The U.S. Ryder Cup team is now complete. Captain Zach Johnson announced his six picks to fill out the American roster, selections that will be both controversial and defensible.
Captain’s picks for the 2023 American Ryder Cup team include:
Brooks Koepka. The 2023 PGA champion is a fascinating pick, since he left the PGA Tour to play on the LIV Golf tour but played well enough to merit Johnson’s approval. He has played in three Ryder Cups with a record of 6-5-1.
Rickie Fowler. A career resurgence has vaulted Fowler onto his fifth Ryder Cup team. He has a career Ryder record of 3-7-5.
Jordan Spieth. The onetime Ryder Cup stalwart (four teams, 8-7-3 record) has hit a rough stretch, but brings undeniable juice to the team.
Collin Morikawa. After a hot two-major start to his career, Morikawa has cooled a bit, but was in the mix at the Tour Championship and FedEx Cup into the weekend. He has one Ryder Cup appearance and a 3-0-1 record.
Sam Burns. He’s never played in a Ryder Cup, but he’s won on Tour this year. His consistency earned him a slot despite his relatively low world ranking of 22.
Justin Thomas. The most controversial pick, given that Thomas’ game has declined sharply in the last year, and he wasn’t even able to make the top 70 cutoff for the FedEx Cup playoffs. But he’s an undeniable Ryder Cup locker room force with a record of 6-2-1 in his two appearances.
The captain’s picks will join the six players who have already qualified for the team: Scottie Scheffler, Xander Schauffele, Max Homa, Brian Harman, Wyndham Clark and Patrick Cantlay.
Who didn’t make the team is often as compelling a list as who did, and this year’s Ryder Cup also-rans are a series of compelling what-ifs. Keegan Bradley, Bryson DeChambeau, Cam Young, Tony Finau and Russell Henley will all have a case that they deserved to be on the team … particularly if any of the captain’s picks struggle.
The United States posted a dominant victory two years ago at Whistling Straits, and heads to Rome next month seeking its first victory on European soil in 30 years. The European team, captained by Luke Donald, has not yet been finalized, but will feature heavyweights like Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm and Viktor Hovland.