US captain Zach Johnson has his eyes on Ryder Cup glory
The United States team for the 2023 Ryder Cup is set to be completed as captain Zach Johnson reveals his six wildcard picks.
This year’s edition of the biennial event will be hosted by the Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in Italy over three days from 29 September.
The six automatic spots in Johnson’s selection have been filled by Scottie Scheffler, Wyndham Clark, Brian Harman, Patrick Cantlay, Max Homa and Xander Schauffele, leaving the first-time captain with six picks to make. Justin Thomas is expected to make the cut despite the two-time major winner’s poor form this year, while Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler and Collin Morikawa are also strong contenders for inclusion.
And despite his defection to the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Series, Brooks Koepka is set to play in Rome after winning the USPGA Championship earlier this year.
Follow all of the latest updates as Johnson reveals his six selections below:
Rickie Fowler reacts to his fifth Ryder Cup selection after missing out last time around
Rickie Fowler has a Ryder Cup behind him, with the American preparing for a fifth participation. “It’s already coming together. A lot of us are really close, a few of us live close together in south Florida. It’s just a great group and I’m excited that I’ve played well enough to give myself this opportunity.
“For this part few years, not being part of teams, not really being in majors and not playing well, ultimately this was my goal at the top. I knew it was going to be a tough one to achieve. This one is super special. To get the call to be in this team is amazing.”
Zach Johnson explains Rickie Fowler’s selection.
“My boy Rick, a great 2023, a really good US Open out in LA. He’s also extremely flexible in terms of pairings and formats. Those that have been around him, he makes every team room better.”
And the Ryder Cup debutant has this to say
“I’d be lying if I didn’t say it was my number one goal,” Burns says. “When Zach gave me the call, I was just incredibly honoured. For me personally, there is no higher honour than to represent your country. I am super excited.
“I definitely dreamed of it many times. As a kid, you watch every Ryder Cup and you always have the idea in the back of your head that you want to be a part of it one day.”
Zach Johnson on the selection of Sam Burns
“Sam is a stud athlete. Won the World Golf Matchplay this year. He’s a tremendous putter, which always helps at the Ryder Cup. To say he meshes well with the other guys would be an understatement. He’s a versatile teammate, guys want to play with him.”
US captain Zach Johnson on Ryder Cup wildcard picks
“Having new blood is refreshing and energising. I’ve had many talks with our rookies already and they are excited. That excitement is attractive.”
Justin Thomas and Brooks Koepka among six US wildcard picks for Ryder Cup 2023
So broadly as expected from Johnson, with Justin Thomas backed despite a tough year on the course, and Brooks Koepka the lone LIV rebel in the side after his major form made the big hitter impossible to ignore.
Zach Johnson reveals six wildcard picks for Ryder Cup 2023
Zach Johnson prepares to reveal wildcard picks
“I am very confident in these six,” the US captain says. “We came up with what we felt made the other six whole.”
Ryder Cup 2023 LIVE
“I’m very pleased with our six qualifiers. Scottie Scheffler is Mr Consistency. Patrick Cantlay is another model of consistency, played great at the end of the year. Max Homa is a rookie Ryder Cupper but has played some high level international golf. Xander Schauffele has played amazing as of late and is a great team player. Quality guys, great competitors and probably even better off the course than on it.”
Ryder Cup 2023 LIVE
Here we go then – Zach Johnson is ready in Frisco, Texas, with six golfers to be added to his United States team to complete the 12-player line-up.
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