect of bringing in young talent for the future is appealing, and Burns has performed well in the playoffs.
AGAINST Despite winning and finishing second twice, Burns is still outside the top 12 and up against stiff competition.
17th place in the standings
FOR Horschel has had a strong year, winning the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play in March. He is a tough competitor who would be excellent in foursomes.
AGAINST The packed field is his greatest concern. Horschel has never competed in a Ryder Cup match. He’d be on a difficult path, and at this stage, it’s all about pairings with potential mates. If Stricker sees anything he doesn’t like, he’ll be on his way to Wisconsin.
Getty Images/Streeter Lecka
18th place in the standings
For Kisner, his win at the Wyndham Championship is a testament to his perseverance. In 2019, he won the WGC-Match Play, finished 2-0-2 in his lone Presidents Cup appearance in 2017, and is regarded as a great putter who thrives in match play.
AGAINST He’d had a mediocre year until his win at Wyndham, which only propelled him into the top 20 in points. Whistling Straits isn’t his cup of tea, either.
19th place in the standings
Despite losing in a playoff at the Wyndham, Na has shown to be a personable character who has overcome slow play problems and may be an interesting alternative for Stricker, particularly given his putting skills.
AGAINST Has he done enough, like Homa? Is putting out a significant amount of effort sufficient to offset other disadvantages? Is there a particular player with whom he might make a nice match or two?
John Minchillo/AP Photo
20th place in the standings
FOR Phil Mickelson is a legend, a Hall of Famer, and a six-time major champion, including the PGA Championship this year. He has a lot of leadership abilities, has been around these team events for a long time, and would be a great fourball partner for DeChambeau.
AGAINST Aside from the victory at Kiawah, he’s done virtually nothing. Mickelson’s best result was a tie for 17th place at the WGC in Memphis, and he acknowledged that he needed a good playoff performance to be considered, which he didn’t receive. At the Northern Trust, he missed the cut and had a terrible second round at the BMW. Phil should be considered for a deputy captaincy and a potential Ryder Cup captaincy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who made the US Ryder Cup team?
The US Ryder Cup team was made up of players from the PGA Tour.
Why was the 2001 Ryder Cup Cancelled?
The 2001 Ryder Cup was cancelled due to the September 11th attacks.
Who is the most successful Ryder Cup team?
The United States has won the Ryder Cup more times than any other country.