2023 Ryder Cup: 3 Rookies who are poised to make U.S. debut in Rome

2023 Ryder Cup, Marco Simone Golf Club, Rome,(Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)
2023 Ryder Cup, Marco Simone Golf Club, Rome,(Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images) /

Six American golfers earned their spots on the 2023 United States Ryder Cup team Sunday following the conclusion of the BMW Championship.

The automatic qualifiers include three Ryder Cup rookies in addition to a trio of top-six world-ranked golfers.

World No.1 Scottie Scheffler has accumulated over 27,000 Ryder Cup points, which leads the U.S. Team Rankings. In fact, Scheffler has more than double the number of points as the No. 2 golfer in the team rankings; 2023 U.S. Open champion Wyndham Clark.

World No. 7 Max Homa, and 2023 Champion Golfer of the Year Brian Harman, will join Clark as Ryder Cup rookies after the trio earned their roster spots via automatic qualifying. Last year, Homa went 4-0-0 as a Presidents Cup rookie.

The dynamic SoCal duo of Patrick Cantlay (world No. 4) and Xander Schauffele (world No. 6) also clinched their trip to Italy. In 2021, Cantlay and Schauffele went 3-0-1 and 3-1-0, respectively, as Ryder Cup rookies. The tandem won both of its foursomes matches including a 5 & 3 victory over European veterans Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter.

Pressure on Captain America

After this week’s Tour Championship in Atlanta, U.S. captain Zach Johnson will choose six additional golfers to join the squad who will travel to Rome next month to take on Europe.

Although some choices seem obvious, Johnson will have his hands full as he determines his six captain’s picks.

Despite joining LIV Golf and only accruing points in the four majors during the 2023 season, five-time major champion Brooks Koepka remains the highest-ranked American golfer outside the top-six automatic qualifiers. Koepka — who won this year’s PGA Championship and tied for a runner-up finish at The Masters last April — is 6-5-1 and boasts a 2-0-1 Sunday singles record in three Ryder Cup appearances.

Given his consistent track record, Jordan Spieth seems to be another obvious pick as the 30-year-old looks to rep the red, white, and blue for the fifth straight Ryder Cup.

Mix of youth and veterans

The next two golfers following Koepka and Spieth in the rankings are a pair of talented 26-year-olds: Cameron Young and Collin Morikawa.

Young would be the fourth rookie to join the American squad, but the No. 17 golfer in the world is outside the top 30 in the FedEx Cup Standings and consequently failed to qualify for this week’s Tour Championship in Atlanta.

If chosen, Morikawa would look to build on his undefeated (3-0-1) Ryder Cup debut two years ago.

New England native Keegan Bradley — No. 11 in the team rankings — will look to return to the American roster for the first time in nearly a decade, while 27-year-old Sam Burns — No. 12 in the team rankings — hopes to make his Ryder Cup debut despite his winless Presidents Cup record (0-3-2) last year.

The first golfer currently outside the top-12 in the team rankings is Rickie Fowler. The six-time PGA Tour winner made his Ryder Cup debut in 2010 but failed to qualify for the roster two years ago. A good performance at East Lake Golf Club this week could go a long way for Fowler’s selection hopes.

After winning back-to-back tournaments earlier this month including the first FedEx Cup Playoff event, 43-year-old Lucas Glover is another candidate who could hear his name called on Aug. 29. Glover is No. 5 in the FedEx Cup Standings as he gears up for the Tour Championship set to kick off Thursday.

Big names left off Ryder Cup roster

Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Justin Thomas, and Tony Finau are just a few of the prominent American golfers who will likely not make this year’s team.

All four golfers played a crucial part for the U.S. in 2021 as Johnson led the team with 5 points and became the first American golfer to go 5-0-0 in one Ryder Cup since Larry Nelson accomplished the feat in 1979.

Despite their strong resumes, Johnson and DeChambeau plummeted in the team rankings following their transition to LIV.

After finishing one spot outside the top 70 in the FedEx Cup Standings and missing this season’s FedEx Cup Playoffs, JT is on the outside looking in. Thomas has proven his match-play abilities as the 30-year-old is 16-5-3 throughout his career in the Ryder and Presidents Cups.

Thomas’ chemistry with Spieth — which dates back to their childhood friendship — is another strong argument for choosing the 15-time PGA Tour winner.

"“I told [Thomas] I don’t what’s in store, but obviously he’s still in consideration,” Zach Johnson said on the Golf SubPar show.  “He’s been a part of Team USA since 2017. Guys want to be around him, he’s great in the locker room, and obviously what he’s done inside the ropes in these Cups has been well-documented, so his resume speaks for itself.”"

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Finau is currently outside the top 20 in the team rankings and will need a stellar weekend in Atlanta to salvage his chances of a third straight captain’s selection.

The Utah native is 3-3-0 in his Ryder Cup career.