Speculating on Zach Johnson's Ryder Cup Picks: The Final Countdown to Team USA's 2023 Rosterby Jake
The moment has arrived. The 2023 Ryder Cup is just around the corner, and captain Zach Johnson is set to make his final picks to complete Team USA's roster. Nearly two years after their triumphant win at Whistling Straits, the U.S. squad is on the cusp of battling it out on European soil, hoping to end a 30-year drought of overseas victories.
Tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. ET, during a press conference at the PGA of America headquarters in Frisco, Texas, Zach Johnson will announce his six captain’s picks. The tension is palpable, the speculation rife. So, who are the likely candidates?
The Automatic Qualifiers
First, let's look at who's already in. Six players have clinched their spots on Team USA as the top point-earners in the Ryder Cup standings:
- Scottie Scheffler: The world number one has had a stellar 2023 season, racking up two wins and 17 top 10s.
- Wyndham Clark: Despite no prior Ryder Cup experience, his two wins this season make him a contender to watch.
- Brian Harman: Another Ryder Cup rookie, but his consistency could prove crucial.
- Patrick Cantlay: With a solid Ryder Cup record and ten top 10s this season, he's an asset to the team.
- Max Homa: Two wins and 12 top 10s this year speak volumes of his form.
- Xander Schauffele: He has Ryder Cup experience and a good season behind him, despite lacking a win.
Captain's Pick Contenders
- Brooks Koepka: He's been in this position before and thrived. His experience could prove invaluable.
- Rickie Fowler: Despite a less-than-stellar Ryder Cup record, his recent form cannot be ignored.
- Jordan Spieth: A Ryder Cup staple, Spieth brings both experience and an innate ability to excel under pressure.
- Justin Thomas: With a positive Ryder Cup record and a decent season, he’s a strong contender.
- Cameron Young: Although he lacks Ryder Cup experience, his five top 10s this season make a compelling case for his selection.
- Collin Morikawa: He impressed during his Ryder Cup debut last year, and his consistent form puts him in good standing.
- Sam Burns: One win and six top 10s this season suggest that he’s ready for the Ryder Cup stage.
- Lucas Glover: Two wins this season make him an interesting pick, even though he’s a Ryder Cup rookie.
The Wild Card
- Bryson DeChambeau: His ranking has plummeted this season, but he’s shown flashes of brilliance that could make him a secret weapon.
With the immense pool of talent available, Johnson has the luxury of choice. However, I predict that experience will trump form when the final picks are made. My bets are on Brooks Koepka, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Collin Morikawa, Rickie Fowler, and Cameron Young.
The Ryder Cup is a unique beast, requiring a blend of individual skill and team chemistry that isn't typically demanded on the PGA Tour. Zach Johnson has some tough decisions to make, but whichever way he goes, Team USA is shaping up to be a formidable force. All eyes will be on Frisco, Texas, tomorrow morning as the final pieces of the Ryder Cup puzzle fall into place.