There were not many surprises on Monday morning as Davis Love III made his first three (of four total) captain’s picks for the 2016 United States Ryder Cup team.
Love took Rickie Fowler (No. 9 in the world), Matt Kuchar (No. 17) and J.B. Holmes (No. 21) to join the eight automatic qualifiers.
Love will make one final selection after the Tour Championship in two weeks.
These three players join a group that includes Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Zach Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Patrick Reed, Jimmy Walker and Brandt Snedeker. It is Kuchar’s fourth appearance on the team, Fowler’s third and Holmes’ second.
I expected these three players to be chosen by Love, even though Fowler missed out finishing in the top 30 and playing in the Tour Championship because of his performance in the BMW Championship last week. Love was always going to take golfers he trusted in lieu of potentially more talented golfers, and he certainly trusts Kuchar, Holmes and Fowler.
What will be interesting now is to see what Love does with that final pick. It seems as if Jim Furyk, who also missed the Tour Championship, will be left out.
Will it go to a young player like Daniel Berger or Justin Thomas? Or a veteran grinder like Kevin Na or Ryan Moore? Will Bubba Watson snag it? Who knows.
Based on Love’s first three captain’s picks, I have to think it will be a traditional selection like Watson, but I would love to see Berger or Thomas tee it up against Sergio Garcia or Rory McIlroy in a singles match.
Now 23 of the 24 players for the Ryder Cup are set. The U.S. has 11 of 12, and the European Team has all 12. One more to go before Hazeltine gets going. I cannot wait.
Source: CBS Sports / 2016 U.S. Ryder Cup team: Fowler, Holmes, Kuchar named captain’s picks