Sept. 21-26, 2021 Whistling Straits, Kohler, WI
Ryder Cup - Day Three Singles
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Since they were introduced to the Ryder Cup four decades ago, Captain’s picks have been fodder for debate, and often the secret to success, in one of the most compelling events in sports.

In 1979, when Great Britain & Ireland expanded its roster to include Continental Europe, Peter Oosterhuis and Des Smyth were chosen to fill out a team captained by John Jacobs to compete at The Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia. It was another decade before the United States Team adopted the use of Captain’s picks. The criteria have been tweaked repeatedly through the years, leading to oft-controversial selections and exciting pairings, and the intense scrutiny of the media and fans.

Lanny Wadkins and Tom Watson were the first American selections, joining Captain Raymond Floyd’s team in 1989 that finished in a 14-14 tie with Europe at The Belfry in Sutton Coldfield, England.

With Europe dominating the Ryder Cup over the past two decades, winning 9 of the past 11 matches, U.S. Captain Steve Stricker’s choices are sure to be closely analyzed. Captain Stricker has a record six picks this year.

One of the most interesting statistics regarding Captain’s picks is their record: The American selections have an all-time record of 49-54-20;. The Europeans are 74-71-14.

Here’s a glance at the top-5 U.S. Captain’s Selections since 1989:

Overall W-L-T Years
Dustin Johnson3-0-02012
Scott Verplank4-1-02002, '06
Hunter Mahan2-0-32008
J.B. Holmes2-0-12008
Raymond Floyd5-3-01991, '93

Related News & Videos

Sign Up for our Newsletter
Enter your email address to receive updates on changes in rankings and important announcements.
We appreciate your interest in and excitement for The Ryder Cup. We will be sharing important updates as they become available.
There has been an error in your submission. Please try again.
We use cookies to understand how you use our site and to improve your experience. This includes personalizing content and advertising. To learn more, read the relevant section of the applicable Privacy Policy. By continuing to use our site, you accept our use of cookies.