The Ryder Cup begins Friday morning at Le Golf National outside Paris. Ryder Cup: Team USA players
Captain Jim Furyk and his team will be looking to end a 25-year winless drought on foreign soil.
The eight Americans who qualified via points are: Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, Patrick Reed, Rickie Fowler, Webb Simpson and Bubba Watson.
Furyk’s four captain’s picks are: Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau and Tony Finau.
2018 Ryder Cup: Team USA players
Here’s a player-by-player look at the American squad.
2018 PGA Tour highlights: 17 starts, two wins (U.S. Open, PGA Championship), six top-10s
Ryder Cup experience: 3-1-0 record in one appearance
Buzz: Koepka missed the Masters and most of the spring due to a lingering wrist injury. It was all good from there, as he won his second consecutive U.S. Open in June and held off childhood idols Adam Scott and Tiger Woods down the stretch at the PGA Championship to snag a third career major.
2018 PGA Tour highlights: 20 starts, three wins (Tournament of Champions, St. Jude Classic, Canadian Open), 12 top-10s
Ryder Cup experience: 6-5 record in three appearances
Buzz: Johnson re-gained the World No. 1 ranking after finishing solo third at the Tour Championship. He’s been the most consistent player on Tour with just one missed cut, and he narrowly missed out on a second major title when he was surpassed by Koepka in the final round of the U.S. Open. The unflappable duo will likely team up again as the “Bash Brothers” prepare to take Paris. 2018 Ryder Cup
2018 PGA Tour highlights: 23 starts, three wins (CJ Cup at Nine Bridges, Honda Classic, WGC-Bridgestone Invitational), 10 top-10s
Ryder Cup experience: First appearance
Buzz: The reigning PGA Tour Player of the Year now has eight wins over the past two years and easily secured an automatic qualifying spot after missing out on a captain’s pick in 2016. He enters the week off three straight top-25s, including a T-7 at the Tour Championship. Last year he went 3-1-1 in the Americans’ blowout Presidents Cup win and once said he’d rather be on a victorious Ryder Cup team than win a major. He’ll be a cornerstone in the U.S. team room for the next decade, at least, and is ready to earn his stripes in France.
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2018 PGA Tour highlights: 26 starts, one win (Masters), seven top-10s
Ryder Cup experience: 6-1-2 record in two appearances
Buzz: It’s been a mixed bag for Reed coming off the maiden major win, with just one top-5 finish (4th, U.S. Open) since. He’s having the worst putting season of his career and missed the cut at the PGA Championship. Hasn’t had a top 10 since the U.S. Open and was third-to-last at the Tour Championship. His relationship with fans is lukewarm at best (see: 18th green, Sunday, Augusta National), but Americans sure love Reed come fall. He’s 2-0 in singles with wins over Euro alphas Henrik Stenson and Rory McIlroy and has easily been the top-performing American the past two Cups in his usual pairing with Jordan Spieth.
2018 PGA Tour highlights: 24 starts, three wins (Genesis Open, WGC-Match Play, Travelers Championship), six top-10s
Ryder Cup experience: 3-8 record in three appearances
Buzz: Watson seemed to be coming around during the playoffs but finished 10-over-par and second-to-last at the Tour Championship. He wasn’t inside the top 40 in any of the big strokes gained categories other than strokes gained off the tee (5th) after the regular season, but he’s been hot at the right times while reaching 12 career victories. He’s missed the cut in the last three majors and has failed to break par in each of those six rounds, including an 8-over 78 in Round 2 of the PGA Championship. His driver won’t be as big of a weapon at Le Golf National, and finding the right pairings to suit his eccentric game will be key for captain Jim Furyk.
2018 PGA Tour highlights: 23 starts, five top-10s
Ryder Cup experience: 4-3-2 record in two appearances
Buzz: Stuck in the worst putting slump of his career, Spieth ranks 136th in strokes gained putting and hasn’t been able to add to his total of 10 victories over the past three seasons. He also finished 31st in the FedEx Cup standings to miss the Tour Championship. His final-round 64 to finish solo third at the Masters was one of the best rounds of the year, but he’s struggled since with just one top-10. That was a disappointing T-9 at the British Open, where he shot 76 in the final pairing Sunday. More than any other American in the top eight, the Ryder Cup will be a chance for Spieth to finish a forgettable season on a high note.
2018 PGA Tour highlights: 20 starts, one win (Hero World Challenge), six top-10s
Ryder Cup experience: 2-4-5 record in three appearances
Buzz: Fowler fell off in the penultimate pairing to finish T-12 at the PGA Championship, at which he revealed a lingering oblique injury. He missed the first two playoff events as a result but has looked great since, with a T-8 at the BMW and T-7 at East Lake. Fowler’s story continues to be one of close calls after a solo second at the Masters, one of only two top-10 finishes since January.
2018 PGA Tour highlights: 26 starts, one win (Players Championship), nine top-10s
Ryder Cup experience: 2-3-1 record in two appearances
Buzz: Simpson showed up for the big ones this year, ending a four-year win drought at TPC Sawgrass and finishing T-20 or better at all four majors. He’s also coming off a T-6 at the BMW and T-4 at the Tour Championship and will have plenty of confidence to start the week. Simpson is one of the top putters on Tour this season and locked up the eighth and final qualifying spot with a T-19 at the PGA Championship. That meant a lot to the 2012 U.S. Open champion, who is looking to be part of a winning team for the first time in his third appearance after missing out on the fun at Hazeltine
2018 PGA Tour highlights: 18 starts, one win (Tour Championship), seven top-10s
Ryder Cup experience: 13-17-3 record in seven appearances
Buzz: Woods capped his incredible comeback season with career win No. 80 last week, so he’s the big man on campus at Le Golf National. Woods was always going to be in Paris as a vice-captain, and he played his way onto the team with a ton of success in this comeback season. He also had a T-6 finish at the BMW and is hitting the ball better than he has all season. After a few shaky putting performances, Woods drained big make after big make at East Lake.
2018 PGA Tour highlights: 26 starts, three wins (Memorial, Northern Trust, Dell Technologies Championship), nine top-10s
Ryder Cup experience: First appearance
Buzz: Three wins in the last three months for DeChambeau, who lost out on a chance at the FedEx Cup with a disappointing week at the Tour Championship. DeChambeau ranks fifth in strokes gained total and completely turned his putting around this year. He finished the season ranked 41st on Tour after finishing 146th as a rookie.
2018 PGA Tour highlights: 24 starts, one win (WGC-Mexico Championship), six top-10s
Ryder Cup experience: 18-20-7 record in 11 appearances.
Buzz: Make it 12 consecutive Ryder Cup appearances for Mickelson, who was completely out of sorts during a last-place finish in Atlanta. But he finished T-15 and T-12 in the first two playoff events to make this an easy decision for Furyk. Earlier this year he ended a five-year victory drought in Mexico and ranks 10th on Tour in strokes gained putting.
2018 PGA Tour highlights: 28 starts, 11 top 10s.
Ryder Cup experience: First appearance.
Buzz: Finau hasn’t won this season, but he’s statistically solid across the board and tore through the playoffs with three consecutive top-10 finishes before last week’s T-15 at East Lake. Xander Schauffele made a late run at consideration with a solid showing at the BMW, but Finau was the easy call as the final captain’s pick. Now it’s time to see what he’s made of in the most pressure-packed week of his career to date. “I’m just ecstatic,” Finau said. “It’s a dream come true for me. I got the goose bumps when [Furyk] told me, and I’m excited to add my skills and talent to the team — a team that’s stacked already.” Ryder Cup: Team USA players