U.S. Ryder Cup Captain Steve Stricker Announces Six Picks, One Surprise

U.S. Ryder Cup captain Steve Stricker
U.S. Ryder Cup captain Steve Stricker speaks during the 43rd Ryder Cup Captain’s Picks Press Conference at Whistling Straits on September 08, 2021 in Kohler, Wisconsin. (Photo by Patrick McDermott via Getty Images)

In what was a bit of a surprise, U.S. Ryder Cup captain Steve Stricker chose Scottie Scheffler over Patrick Reed with his final at-large selection.

At a morning press conference in his native state of Wisconsin, Stricker made the selections via video from Whistling Straits Golf Club.

As expected, Stricker also added Tony Finau, Xander Schauffele, Jordan Spieth, Harris English and Daniel Berger. The captain’s picks will join the six players who automatically qualified through points: Collin Morikawa, Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas and Patrick Cantlay.

Reed, whose brand is most closely associated with the Ryder Cup, would have qualified had he not fell ill with COVID pneumonia late in the season, forcing him to miss three straight starts including two events where he’s won (Wyndham/Greensboro and Northern Trust/Liberty National).

“Patrick Reed … that was a very, very difficult call,” said Stricker. “Kind of lose sleep over that one. He’s a tremendous competitor. He brings a lot of match-play golf. His record at the Ryder Cup is pretty darned good.

“It was a very difficult call. It was just the uncertainty of his health and really the lack of play that led to our decision down the stretch.”

Even still, Reed earned a win in each of the last three seasons during which the Ryder Cup was measuring performance. Scheffler has never won. Reed also ended with a higher Ryder Cup ranking (11th to 14th) despite missing both the Wyndham and Northern Trust.

The 43rd edition of the Ryder Cup gets underway in two weeks, Sept. 24-26.

2021 U.S. Ryder Cup Team

Automatic Qualifiers

Name (Ryder Cup Rank, World Rank)
Collin Morikawa (1, 3)
Dustin Johnson (2, 2)
Bryson DeChambeau (3, 7)
Brooks Koepka (4, 10)
Justin Thomas (5, 6)
Patrick Cantlay (6, 4)

Captain’s Picks

Name (Ryder Cup Rank, World Rank)
Tony Finau (7, 9)
Xander Schauffele (8, 5)
Jordan Spieth (9, 15)
Harris English (10, 11)
Daniel Berger (12, 16)
Scottie Scheffler (14, 21)

Other Contenders

Name (Ryder Cup Rank, World Rank)
Patrick Reed (11, 19)
Webb Simpson (13, 20)
Jason Kokrak (15, 27)
Sam Burns (16, 25)
Billy Horschel (17, 28)
Kevin Kisner (18, 35)
Kevin Na (19, 24)
Phil Mickelson (20, 34)

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