Well, who saw these three being Jim Furyk’s Team USA Ryder Cup wildcard picks?
As we fully expected, Furyk has gone with his tried and trusted duo of Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson as well as the hottest golfer on the planet, Bryson DeChambeau, and the birdie machine that is Tony Finau.
The initial picks of Woods, Mickelson and DeChambeau came at a press conference following the Dell Technologies Championship. You wonder why they went to all the fuss, really…
Jim Furyk could have just tweeted at the end of the golf last night: "Yeah, it's Tiger, Phil and Bryson chaps. See you next week."
Save us all the hassle.
— Alex Perry (@AlexPerryNCG) September 4, 2018
Of course Phil had some fun with it…
— Phil Mickelson (@PhilMickelson) September 4, 2018
Finau was announced following the BMW Championship, holding off a late push by Xander Shauffele.
— Ryder Cup USA (@RyderCupUSA) September 10, 2018
Woods, Mickelson, DeChambeau and Finau will join the eight qualifiers – Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler, Patrick Reed and Webb Simpson – on the plane to Paris.
Here’s what my fellow NCG scribes had to say about the picks:
Who’s going to do the stats now Tiger is in the team? It’s quite staggering how easy he’s made Furyk’s task to include him. Meanwhile, this is Phil’s team and the likelihood is all the youngsters wanted one last dance and booty shake with Mickelson. As for BDC, all of a sudden he’s going to be front and centre when he partners Tiger. And he’s very good at being front and centre. Fair play to him.
Mickelson finishing strong at TPC Boston is good news for Furyk and the USA team. It seems like he was always getting a pick so the fact he’s found a bit of form is good news for everyone – including Europe as I’m far from convinced by his game in general. I wouldn’t be too worried by Tiger either. Not talking to the media last week shows he’s feeling some mental strain and is clearly unsettled with his putter and driver. Dechambeau on the other hand is a player everyone will want to avoid. Let’s hope he’s peaked a few weeks too early. Finau got the final pick, and rightly so.
The luckiest man here is Phil and I reckon Captain Furyk will have taken more pleasure from his fast-finishing T12th than anything else in Boston. It takes the heat off a pick that still feels to me like it is a little too chummy. The rest is entirely predictable, which is rubbish for the fans but just what you would want as a captain. Finau rounds the US team off, though I personally think Schauffele is the more rounded player.
This has probably been the most stress-free wild card selection stage any US captain has ever had. Tiger has been a lock for months and deservedly so. If you can come from obscurity, in world ranking terms, to the top 30 in a calendar year then you deserve a pick. Reading between the lines, it appears Woods has been lining up Bryson DeChambeau as a potential partner for some time. He’d probably have got in anyway but made any argument a moot point when winning the first two FedEx Cup playoff events. Phil Mickelson has played in 11 Ryder Cups and was a key part of the Task Force that transformed matters for the USA at Hazeltine. The only time he’s not playing is if he’s a captain himself, or he tells Jim Furyk he’s not up to it. He’s shown glimpses of form in recent weeks too so it’s such an easy choice. You can argue that even the fourth, and final, pick wasn’t a difficult choice…