Spieth, Schauffele lead Ryder Cup captain’s picks

The Ryder Cup is just weeks away, and now we know who will represent the United States as it attempts to recapture the cup lost to Team Europe in 2018. 

Six Americans qualified for the team thanks to their play this season: Collin Morikawa, Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas and Patrick Cantlay. Morikawa and Cantlay have never played in the Ryder Cup, but Morikawa has two major victories and Cantlay just won the FedEx Cup. 

Team USA Captain Steve Stricker filled out the team with six captain’s picks, announced Wednesday morning:

Daniel Berger: One of six rookies on this year’s team, he won the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am earlier this year and placed in the top 8 of the two most recent majors. 

Harris English: Two wins on the season, ranked 11th in the world. He’s a Ryder Cup rookie, and at age 32 is the second-oldest player on the team after Johnson. 

Tony Finau: Also a captain’s pick on the 2018 team, Finau is one of the steadiest players on the Tour.

Xander Schauffele: The Olympic gold medalist, Schauffele is a Ryder Cup rookie but has extensive experience at the top of leaderboards in majors. 

Scottie Scheffler: Has never played in either a Presidents Cup or Ryder Cup, and has not yet won a PGA Tour event, but defeated Jon Rahm, Ian Poulter and Jason Day in WGC Dell Match Play, which caught Stricker’s attention. 

Jordan Spieth: One of the most notable American players of this era, Spieth has experienced a career rebirth in 2021. This marks his fourth consecutive Ryder Cup team. 

The only surprise among the picks was the absence of Patrick Reed, dubbed “Captain America” for his strong record (7-3-2, undefeated in singles) in three Ryder Cups. But Reed has struggled in recent months, and missed two events during the FedEx Cup playoffs while hospitalized with pneumonia. Highly qualified players like Kevin Na, Webb Simpson and Kevin Kisner also were left off the team. 

Team Europe’s Padraig Harrington will name his three captain’s picks following this week’s BMW PGA Championship in England. 

The United States has lost nine of the last 12 Ryder Cups dating back to 1995. This year’s tournament will take place September 24-26 at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin. 

Jordan Spieth (right) will join Justin Thomas on the 2021 Ryder Cup team. (Chris Condon/PGA TOUR)
Jordan Spieth (right) will join Justin Thomas on the 2021 Ryder Cup team. (Chris Condon/PGA TOUR)


Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Follow him on Twitter at @jaybusbee or contact him at [email protected]