It’s going to come down to Justin Thomas, Bubba Watson and a couple of surprises

There have been 23 players picked for the 24-golfer Ryder Cup, which will unfold in two weeks at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Minnesota.

The European side is set. The United States has 11 of its 12 golfers after captain Davis Love III selected Matt Kuchar, Rickie Fowler and J.B. Holmes with three of his four captain’s picks on Monday..


The final captain’s pick will come on “Sunday Night Football” the night of Sept. 25. This is also the final day of the Tour Championship, which will conclude the 2015-16 PGA Tour season. So who are the candidates Love will be considering? First, we need to look at who is already on the team.

Dustin Johnson

Jordan Spieth

Zach Johnson

Patrick Reed

Jimmy Walker

Phil Mickelson

Brooks Koepka

Brandt Snedeker

Rickie Fowler

Matt Kuchar

J.B. Holmes

That list includes 10 veterans and one rookie. To contrast that, the Europeans have six veterans (defined as playing in at least one Ryder Cup) and six rookies. You would think the U.S. side would lean on a young, hungry rookie to round out its squad, but here’s what Love had to say on Monday when he made his picks.

“I’ve been saying all along, we’re a sports team and we have to draft the right player for the right position,” said Love. “There’s going to be a lot of stats and a lot of things to look at, but making our pairings, fitting in with the team, doing all the little things that you asked to do. These three guys filled incredible roles, a lot of different roles. [These captain’s picks] added a lot statistically, emotionally, leadership, for a lot of reasons, and so the next guy is going to have to step up and fill a role as well.” [/restrict]