2018 Ryder Cup: Complete Team USA player capsules


The Ryder Cup begins on Sept. 28 at Le Golf National outside Paris.

Captain Jim Furyk and his team will be looking to end a 25-year winless drought on foreign soil.

The eight Americans who qualified via points are: Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, Patrick Reed, Rickie Fowler, Webb Simpson and Bubba Watson.

Furyk’s four captain’s picks are: Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau and Tony Finau.

Here’s a player-by-player look at the American squad.

(Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

Brooks Koepka

Age: 28

2018 PGA Tour highlights: 16 starts, two wins (U.S. Open, PGA Championship), six top-10s

Ryder Cup experience: 3-1-0 record in one appearance

Buzz: Koepka missed the Masters and most of the spring due to a lingering wrist injury. It was all good from there, as he won his second consecutive U.S. Open in June and held off childhood idols Adam Scott and Tiger Woods down the stretch at the PGA Championship to snag a third career major.

(David Cannon/Getty Images)

Dustin Johnson

Age: 34

2018 PGA Tour highlights: 19 starts, three wins (Tournament of Champions, St. Jude Classic, Canadian Open), 11 top-10s

Ryder Cup experience: 6-5 record in three appearances

Buzz: Johnson lost the World No. 1 ranking to Justin Rose after a lackluster BMW Championship performance. He’s still the most consistent player on Tour with just one missed cut, and he narrowly missed out on a second major title when he was surpassed by Koepka in the final round of the U.S. Open. The unflappable duo will likely team up again as the “Bash Brothers” prepare to take Paris.

(Getty Images)

Justin Thomas

Age: 25

2018 PGA Tour highlights: 22 starts, three wins (CJ Cup at Nine Bridges, Honda Classic, WGC-Bridgestone Invitational), nine top-10s

Ryder Cup experience: First appearance

Buzz: The reigning PGA Tour Player of the Year now has eight wins over the past two years and easily secured an automatic qualifying spot after missing out on a captain’s pick in 2016. Last year he went 3-1-1 in the Americans’ blowout Presidents Cup win and once said he’d rather be on a victorious Ryder Cup team than win a major. He’ll be a cornerstone in the U.S. team room for the next decade, at least, and is ready to earn his stripes in France.

(Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports)

Patrick Reed

Age: 28

2018 PGA Tour highlights: 25 starts, one win (Masters), seven top-10s

Ryder Cup experience: 6-1-2 record in two appearances

Buzz: It’s been a mixed bag for Reed coming off the maiden major win, with just one top-5 finish (4th, U.S. Open) since. He’s having the worst putting season of his career and missed the cut at the PGA Championship. His relationship with fans is lukewarm at best (see: 18th green, Sunday, Augusta National), but Americans sure love Reed come fall. He’s 2-0 in singles with wins over Euro alphas Henrik Stenson and Rory McIlroy and has easily been the top-performing American the past two Cups in his usual pairing with Jordan Spieth.

(Eric Sucar/USA TODAY Sports)

Bubba Watson

Age: 39

2018 PGA Tour highlights: 23 starts, three wins (Genesis Open, WGC-Match Play, Travelers Championship), six top-10s

Ryder Cup experience: 3-8 record in three appearances

Buzz: Watson wasn’t inside the top 40 in any of the big strokes gained categories other than strokes gained off the tee (5th) after the regular season, but he’s been hot at the right times while reaching 12 career victories. He’s missed the cut in the last three majors and has failed to break par in each of those six rounds, including an 8-over 78 in Round 2 of the PGA Championship. His driver won’t be as big of a weapon at Le Golf National, and finding the right pairings to suit his eccentric game will be key for captain Jim Furyk.

(Mark Konezny/USA TODAY Sports)

Jordan Spieth

Age: 25

2018 PGA Tour highlights: 23 starts, five top-10s

Ryder Cup experience: 4-3-2 record in two appearances

Buzz: Stuck in the worst putting slump of his career, Spieth ranks 136th in strokes gained putting and hasn’t been able to add to his total of 10 victories over the past three seasons. He also finished 31st in the FedEx Cup standings to miss the Tour Championship. His final-round 64 to finish solo third at the Masters was one of the best rounds of the year, but he’s struggled since with just one top-10. That was a disappointing T-9 at the British Open, where he shot 76 in the final pairing Sunday. More than any other American in the top eight, the Ryder Cup will be a chance for Spieth to finish a forgettable season on a high note.

(Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports)

Rickie Fowler

Age: 29

2018 PGA Tour highlights: 19 starts, one win  (Hero World Challenge), five top-10s

Ryder Cup experience: 2-4-5 record in three appearances

Buzz: Fowler fell off in the penultimate pairing to finish T-12 at the PGA Championship, at which he revealed a lingering oblique injury. He missed the first two playoff events as a result but looked solid in his return at the BMW, where he finished T-8. Fowler’s story continues to be one of close calls after a solo second at the Masters, one of only two top-10 finishes since January.

(Rob Kinnan/USA TODAY Sports)

Webb Simpson

Age: 33

2018 PGA Tour highlights: 25 starts, one win (Players Championship), eight top-10s

Ryder Cup experience: 2-3-1 record in two appearances

Buzz: Simpson showed up for the big ones this year, ending a four-year win drought at TPC Sawgrass and finishing T-20 or better at all four majors. He’s also coming off a T-6 at the BMW. Simpson is one of the top putters on Tour this season and locked up the eighth and final qualifying spot with a T-19 at the PGA Championship. That meant a lot to the 2012 U.S. Open champion, who is looking to be part of a winning team for the first time in his third appearance after missing out on the fun at Hazeltine.

(Francois Nel/Getty Images)

Tiger Woods

Age: 42

2018 PGA Tour highlights: 17 starts, six top-10s

Ryder Cup experience: 13-17-3 record in seven appearances

Buzz: Woods was always going to be in Paris as a vice-captain, and he played his way onto the team with a ton of success in this comeback season. He ended the playoffs on a high note with a T-6 at the BMW and is hitting the ball better than he has all season. The question now is his putting, which was shaky at best throughout the playoffs, as Woods continues to beat the odds with a spot on the American roster.

(Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

Bryson DeChambeau

Age: 24

2018 PGA Tour highlights: 25 starts, three wins (Memorial, Northern Trust, Dell Technologies Championship), nine top-10s

Ryder Cup experience: First appearance

Buzz:  Three wins in the last three months for DeChambeau, who rose to No. 1 in the FedEx Cup standings after winning the first two playoff events. He’s currently the hottest player in the world at perfect time with the matches in Paris just two weeks away. DeChambeau ranks fourth in strokes gained total and completely turned his putting around this year. He’s currently ranked 41st on Tour after finishing 146th as a rookie.

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports)

Phil Mickelson

Age: 48

2018 PGA Tour highlights: 23 starts, one win (WGC-Mexico Championship), six top-10s

Ryder Cup experience: 18-20-7 record in 11 appearances.

Buzz:  Make it 12 consecutive appearances for Mickelson, who ranks 14th in the FedEx Cup standings entering East Lake. He finished T-15 and T-12 in the first two playoff events to make this an easy decision for Furyk. He ended a five-year victory drought in Mexico and ranks fourth on Tour in strokes gained putting.

(Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports)

Tony Finau

Age: 28

2018 PGA Tour highlights: 27 starts, 11 top 10s.

Ryder Cup experience: First appearance.

Buzz: Finau hasn’t won this season, but he’s statistically solid across the board and tore through the playoffs with three consecutive top-10 finishes. Xander Schauffele made a late run at consideration with a solid showing at the BMW, but Finau was the easy call as the final captain’s pick. Now it’s time to see what he’s made of in the most pressure-packed week of his career to date. “I’m just ecstatic,” Finau said. “It’s a dream come true for me. I got the goose bumps when told me, and I’m excited to add my skills and talent to the team — a team that’s stacked already.”

(Note: An earlier version of this story appears in the September 2018 issue of Golfweek)


The Ryder Cup begins on Sept. 28 at Le Golf National outside Paris.

Captain Jim Furyk and his team will be looking to end a 25-year winless drought on foreign soil.

The eight Americans who qualified via points are: Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, Patrick Reed, Rickie Fowler, Webb Simpson and Bubba Watson.

Furyk’s four captain’s picks are: Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau and Tony Finau.

Here’s a player-by-player look at the American squad.

(Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

Brooks Koepka

Age: 28

2018 PGA Tour highlights: 16 starts, two wins (U.S. Open, PGA Championship), six top-10s

Ryder Cup experience: 3-1-0 record in one appearance

Buzz: Koepka missed the Masters and most of the spring due to a lingering wrist injury. It was all good from there, as he won his second consecutive U.S. Open in June and held off childhood idols Adam Scott and Tiger Woods down the stretch at the PGA Championship to snag a third career major.

(David Cannon/Getty Images)

Dustin Johnson

Age: 34

2018 PGA Tour highlights: 19 starts, three wins (Tournament of Champions, St. Jude Classic, Canadian Open), 11 top-10s

Ryder Cup experience: 6-5 record in three appearances

Buzz: Johnson lost the World No. 1 ranking to Justin Rose after a lackluster BMW Championship performance. He’s still the most consistent player on Tour with just one missed cut, and he narrowly missed out on a second major title when he was surpassed by Koepka in the final round of the U.S. Open. The unflappable duo will likely team up again as the “Bash Brothers” prepare to take Paris.

(Getty Images)

Justin Thomas

Age: 25

2018 PGA Tour highlights: 22 starts, three wins (CJ Cup at Nine Bridges, Honda Classic, WGC-Bridgestone Invitational), nine top-10s

Ryder Cup experience: First appearance

Buzz: The reigning PGA Tour Player of the Year now has eight wins over the past two years and easily secured an automatic qualifying spot after missing out on a captain’s pick in 2016. Last year he went 3-1-1 in the Americans’ blowout Presidents Cup win and once said he’d rather be on a victorious Ryder Cup team than win a major. He’ll be a cornerstone in the U.S. team room for the next decade, at least, and is ready to earn his stripes in France.

(Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports)

Patrick Reed

Age: 28

2018 PGA Tour highlights: 25 starts, one win (Masters), seven top-10s

Ryder Cup experience: 6-1-2 record in two appearances

Buzz: It’s been a mixed bag for Reed coming off the maiden major win, with just one top-5 finish (4th, U.S. Open) since. He’s having the worst putting season of his career and missed the cut at the PGA Championship. His relationship with fans is lukewarm at best (see: 18th green, Sunday, Augusta National), but Americans sure love Reed come fall. He’s 2-0 in singles with wins over Euro alphas Henrik Stenson and Rory McIlroy and has easily been the top-performing American the past two Cups in his usual pairing with Jordan Spieth.

(Eric Sucar/USA TODAY Sports)

Bubba Watson

Age: 39

2018 PGA Tour highlights: 23 starts, three wins (Genesis Open, WGC-Match Play, Travelers Championship), six top-10s

Ryder Cup experience: 3-8 record in three appearances

Buzz: Watson wasn’t inside the top 40 in any of the big strokes gained categories other than strokes gained off the tee (5th) after the regular season, but he’s been hot at the right times while reaching 12 career victories. He’s missed the cut in the last three majors and has failed to break par in each of those six rounds, including an 8-over 78 in Round 2 of the PGA Championship. His driver won’t be as big of a weapon at Le Golf National, and finding the right pairings to suit his eccentric game will be key for captain Jim Furyk.

(Mark Konezny/USA TODAY Sports)

Jordan Spieth

Age: 25

2018 PGA Tour highlights: 23 starts, five top-10s

Ryder Cup experience: 4-3-2 record in two appearances

Buzz: Stuck in the worst putting slump of his career, Spieth ranks 136th in strokes gained putting and hasn’t been able to add to his total of 10 victories over the past three seasons. He also finished 31st in the FedEx Cup standings to miss the Tour Championship. His final-round 64 to finish solo third at the Masters was one of the best rounds of the year, but he’s struggled since with just one top-10. That was a disappointing T-9 at the British Open, where he shot 76 in the final pairing Sunday. More than any other American in the top eight, the Ryder Cup will be a chance for Spieth to finish a forgettable season on a high note.

(Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports)

Rickie Fowler

Age: 29

2018 PGA Tour highlights: 19 starts, one win  (Hero World Challenge), five top-10s

Ryder Cup experience: 2-4-5 record in three appearances

Buzz: Fowler fell off in the penultimate pairing to finish T-12 at the PGA Championship, at which he revealed a lingering oblique injury. He missed the first two playoff events as a result but looked solid in his return at the BMW, where he finished T-8. Fowler’s story continues to be one of close calls after a solo second at the Masters, one of only two top-10 finishes since January.

(Rob Kinnan/USA TODAY Sports)

Webb Simpson

Age: 33

2018 PGA Tour highlights: 25 starts, one win (Players Championship), eight top-10s

Ryder Cup experience: 2-3-1 record in two appearances

Buzz: Simpson showed up for the big ones this year, ending a four-year win drought at TPC Sawgrass and finishing T-20 or better at all four majors. He’s also coming off a T-6 at the BMW. Simpson is one of the top putters on Tour this season and locked up the eighth and final qualifying spot with a T-19 at the PGA Championship. That meant a lot to the 2012 U.S. Open champion, who is looking to be part of a winning team for the first time in his third appearance after missing out on the fun at Hazeltine.

(Francois Nel/Getty Images)

Tiger Woods

Age: 42

2018 PGA Tour highlights: 17 starts, six top-10s

Ryder Cup experience: 13-17-3 record in seven appearances

Buzz: Woods was always going to be in Paris as a vice-captain, and he played his way onto the team with a ton of success in this comeback season. He ended the playoffs on a high note with a T-6 at the BMW and is hitting the ball better than he has all season. The question now is his putting, which was shaky at best throughout the playoffs, as Woods continues to beat the odds with a spot on the American roster.

(Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

Bryson DeChambeau

Age: 24

2018 PGA Tour highlights: 25 starts, three wins (Memorial, Northern Trust, Dell Technologies Championship), nine top-10s

Ryder Cup experience: First appearance

Buzz:  Three wins in the last three months for DeChambeau, who rose to No. 1 in the FedEx Cup standings after winning the first two playoff events. He’s currently the hottest player in the world at perfect time with the matches in Paris just two weeks away. DeChambeau ranks fourth in strokes gained total and completely turned his putting around this year. He’s currently ranked 41st on Tour after finishing 146th as a rookie.

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports)

Phil Mickelson

Age: 48

2018 PGA Tour highlights: 23 starts, one win (WGC-Mexico Championship), six top-10s

Ryder Cup experience: 18-20-7 record in 11 appearances.

Buzz:  Make it 12 consecutive appearances for Mickelson, who ranks 14th in the FedEx Cup standings entering East Lake. He finished T-15 and T-12 in the first two playoff events to make this an easy decision for Furyk. He ended a five-year victory drought in Mexico and ranks fourth on Tour in strokes gained putting.

(Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports)

Tony Finau

Age: 28

2018 PGA Tour highlights: 27 starts, 11 top 10s.

Ryder Cup experience: First appearance.

Buzz: Finau hasn’t won this season, but he’s statistically solid across the board and tore through the playoffs with three consecutive top-10 finishes. Xander Schauffele made a late run at consideration with a solid showing at the BMW, but Finau was the easy call as the final captain’s pick. Now it’s time to see what he’s made of in the most pressure-packed week of his career to date. “I’m just ecstatic,” Finau said. “It’s a dream come true for me. I got the goose bumps when told me, and I’m excited to add my skills and talent to the team — a team that’s stacked already.”

(Note: An earlier version of this story appears in the September 2018 issue of Golfweek)

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