Snedeker, Dustin Johnson among US Ryder Cup captain's picks
US Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III picked one Ryder Cup rookie along with three others Monday to fill out the American squad for the biennial golf competition later this month outside Chicago.
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The eight Americans who qualified three weeks ago were Woods, Masters champion Bubba Watson, Jason Dufner, Keegan Bradley, U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson, Zach Johnson, Matt Kuchar and Phil Mickelson.Skip to next paragraph
In Pictures Tiger Woods through the years
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The makes four Americans who have never played in a Ryder Cup — Snedeker, Dufner, Simpson and Bradley. Simpson played in the Presidents Cup last year.
Also left off the team was Rickie Fowler, who two years ago became the first PGA Tour rookie to be picked. Fowler won his last four holes in Wales to scratch out a halve that nearly proved decisive for the Americans. He won on the PGA Tour for the first time this year at Quail Hollow, but has struggled since then, particularly in the majors.
Nick Watney entered the Ryder Cup conversation by winning The Barclays against one of the strongest fields of the year, but he left the conversation just as quickly when he failed to get in the mix at the TPC Boston. Watney has had only one good tournament this year, at The Barclays.
Medinah is likely to favor big hitters, though Love was just as interested in good putters. Snedeker, who rallied from seven shots behind to win at Torrey Pines this year, really showed himself at the British Open by holing big putts on his way to a record-tying 64 at Royal Lytham & St. Annes for the 36-hole lead. He wound up tied for third with Woods.
Snedeker was runner-up at Bethpage Black — a big golf course — in The Barclays, and despite a slow start in the opening round of the Deutsche Bank Championship, he had a 65-67 weekend to finish sixth. He missed five tournaments this year, including the U.S. Open with a rib injury.
"Needless to say, it's been a couple pressure-packed weeks for me but it's all worth it," Snedeker said. "I look forward to getting to Medinah and trying to make Davis look like a genius."
Johnson missed nearly three months with a back injury, including the Masters, yet won the St. Jude Classic in his second tournament back. He is regarded as the most talented young American, having won every year since going from college to the PGA Tour in 2008.
But his record in team competition has been spotty. In his Ryder Cup debut at Celtic Manor in 2010, he lost all three team matches — none even reached the 18th — playing with Mickelson and Furyk, before beating Martin Kaymer in singles. He was Woods' partner for three matches in the Presidents Cup and they won only one of them, mostly because of how Woods played.
But he showed himself the last two weeks by getting into weekend contention. Johnson tied for third at The Barclays, and he was in the next to last group with Woods at the TPC Boston. Johnson tied for fourth.
Europe completed its team last week — McIlroy, Justin Rose, Graeme McDowell, Paul Lawrie, Francesco Molinari, Luke Donald, Lee Westwood, Peter Hanson, Sergio Garcia and Martin Kaymer. Jose Maria Olazabal used his two captain's picks on Ian Poulter and Nicolas Colsaerts.
Europe will have only one rookie — Colsaerts, one of the game's longest hitters.
"They're going to be tough, they are every year," Love said. "I'll tell you this, I love my team."
IN PICTURES - Tiger Woods through the years