Ryder Cup USA Team Preview

Jake Cooper | 12 Oct 2016

American captain Tom Watson has finalised his team for the upcoming Ryder Cup competition to be held at Gleneagles Hotel, Scotland, from 26-28 September.

Watson’s wildcard choices include Keegan Bradley, Hunter Mahan and Webb Simpson and his team will arrive hoping to improve on a disastrous recent record for the US Team which has won just two of the last nine Ryder Cup competitions.

The last time the Americans won on European soil was at The Belfry in 1993, when Tom Watson was again the captain. “I’ve made no secret of how important this team is to me and how badly I want to go back and win the Ryder Cup,” Watson said. “I think this is a redemption year for a lot of guys who were on the team in 2012.”

We’ve run the rule over his selections below to give you all the insight you need into making your best bets ahead of the eagerly anticipated event.

 

America

 

Tom Watson – Captain

Age: 63

Turned Pro: 1971

Ryder Cup Caps: 4

Career Ryder Cup Record (W-L-H): 10-4-1

An eight time major winner, Tom Watson will bring an immense amount of experience to the American Ryder Cup challenge at Gleneagles, having previously captained the American team to victory at The Belfry in 1993. He will have an important role to play with his leadership and has already stamped his authority on the team with his wildcard picks.

 

Keegan Bradley

Age: 28

Turned Pro: 2008

Ryder Cup Caps: 1

Career Ryder Cup Record (W-L-H): 3-1-0

One of Watson’s wildcard picks, Bradley boasts a strong Ryder Cup record and teamed up very well with Phil Mickelson at Medina in the previous Ryder Cup. Will he be paired with the veteran again this year? Winner of the 2011 US PGA, Bradley is currently ranked 23rd in the world.

 

Rickie Fowler

Age: 25

Turned Pro: 2009

Ryder Cup Caps: 1

Career Ryder Cup Record (W-L-H): 0-1-2

The world number 11 will be hoping for a strong showing to continue what has been a successful year for him with top five places at all majors including a second place finish at the US Open.

 

Jim Furyk

Age: 44

Turned Pro: 1992

Ryder Cup Caps: 8

Career Ryder Cup Record (W-L-H): 9-17-4

Another US Open winner, he won in 2003, Furyk is vastly experienced and will be a valuable member of the American Team. Currently ranked 7th in the world, Furyk will be very keen to be a part of a winning team so that he can add to his two previous Ryder Cup victories.

 

Zach Johnson

Age: 38

Turned Pro: 1998

Ryder Cup Caps: 3

Career Ryder Cup Record: (W-L-H): 6-4-1

The world number 15 and previous Masters Champion will be one of the shrewdest campaigners on either side and could make a big difference for the Americans. A career record of 11 victories on the PGA Tour is evidence of a man who plays to win the big moments.

 

Matt Kuchar

Age: 36

Turned Pro: 2000

Ryder Cup Caps: 2

Career Ryder Cup Record (W-L-H): 3-2-2

With 7 victories on the PGA Tour, Kuchar is playing well and his driving from the tee should be a valuable addition to the team. One of a rare breed of current US players boasting a winning record in Ryder Cup competitions.

 

Hunter Mahan

Age: 32

Turned Pro: 2003

Ryder Cup Caps: 2

Career Ryder Cup Record (W-L-H): 3-2-3

With 6 PGA Tour wins behind him Hunter Mahan enters the event in good form. Part of the winning USA Team at Valhalla in 2008 (in which he was unbeaten), Mahan currently ranks 20th in the world and his proficiency in tight competitions could be vital.

 

Phil Mickelson

Age: 44

Turned Pro: 1992

Ryder Cup Caps: 9

Career Ryder Cup Record (W-L-H): 14-18-6

Having been part of a stunning 9 Ryder Cup events and making every team since 1995, Phil Mickelson will know exactly what it takes to win at Gleneagles. The fiercely competitive south paw finished runner up to a rampant Rory McIlroy in US PGA Championship to secure his place for this year’s event.

 

Patrick Reed

Age: 24

Turned Pro: 2011

Ryder Cup Caps: 0

Career Ryder Cup Record (W-L-H): 0-0-0

A debut for the Texan who set tongues wagging this year by somewhat prematurely declaring himself one of the globe’s top 5 players. Naturally gifted and not short on confidence, Reed boasts 3 PGA Tour Wins to date.

 

Webb Simpson

Age: 29

Turned Pro: 2008

Ryder Cup Caps: 1

Career Ryder Cup Record (W-L-H): 2-2-0

Another of Watson’s wildcard picks, Simpson won the US Open in 2012 and currently boasts 4 PGA Tour victories. Simpson enters the event in good form following a couple of top ten finishes in his previous 3 events.

 

Jordan Spieth

Age: 21

Turned Pro: 2012

Ryder Cup Caps: 0

Career Ryder Cup Record (W-L-H): 0-0-0

Another Ryder Cup debutant, Spieth is tipped for big things having become the youngest winner on the PGA Tour since 1931 with his victory in 2013’s John Deere Classic.  An exciting player, Spieth came second at this year’s Masters in Augusta and the Ryder Cup will provide him with valuable experience.

 

Jimmy Walker

Age: 35

Turned Pro: 2001

Ryder Cup Caps: 0

Career Ryder Cup Record (W-L-H): 0-0-0

A late bloomer, it took Walker 188 starts to win his first PGA title, with victory however came confidence and he has gone on to win a further 2 Tour events plus land top 10 finishes at both the US open and Masters events.

 

Bubba Watson

Age: 35

Turned Pro: 2003

Ryder Cup Caps: 2

Career Ryder Cup Record (W-L-H): 5-5-1

Bubba Watson was the first player to clinch a spot on the team and the big lefty is probably one of the most popular players in golf at the moment. He is also more than capable of playing the kind of game that makes it all look too easy. The Masters champion will be looking for a strong showing to improve a Ryder Cup record which flatters to deceive.