Now there's nine: Mickelson, Reed, Z. Johnson clinch spots on U.S. Ryder Cup squad
By Joseph Demling, PGA.com
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- U.S. Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson now has nine of his 12-member team for the competition in September set.
Phil Mickelson, Patrick Reed and Zach Johnson earned their way onto the team, garnering points in the 96th PGA Championship on Sunday at Valhalla Golf Club.
Watson, who will make his three captain’s picks on Sept. 2, will have at least three rookies on his team for the Ryder Cup competition in Scotland.
Mickelson started the week No. 10 on the U.S. Points list but makes the team after a sensational week at Valhalla. The PGA Championship was the last opportunity to collect points for U.S. Team and there were double points on the line in the event.
Mickelson will be making his U.S.-record 10th appearance in the Ryder Cup and extend his record 38 matches played. He has an all-time record of 14-18-6 and is seventh on the U.S. record listing with 17 earned points all-time.
Reed will be making his first appearance and Johnson his fourth but both earned their way onto the team despite poor play in the PGA. Reed finished T-59 after a final-round 73, while Johnson was T-70 after a 77.
Bubba Watson was the first golfer to earn a spot on the Ryder Cup Team, while Jim Furyk, Jimmy Walker, Rickie Fowler and Matt Kuchar already had spots on the team locked up prior to the PGA Championship. Jordan Spieth didn’t make the cut at the PGA Championship but still had enough points already to remain in the top nine and will make his rookie debut.
Kuchar is on the team but did have to withdraw this week because of a back injury. Watson said on Friday that he’s “concerned” with several injuries to the U.S. Team.
“We’ll be fine and we’ll be ready,” Reed said.
Watson will have some tough decisions to make on the three captain’s picks. Jason Dufner, who is hampered by an ongoing neck injury, finished just outside of the top nine along with Keegan Bradley, Brendon Todd and Ryan Moore.
Ryan Palmer had a top-10 finish at the PGA along with Hunter Mahan. Vice captain Steve Stricker had a top-10 finish and then there’s Tiger Woods, who missed the cut this week and has been hampered by a back injury.