The USA Ryder Cup selection process has just gotten younger with Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas added to the team selection committee.
Spieth and Thomas, who boast just six Ryder Cups between the duo, have yet to act as a vice-captain, but the PGA of America has seen fit to add them to the committee headed by PGA of America President, Jim Richerson and also includes Vice-President John Lindert and CEO Seth Waugh.
And it seems Thomas’ appointment comes out of the blue for the 28-year-old.
“I feel like it’s important to me,” said Thomas. “I hope to be playing the Ryder Cup for the next 20 years. At least if I’m not playing, which I hope to be, I want to be part of it somehow to help us win.”
The 29-year-old Spieth made his Ryder Cup debut at Gleneagles in 2014 where he sat through the public humiliation of USA captain, Tom Watson at the hands of Phil Mickelson and now finds himself on a committee to appoint future captains.
“Very excited,” Spieth said. “The job is mainly more helping to pick the captain, talk about the players’ experience on and off the golf course, how it can be improved, what frees us up to play our best golf. It was nice having the last Ryder Cup, being on the side of knowing what was successful. I think I can provide useful input having been on four teams.”
And Spieth revealed a first meeting ahead of the 2023 Ryder Cup was a fortnight ago during the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
“A lot of them were asking questions to me and Justin,” he said. “The cool part about it was the questions they asked of us, and we were blatantly honest, from clothes we were wearing to ceremonies to how many dinners we’re doing, what kind of recovery tools and methods we had and access to that. It was a good start.”
And a ‘younger trend’ of committee men was reflected just recently with the Tour’s rank-and-file selecting Webb Simpson and Peter Malnati to sit on the Rory McIlroy chaired Players Advisory Council.
In particular, Malnati, 34, was appointed over the higher profile pair of Patrick Cantlay and Billy Horschel.
“I feel like these are important times on the tour and I care a lot about the direction of the tour,” Malnati said. “We’re making decisions that are affecting the direction of the PGA Tour for decades. I want to have a seat in that room. I was thrilled that enough of my peers wanted me to be there as well.”