Who is on Team USA?
US captain Zach Johnson has selected out-of-form Justin Thomas and LIV Golf rebel Brooks Koepka for the 44th Ryder Cup in Rome at the Marco Simone Golf and Country Club.
Five-time major winner Jordan Spieth, Collin Morikawa, Sam Burns and Rickie Fowler round out the U.S. captain’s six picks to join automatic qualifiers Scottie Scheffler, Open champion Brian Harman, U.S. Open winner Wyndham Clark, Max Homa, Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schuaffele.
Thomas failed to qualify for the FedEx Cup play-offs and admitted it was “humiliating and embarrassing” to shoot a second-round 81 at the US Open in June.
The two-time major winner also had a maiden 82 at the Open at Royal Liverpool, but was still selected by Johnson ahead of Keegan Bradley and Cameron Young.
- Scottie Scheffler
- Sam Burns
- Wyndham Clark
- Brian Harman
- Xander Schauffele
- Patrick Cantlay
- Max Homa
- Brooks Koepka
- Colin Morikawa
- Rickie Fowler
- Jordan Spieth
- Justin Thomas
The first-time Team USA captain was asked during Monday’s opening press conference why he didn’t bring in Bryson DeChambeau and other Ryder Cup veterans such as Dustin Johnson .
“Yes, I can answer all of these questions in a very simple way,” Johnson said. “We have a points system within the PGA of America, within the Ryder Cup USA. It’s pretty obvious… how you accumulate points and which tournaments can accumulate points.
“I have my own top 30, but towards the end of the process it was the top 20, the top 25 guys in that points system who I thought had merit and who should definitely have my full attention. That’s where I was. I was basically top 20, top 25 guys in terms of points when it came to formulating this Team USA.
Koepka finished seventh in the U.S. Ryder Cup rankings, with No. 15 Justin Thomas the lowest-ranked player to receive the captain’s pick.
With only the four majors in which to accumulate Ryder Cup points, Johnson finished 40th and DeChambeau 54th. Dustin Johnson has fallen to 114th in the Official World Golf Rankings while DeChambeau is 128th. Talor Gooch, another multiple LIV winner, finished 89th in the Ryder Cup standings and is now 167th in the world.
DeChambeau, who is a combined 2-3-1 in two previous Ryder Cup appearances, said he hopes the qualifying system will be different when the event returns to the United States in New York in two years.
Why was Brooks Koepka selected?
The main distinction with Team USA is that Ryder Cup eligibility is not tied to the PGA Tour but to membership in the PGA of America.
All American LIV players remain members of the PGA of America, or even the PGA Tour. Koepka won the US PGA Championship at Oak Hill in May and finished second at the Masters, although that wasn’t enough to automatically qualify for the team. Johnson decided that this form was strong enough to warrant the choice of a captain.