With the 12-man European team already set, USA captain Davis Love III will make his final pick after next week’s Tour Championship. Playing in three Ryder Cups during his career, he boasts a 4-5-2 record. Sep. Also making the team is Matt Kuchar, like Love, a resident of St. Simons Island, Ga., and J.B. Holmes, who both tied for fourth on Sunday in the BMW Championship to clinch a spot in the Tour Championship next week.
Starting at the PGA Tour’s flagship tournament, Fowler missed three straight cuts and had just one finish inside the top 10. He was 11 shots behind victor Dustin Johnson, who had already qualified for the Ryder Cup team. It was a tough decision.
It might sound unusual but I think that Rickie Fowler’s failure to reach the final event of the FedEx Cup playoffs may just have clinched his place as one of US captain Davis Love III’s Ryder Cup wild cards. “We have got another tough decision coming up in three weeks”. “We’re very confident in them”.
Holmes finished 10th on the points list, Fowler 11th and Kuchar 12th.
Fowler, meantime, was the most questionable pick in terms of credentials.
He looked to be a lock for the team earlier this year after he won four times in 19 starts in 2015-16, including victories in the 2015 Players Championship, 2015 Deutsche Bank Championship and 2016 Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship.
Without naming names, Love responded: “Players who are in the Tour Championship need to try to win and not think about Ryder Cup points, that’s the thing I have told several players”.
Love said that he and his four assistants had deliberated the pros and cons of various contenders for captain’s picks well into Sunday evening before reaching a consensus.
Of Kuchar, Love said: “Great attitude for match play”. “We found no weaknesses in his game, and he’s such a great team mate”.
Casey, who at World No 16 is ranked above eight of the European team, was not considered for a place because he chose to play exclusively in America this season rather than compete on the European Tour.
“I am so happy to see how well he has thought this through”, Mickelson added.
Or, maybe Kuchar was just trying to build some drama into the seemingly never-ending process of fielding a USA team that, once again, will hope to use revenge as motivation to end the European stranglehold on the cup. When it comes down to that last pick, the will of the team as a whole, the compatibility of the golfers, the strategies for playing the golf course and the potential pairings will likely outweigh any finish at the Tour Championship. “It will be a completely different feeling, for sure”.