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Ryder Cup 2021 teams in full: Player-by-player guide to Steve Stricker’s Team USA including six rookies

·6-min read
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

The USA are looking to win back the Ryder Cup on home soil as the 43rd edition of golf’s most famous match gets underway at Whistling Straits.

The Americans claimed victory the last time the event was stage on US soil at Hazeltine in 2016, but that win represents their only success in the last five renewals.

Captain Steve Stricker has chosen half of his team as wildcards, with only six automatic qualifiers, compared to the nine on Padraig Harrington’s European team, and there has been something of a changing of the guard, with six rookies selected and the likes of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Patrick Reed no longer in the mix.

As is so often the case, the Americans appear to have the upperhand, with nine of the top 11 players in the world rankings on their side.

But can these men deliver when it counts?

Collin Morikawa

  • World ranking: 3

  • Ryder Cup record: 0-0-0 (won-lost-halved)

The biggest talent to emerge on the global scene since the last Ryder Cup three years ago, Morikawa already has two Major titles to his name, having won the 2020 PGA Championship and this year’s Open.

Both of those triumphs came on debut at the respetive events, making him the first player to ever win more than one Major at the first time of asking.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Dustin Johnson

  • World ranking: 2

  • Ryder Cup record: 7-9-0

Finished a stellar 2020 in which he won the Tour Championship and FedEx Cup with victory at Augusta in November’s delayed Masters, but hasn’t matched that form this year, winning just once, on the European Tour, and missing the cut at the Masters and PGA Championship.

Overall Ryder Cup record took a pummelling at Le Golf National, where he lost four of his five matches, but prior to that had been a leading performer for Team USA on his three previous appearances.

Bryson DeChambeau

  • World ranking: 7

  • Ryder Cup record: 0-3-0

Controversial figure, won his maiden Major at last year’s US Open and is sure to bring fireworks, whether with his huge driving or in-fighting with rival turned teammate Brooks Koepka.

Was a captain’s pick three years ago and lost all three of his matches, including when partnered by Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, but is a better player now.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Brooks Koepka

  • World ranking: 4-3-1

  • Ryder Cup record: 9

Won both the PGA Championship and US Open back-to-back in 2018 and 2019 and has continued to be golf’s most consistent top level performer despite a host of injuries, finishing in the top six at three of this year’s four Majors.

Has promised to put feud with DeChambeau aside for the weekend but has hardly been the most enthusiastic advocate for the Ryder Cup.

Justin Thomas

  • World ranking: 6

  • Ryder Cup record: 4-1-0

A huge bright spot in the USA’s disappointing competition three years ago as he won four of his five matches on debut, beaten only by Europe’s heroes, Tommy Fleetwood and Francesco Molinari.

Not been at his best since winning the Players Championship in March but should be a force to be reckoned with, particularly if reunited with Jordan Spieth after their successful pairing in France.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Patrick Cantlay

  • World ranking: 4

  • Ryder Cup record: 0-0-0

The PGA Tour Player of the Year has enjoyed an outstanding 2021, with four wins this season, including back-to-back triumphs in the FedEx Cup playoffs, the first of which, at the BMW Championship, came after an epic six-hole playoff against DeChambeau.

Yet to take his best form into the Majors, having gone two years without a top-ten finish after two in 2019, but will be a key man for the US if he can carry it into his first Ryder Cup.

Tony Finau

  • World ranking: 10

  • Ryder Cup record: 2-1-0

A captain’s pick, as he was three years ago, when he rewarded Jim Furyk’s faith with two points from three matches on debut.

Finally ended a five-year wait for a second PGA Tour victory with his triumph at The Northern Trust in August and though victories have proved bizarrely rare for a player of his quality, he has tended to play well on the biggest stages, with nine Major top-tens in his last 15 starts.

Xander Schauffele

  • World ranking: 5

  • Ryder Cup record: 0-0-0

Considered the next cab off the rank in terms of a maiden Major triumph, came close at Augusta before eventually finishing third, then landed the biggest win of his career so far with Olympic gold in Tokyo last month.

Will be making an eagerly awaited Ryder Cup debut, having just missed out to Finau for the final captain’s pick three years ago.

 (AP)
(AP)

Jordan Spieth

  • World ranking: 14

  • Ryder Cup record: 7-5-2

Has been to hell and back with his game since the last Ryder Cup and would not have been involved had it gone ahead on time last year but has finally returned to form in 2021, winning the Valero Texas Open, finishing third at the Masters and second at The Open.

Will surely be paired with Thomas again, and in less controversial fashion than three years ago, given Patrick Reed’s absence.

Harris English

  • World ranking: 11

  • Ryder Cup record: 0-0-0

Another rookie and, along with Scottie Scheffler, one of those new to the Team USA environment entirely, having never played in the President’s Cup either.

Won twice on the Tour this year, both victories coming via a playoff, and finished third at the US Open, backing up his first career Major top-ten at the same event 12 months earlier.

Daniel Berger

  • World ranking: 16

  • Ryder Cup record: 0-0-0

Won the first PGA Tour event after the coronavirus shutdown in June last year and has more or less been in decent form ever since.

Claimed fourth PGA Tour win at Pebble Beach in February and finished tie-seventh and tie-eighth at the US and British Opens, respectively.

Scottie Scheffler

  • World ranking: 21

  • Ryder Cup record: 0-0-0

The last of four rookies picked by Steve Stricker, to go with the two among the automatic qualifiers, showed match-play form when runner-up at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.

Yet to get off the mark in terms of a Tour win but has top-ten finishes at each of the past three Majors and is surely only a matter of time before the 25-year-old breaks his duck.

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