U.S. Captain Steve Stricker has resisted the urge to select Patrick Reed as part of his twelve man Ryder Cup team, instead opting for a fresh start with the likes of Xander Schauffele and Scottie Scheffler set to debut at Whistling Straits.
Stricker confirmed his six wildcard picks on Wednesday with Olympic Gold medal winner Schauffele joining fellow first-timers Daniel Berger, Harris English and Scheffler in a new-look U.S. selection.
Jordan Spieth and Tony Finau were also entrusted by Stricker in what looks to be an altogether more harmonious half dozen players added to Team USA – no harm for some of them to get along given the ongoing rumblings between Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka.
Collin Morikawa, Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas and Patrick Cantlay complete the American line-up set for the September 24-26 renewal with Reed – dubbed ‘Captain America’ having featured in every U.S. team since 2014, overlooked after only recovering from bilateral pneumonia.
“We are super-excited about these six individuals,” Stricker said. “I talked to each and every one of them a couple of days ago and they are extremely excited and happy and fired up to be part of this team.
“All a great fit for Whistling Straits. They all can’t wait to do one thing and that’s to bring the cup back where it belongs.
“All six of these guys have been playing some really good golf for a long period of time. It’s more about a body of work. They have all played great throughout this year and very well deserving of these picks.
“I’m excited. I’m truly excited how this team is made up. Composed of a good mix of young guys and veterans.”
As for what attributes the six bring to Stricker’s side, the Wisconsinite is convinced he’s selected players who will relish the conditions at Whistling Straits:
“We looked into better wind players – it can be breezy here – how they pair well with others, how they are in the team room. I want to make sure that we are going to get along. But ultimately how these guys fit the course is the biggest determining factor.”