The Barclays is over, and Davis Love III now has some decisions to make. The first eight representatives for the United States are set after the first FedEx Cup Playoff event with a couple golfers playing their way in over the final few rounds at Bethpage Black.
Here are the eight automatic qualifiers that will play for Love and the U.S. at the Ryder Cup.
- Dustin Johnson
- Jordan Spieth
- Phil Mickelson
- Jimmy Walker
- Brooks Koepka
- Patrick Reed
- Zach Johnson
- Brandt Snedeker
The only rookie in the group is Koepka, and this is a pretty solid list. Reed did Love a solid by taking home The Barclays win and easily staying in the top eight.
“We have an extremely talented group of eight automatic qualifiers for this year’s U.S. Ryder Cup team,” Love told RyderCup.com on Sunday. “Each has a real passion for the Ryder Cup. Having Phil Mickelson, who’s made a record 11 U.S. teams, will be incredibly valuable. Phil will be a leader for us both on and off the golf course at Hazeltine National.”
Mickelson feels the same about Spieth.
“A guy like Spieth is going to be a mainstay for the U.S. Team for a number of years,” said Mickelson after The Barclays. “He’s been on three times now; this will be his fourth. It’s time for him to take over a leadership role and help lead us to some victories.”
Those who finished just outside the top eight include Rickie Fowler, J.B. Holmes, Matt Kuchar and Bubba Watson. This is especially brutal for Fowler as he had an opportunity to make the team by shooting a 37 on the back nine Sunday. Instead, he shot a 39, including a double bogey, and will now need a captain’s pick to make the team.
“It’s not for me to worry about right now,” said Fowler. “I’ve just got to go out and get ready to play next week. Coming off a win there [at the Deutsche Bank Championship] last year, I feel like I’m in a good spot. I played great is this week, and I’m not worried about resume or anything like that. I’ve just got to continue to work on the game, continue getting better. It was almost really good this week.”
In addition to the double, Fowler also made three bogeys coming home to cough up both the tournament and the Ryder Cup position. It was, well, not pretty.
Rickie Fowler went from 4th in the Ryder Cup standings to 11th in 8 holes.
— Justin Ray (@JustinRayGC) August 28, 2016
As for who the four captain’s picks will be, I have no idea. Love seems pretty intent on picking players he trusts (like Furyk and Kuchar), which is obviously his prerogative. There’s a real opportunity here to go lower down the list and take a Justin Thomas or a Daniel Berger — a young gun who could put some real fear in the Rory McIlroys and Justin Roses in the world.
That’s still to be sorted out in the coming weeks as four more Americans join the eight that are already bound for Hazeltine. Three players will be picked in a few weeks after the BMW Championship and one more will be picked after the Tour Championship.
Source: CBS Sports Headlines / 2016 Ryder Cup: Spieth, Johnson, Lefty lead first eight golfers on U.S. team