The last American success – courtesy of Ryder Cup
Captain: Tom Watson (Age, 65)
Vice Captains: Andy North, Raymond Floyd, Steve Stricker
Jim Furyk (Age, 44)
OWGR: 5 Ryder Cup Appearances: 8 Record (9W-17L-4H)
Jimbo comes to Gleneagles with outstanding form and bags of experience. Yes, it’s been a nearly year but these are big events he is finishing 2nd in, most notably the Players and Tour Championships. Something that could be argued of some of the Americans is can they do it on a links-style course? Well Furyk can – plenty of top 10’s in previous Opens including 4th this year at Hoylake. His game is as good as it ever has been and his accuracy off the tee will be unnerving for whoever he plays against.
Bubba Watson (Age, 35)
OWGR: 7 Ryder Cup Appearances: 2 Record (3W-5L-0H)
One thing you know with Bubba is that he will draw in plenty of crowds and will get all the travelling fans chanting and shouting. His personality in events like this comes to the fore and like Poulter, can win matches through this alone. 2014 has seen him win major number 2 and pick up another PGA title. His 2nd 3 weeks ago in the BMW Championship shows he is on top of his game. And we all know about his length off the tee – this will be ominous for whoever he comes up against.
Matt Kuchar (Age, 36)
OWGR: 9 Ryder Cup Appearances: 2 Record (3W-2L-2H)
A very similar golfer to Graeme McDowell in terms of consistency. You know Kuch will always turn up and his game is perfectly set up for this sort of course. Another player with a win on the PGA Tour this year and even more importantly was his WGC Match Play win last year. Players of his ability will be able to handle the biased crowds with ease. Also has 2 Presidents Cups and 1 World Cup under his belt – safe to say he enjoys match play.
Rickie Fowler (Age, 25)
OWGR: 10 Ryder Cup Appearances: 1 Record (0W-1L-2H)
The is the year he became a man it can be said – only Nicklaus and Woods have achieved top 5’s in all four majors in the same year as Fowler did in 2014. He is in the form of his life and was still in contention right till the last for the Fed-Ex too. Is very capable in Scottish conditions, with a T8 at this year’s Scottish Open followed by a 2nd behind Rory McIlroy at Hoylake. Enjoyed a very successful amateur career, winning 7 out of 8 matches in his 2 Walker Cup appearances. Yet to record a Ryder Cup win.
OWGR: 11 Ryder Cup Appearances: 9 Record (14W-18L-6H)
He is a person who just has to be admired – the ultimate professional and one hell of a golfer. European fans will have as much respect for Phil as the American’s do. Has played the most Ryder Cup matches of anyone in both sides and will be a wealth of experience and knowledge for everyone in the team to go to. At 44, he is still playing quality golf despite having a somewhat disappointing 2014. Expect to see him paired with Keegan Bradley a lot – the pair where 3 wins out of 3 at Medinah. A contentious statement – but he is the man to beat in team USA.
Jordan Spieth (Age, 21)
OWGR: 13 Ryder Cup Appearances: 0 (ROOKIE)
Everyone, including ourselves, are hooked up on what this guy can do in the future – but let’s look at what he’s doing right now. The youngest rookie for 85 years – Mickelson had won his first PGA Tour title 2 years before Speith was even born. But in this young man we have someone who will be the catalyst for so much interest from the new generation of American golfers and fans. Everyone is willing this man to do well. Won 2 of his 4 matches in his first professional team match play event, the Presidents. Reached the quarters in his first WGC Match Play event.
Zach Johnson (Age, 38)
OWGR: 16 Ryder Cup Appearances: 3 Record (6W-4L-1H)
At points this season Zach was the best player on the planet. At the start of 2014 he had 4 top 10’s in a row which included back to back victories. Since then, it’s been a relative struggle with only a 2nd at the John Deere Classic to speak of. But with 3 Ryder Cups and 3 President Cups played in, he brings so much more than his golfing ability to the table. A major winner and top quality golfer, will be a tough opponent for whoever he faces.
Jimmy Walker (Age, 35)
OWGR: 19 Ryder Cup Appearances: 0 (ROOKIE)
What a year it has been for this man. Years went by as he came up short time after time. But then, the floodgates opened. 3 wins came at the start of this season and they were his first 3 professional wins. He now had the belief. Had only ever made 2 cuts in majors before this year. 3 top 10’s in the 4 majors is his record this year. Has perhaps struggled to emulate that form in recent times but will be high on confidence coming to Gleneagles nonetheless.
Hunter Mahan (Age, 32)
OWGR: 21 Ryder Cup Appearances: 2 Record (3W-2L-3H)
His victory at the The Barclays a week before Watson’s selections sealed a return to the fold after missing Medinah. Not many better out there tee to green but it had been a tough year up until his win in the FedEx play-offs. Has a win and a 2nd place to his name at the WGC Match Play and also boasts 4 winner’s medals from the President’s Cup. The 2010 Ryder Cup was the first team event, amateur and professional, that he had ever lost. Mental toughness is something Hunter has in abundance and will be very hard to beat.
Keegan Bradley (Age, 28)
OWGR: 26 Ryder Cup Appearances: 1 Record (3W-1L-0H)
After a 75% win percentage from the last Ryder Cup, the world realised what a fierce competitor this guy is. We expect to see a lot more fist pumping and shouting from the former PGA Champion. Struck up a wonderful partnership with Mickelson at Medinah and we expect that to continue here. It’s a big compliment but Bradley could be America’s answer to Poulter.
OWGR: 27 Ryder Cup Appearances: 0 (ROOKIE)
It will be very interesting to see the approach Patrick Reed takes this week. Known as a very outspoken man, he will be wise not to indulge the European fans. He confidently claimed he was one of the top 5 players in the world of golf and that statement will be well documented in the build-up. Regardless, his confidence and ability means he will be around for some time. Became only the 5th golfer to win 3 PGA titles before his 24th birthday with victory at the WGC Cadillac. He enjoyed a very successful amateur match play career but as we all know, the Ryder Cup is a different prospect altogether.
OWGR: 33 Ryder Cup Appearances: 1 Record (2W-2L-0H)
Webb is probably the guy with most pressure on his shoulders. If anyone doesn’t deserve a place in the side, sadly it’s him. Despite winning the opening event of the 2013/14 season, many feel he isn’t playing well enough to be in the squad. Ultimately, 9 top 10’s plus a win is not bad. His performances since selection have been poor but Simpson, belly putter and all, is one of the best players on the greens in the game. And that can go a long way in match play. Will take confidence from his 2 wins at Medinah. Will be hearing the names Horschel and Kirk a lot in the build-up.
ALSO SEE OUR – Guide to Team Europe
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