Wild Card Quartet complete formidable US Team
Captain Davis Love III finalised his 12-man side with four Captain's Picks in New York on Tuesday
After Davis Love III took to his New York stage on Tuesday to name Jim Furyk, Dustin Johnson, Brandt Snedeker and Steve Stricker as his Captain’s Picks and with it complete the US team, their European counterparts will know a stern test awaits come the end of September in Chicago.
Of the high quality quartet, Furyk holds the most Ryder Cup experience having competed for the US team on seven previous occasions, returning victorious on two occasions at Brookline in 1999 and Valhalla in 2008 and the 42 year old has amassed ten points in his previous outings.
At the opposite end of the spectrum it will be a Ryder Cup debut for Nashville native Snedeker, singled out by Love as one of the “hottest” putters on the US PGA Tour, while it will be a second consecutive appearance for big-hitting South Carolinan Johnson, whose prodigious length from the tee will undoubtedly be an advantage for the Americans around Medinah’s lengthy links layout.
Wisconsin born Stricker, the seasoned-campaigner who has successfully partnered Tiger Woods on a number of occasions, will be making his third Ryder Cup appearance in Illinois and it seems certain his experience and cool temperament was paramount in Love’s decision to award him a spot in the 12-man team that will take on Europe from September 28-30.
“I can't tell you how excited I am that these four guys are going to round out our Ryder Cup Team,” said Love at the NASDAQ headquarters in Times Square. “We are looking to match guys up, we are looking for pairings, we are looking to plug some holes. We are looking to add some experience, add some putters. And these guys all fill those roles perfectly.
“I think we have got a great team. We are extremely deep this time; I think deeper than we have ever been. I can't tell you how excited for the next 22 days I'm going to be to talk to these guys, work with these guys, make some pairings and get ready to play some golf.”
Medinah is indisputably set to host a battle of titanic proportions, a contest to rival the very best in all of sport as 24 of the top 36 players in the Official World Golf Ranking go head-to-head with the aim of securing team golf’s most coveted prize.
Love on… Furyk
“I've been saying that we also needed experience. Jim is one of the most consistent players on the Tour and one of the most respected players on the Tour. I've been in the team room with him five times and he's played on eight. He was 5 0 in his last international match so I know Jim Furyk knows how to win matches, and he's going to take somebody out there and be a tough competitor.”
What Furyk said…
“I'm extremely excited. I've had the opportunity to play in quite a few Ryder Cups, but Davis is a good friend and someone that we all respect and look up to. It will be fun playing for one of the guys that I have played a lot of years on the PGA Tour with; so I’m looking forward to it, and I can't be more excited this morning.”
Love on… Johnson
“This guy is probably the best athlete on the team, he's perfect for Medinah. I've been saying all along I was going to plug some holes in our lineup that I thought we had, I love Dustin Johnson on that golf course and I love really our whole team on that golf course because we have a great driving team and that suits Medinah.”
What Johnson said…
“I'm very excited to be on the team. I'm really looking forward to this. I think that I've played well the last few weeks to make my pick pretty solid and I'm really excited about it. I've played The Ryder Cup and The Presidents Cup away both times, so I'm really looking forward to playing one on US soil.
“I thought I made my case pretty solid, but it's ultimately up to Davis to pick what he thinks is best for the team. I think I can bring a lot to the team and I really think I can help.”
Love on… Snedeker
“I've been saying a lot that we need hot putters, and there really has not been a hotter putter on Tour since the British Open than Brandt. He brings a lot on and off the golf course, brings a lot to the team room, and he is a guy you can pair really with anybody on our team, which I think is a great asset.”
What Snedeker said…
“I’m so excited to be on this team. It's been a pressure packed couple of weeks for me but it's been all worth it. It's such a huge opportunity to be in my first Ryder Cup and I look forward to getting to Medinah and making Davis look like he's a genius and play as well as I possibly can.”
Love on… Stricker
“Steve is a guy that's been the best player in my mind on Tour the last five or six years. He’s another guy that pairs well with anybody, another great putter, and somebody that I really trust on and off the golf course, in the team room. He has been a great asset to me already getting prepared for last night, for today.”
What Stricker said…
“To say I’m excited to be a part of this team is an understatement. Just because you all know how much fun it is and how much pride we take to be part of this team, to play for Davis is going to be a thrill.
“I've been a friend of Davis for a few years; he was with me there at Wales, leading me around in the first group off on the Sunday finals against Lee Westwood.
“It's a great camaraderie between the players and getting to know everybody, and it's a tremendous amount of fun coming together for that one common goal and trying to win that Cup back.”