American Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III has chosen Dustin Johnson, Jim Furyk, Brandt Snedeker and Steve Stricker as his four wildcard picks for the 39th match at Medinah Country Club in Chicago from September 28-30.
Stricker was widely expected to get the nod, given his strong recent form – he has three top-five finishes in his last six starts – his Ryder Cup experience and impressive former partnerships with Tiger Woods.
Experience was also a key factor in Furyk’s selection, who, despite throwing away the U.S. Open and the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, has appeared in seven Ryder Cups and recorded a 5-0-0 record at the 2011 Presidents Cup.
“I needed Steve Stricker and I needed Jim Furyk.” said Love.
“Striker has been the most consistent player we had out here for the last five or six years. He is a steady influence on the team. My team will benefit from having these guys in the team room.”
Johnson’s length will be a huge advantage at Medinah’s long #3 course, and, as Love pointed out in his press conference, Snedeker is the best putter in the world at the moment.
“You can’t argue with the golf Dustin and Brandt have been playing.” he said.
“These two guys with the pressure on them have played very, very well of late. We wanted guys that are playing well right now and I am excited about the teams we are going to put out.”
Hunter Mahan, Nick Watney, Rickie Fowler and Bo van Pelt were all considered legitimate contenders for a captain’s pick, and Love said it was extremely difficult making the phone calls to inform certain players they hadn’t made the team.
“There were a lot of guys that played some really good golf this season. It was tough to leave anybody out of the team and it was very touch to make those phone calls.
“But I believe I have picked four great players. Our team is a mixture of both youth and experience and I’m excited to see how we match up with Europe,”
Bookmakers have installed the USA as favourites to win its fourth Ryder Cup in the last 11 stagings of the event, with Europe managing just two victories in America over the last 20 years.