U.S. captain Zach Johnson filled out his Ryder Cup team with familiar faces in Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler, along with LIV Golf player Brooks Koepka, as the Americans try to end three decades of losing on European soil.
Johnson also went with Jordan Spieth, Collin Morikawa and Sam Burns, who will make his Ryder Cup debut in Rome having not won a match in a home Presidents Cup last fall.
Among those Johnson left out were Cameron Young, who finished at No. 9 in the Ryder Cup standings, and Keegan Bradley, who won twice this season and finished 11th in the standings.
Thomas was getting the most attention because he was No. 15 in the standings, has gone 15 months without winning and failed to finish among the top 70 who reached the FedEx Cup playoffs this month.
Thomas, however, is considered the emotional spark for the U.S. team. He has a 6-2-1 record in two Ryder Cups and pairs well with Spieth, the three-time major champion who has played in every Ryder Cup since 2014.
The matches are Sept. 29-Oct. 1 at Marco Simone outside Rome. The Americans have not won away from home since 1993 at The Belfry in England — some Americans on this team were not even born at the time.
Europe’s team does not get finalized until after the European Masters this week in Switzerland. Luke Donald also has six captain’s picks.
AP golf: https://apnews.com/hub/golf