The speculation is three-fourths of the way over.
On Monday at Hazeltine National Golf Club, U.S. captain Davis Love III selected Matt Kuchar, JB Holmes and Rickie Fowler as his three Ryder Cup captain’s picks. That leaves just a fourth and final pick to be made after the Tour Championship on Sept. 25 to finalize the 12-man U.S. roster that will take on Europe Sept. 30-Oct. 2 at Hazeltine in Chaska, Minnesota.
Holmes was two spots away from qualifying for the team automatically, then finished T33 at the Deutsche Bank Championship and was T4 at the BMW Championship Sunday. His only other Ryder Cup appearance was in 2008, the last time the U.S won. Holmes’ par putt on the 18th hole Sunday knocked Fowler out of the top 30 in the FedEx Cup standings, meaning Fowler won’t play in the Tour Championship at East Lake in two weeks.
Fowler received a pick despite just one Top 10 finish in his last seven events. He held the 54-hole lead at The Barclays but shot a Sunday 74 and finished T7, dropping to 11th in the automatic-qualifier rankings and failing to play his way onto the team by three positions. An original member of the well-documented Ryder Cup Task Force, Folwer will play in his third Ryder Cup — although he’s never won a match. He’s 0-3-5 all-time.
Kuchar was an Olympic bronze medalist, was at the BMW and has long been lauded for his ability to play with anyone in teams games and likeability among players. He’ll play in his fourth straight Ryder Cup.
“There was not consensus early for sure,” Love said. “We went back and forth on a lot of great players and it was a tough decision, but I would say we were pretty firm at about 4:30ish (on Sunday).”
Kuchar, Fowler and Holmes join automatic qualifiers Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Phil Mickelson, Patrick Reed, Jimmy Walker, Brooks Koepka, Brandt Snedeker and Zach Johnson.
The picks excluded World No. 7 Bubba Watson, U.S. assistant captain Jim Furyk and 23-year-old Daniel Berger, who won the FedEx St. Jude Classic in June and was T10 at the BMW Championship on Sunday, among others. Beger and Watson will both play in the Tour Championship.
Watson finished a spot out of the automatic qualifying after The Barclays, was cut at the Deutsche Bank and was T20 at the BMW on Sunday. He has played in the three previous Ryder Cups.