Each team is comprised of 12 professional
golfers, whomust qualify via points earned over
a two-year period leading up to the match. The
top eight points earners qualify automatically
for the U.S. Team and the final four members
of the team are chosen by the team captain.
In prior years, U.S. Captain’s picks were
limited to just two, but when Paul Azinger
became Team USA Captain for the 2008 Ryder
Cup at Valhalla, he negotiated an increase to
four captain’s picks and he became the only
winning U.S. Captain in the past 14 years.
The European Team gives their top nine points
winners automatic berths on the team and the
captain is limited to three picks. Darren Clarke,
who will captain the 2016 European Team has
used his three picks to choose, Thomas Pieters,
Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer.
Joining those three on the European Team will
be, Rory McIlroy, Rafa Cabrera-Bello, Sergio
Garcia, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Andy Sullivan,
Henrik Stenson, Justin Rose, Danny Willett
and Chris Wood.
Although Captain Clarke has the advantage
of having on his team the reigning Masters
Champion, Danny Willett, the 2016 Champion
Golfer of the Year, Henrik Stenson and Rio
Olympic GoldMedalist, Justin Rose, he will also
enter the matches with six Ryder Cup rookies.
The U.S. Team will consist of Dustin Johnson,
Jordan Spieth, Phil Mickelson, Zach Johnson,
Patrick Reed, Jimmy Walker, Brandt Snedeker
and Brooks Koepka, who have all earned
automatic spots on the team.
Three of Captain Davis Love’s four picks will
be announced after the BMW Championship,
. J.B. Holmes, Matt Kuchar,
Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler, Jim Furyk,
Daniel Berger and Justin Thomas are names
that are being considered for the final four
spots on the U.S. Team. The fourth and final
choice will be announced following the Tour
Championship, September 25
Brooks Koepka is the only rookie currently on
the U.S. squad, while the Europeans will enter
competition with 50% of their team playing in
international competition for the first time. This
should be a big plus for the Americans heading
Every professional golfer will admit that the
greatest pressure they have ever felt on the
golf course came in Ryder Cup competition.
The six European rookies are about to enter the
most nerve-racking, tension-filled three days of
their golfing lives.
Although these are professional golfers, they
do not receive compensation for making
the team, donations are made to the player’s
favorite charity. Because they are playing not
just for themselves, but for team and country,
the pressure to perform is much greater for
the Ryder Cup than for any regular major
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