Felger & Mazz

Felger & Mazz

There’s always controversy over who’ll be the Captain’s picks for the United States in the Ryder Cup and the picks for the 2023 tournament will be no different. In fact, the 2023 picks will probably be the most talked about picks, win or lose, in a long time for the U.S. and the Ryder Cup due to the current landscape in golf. 

U.S. Captain, Zach Johnson, will have the pleasure of being the first captain to have to choose between picking PGA Tour players and LIV players for the American team. At the center of the whole discussion is Brooks Koepka, who was in the automatic qualifying up until the last week, when he was bumped off and fell to 7th in the standings. With Koepka being a golfer on the LIV Tour, there’s been discussion as to if Johnson will select him for the team or if he’ll opt to make a team full of PGA Tour players and leave all LIV golfers off the roster.  

Below are my picks for the U.S. roster as the team looks to win their first Ryder Cup on European soil since 1993.

Jordan Spieth

43rd Ryder Cup - Singles Matches

KOHLER, WISCONSIN – SEPTEMBER 26: Jordan Spieth of team United States points on the 17th hole during Sunday Singles Matches of the 43rd Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits on September 26, 2021 in Kohler, Wisconsin. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

With the exception of the 2019 Presidents Cup, Spieth has been a mainstay on the American teams and that shouldn’t change in 2023. He has an 8-7-3 career record in the Ryder Cup and is coming off a 5-0-0 showing in last year’s Presidents Cup. He also finished 8th in the points standings, which should essentially lock him into this team.

Collin Morikawa

43rd Ryder Cup - Singles Matches

KOHLER, WISCONSIN – SEPTEMBER 26: Collin Morikawa of team United States plays his shot from the 17th tee during Sunday Singles Matches of the 43rd Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits on September 26, 2021 in Kohler, Wisconsin. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Morikawa made his Ryder Cup debut in 2021 and went 3-0-1 in his four matches. He finished 10th in the American standings, which should be enough to make him an easy pick by Johnson for the team.

  • Rickie Fowler

    2018 Ryder Cup - Morning Fourball Matches

    PARIS, FRANCE – SEPTEMBER 29: Rickie Fowler of the United States celebrates during the morning fourball matches of the 2018 Ryder Cup at Le Golf National on September 29, 2018 in Paris, France. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

    I was hesitant to put Fowler on the team for multiple reasons. The first is that he finished 13th on the American points list, so he’d have to bump someone off that was ahead of him. Second, his Ryder Cup record is 3-7-5, which isn’t necessarily one to be proud of. However, Rickie’s stats off the tee and approaching the green are better than other choices for picks, which is important in a Ryder Cup being held in Europe. He’s also a well liked player in the room, which should help him be a lock for the squad.

  • Cameron Young

    2022 Presidents Cup - Day Four

    CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA – SEPTEMBER 25: Cameron Young of the United States Team putts on the seventh green during Sunday singles matches on day four of the 2022 Presidents Cup at Quail Hollow Country Club on September 25, 2022 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

    One of the final spots on the roster could go to a number of guys but Young would be my pick here. Though he hasn’t been in the greatest of form in 2023, Young started to straighten the ship toward the end of his 2022-23 season with three finishes inside the top-15, including a T6 at the Open Championship. He also finished 9th on the U.S. qualifying points list.

  • Justin Thomas

    43rd Ryder Cup - Singles Matches

    KOHLER, WISCONSIN – SEPTEMBER 26: Justin Thomas of team United States reacts on the first green during Sunday Singles Matches of the 43rd Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits on September 26, 2021 in Kohler, Wisconsin. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

    Putting Thomas on the team is a controversial one because of his play during the 2022-23 PGA Tour season and his failure to make the FedEx Cup playoffs. However, JT is one of those guys that was born to play for his country. In two Ryder Cup’s he boasts a 6-2-1 record, including a 4-1-0 record in Paris in 2018 when the rest of the team struggled to put up points. Including his Presidents Cup record, Thomas is 16-5-3 in match play for the United States. If anyone’s previous record deserves a Captain’s pick, it’s Justin Thomas.

  • Brooks Koepka

    43rd Ryder Cup - Singles Matches

    KOHLER, WISCONSIN – SEPTEMBER 26: Brooks Koepka of team United States celebrates on the 17th after defeating Bernd Wiesberger of Austria and team Europe 2&1 green during Sunday Singles Matches of the 43rd Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits on September 26, 2021 in Kohler, Wisconsin. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

    There’s no case to not have Koepka on this team. He nearly qualified for the team by points with his performance primarily in the major championships the last two years. Koepka has a 6-5-1 record all-time in three Ryder Cups and tends to step up when the stage is bigger.

  • Just left off the team…

    Bryson DeChambeau – DeChambeau is probably in the best recent form of all the choices for a pick. However, he was one of the LIV players who sued the PGA Tour, so I don’t know how well that would go in the U.S. room. For that I left him off the team. 

    Keegan Bradley – A two win season vaulted Bradley into the conversation for the Ryder Cup and his hot start at the Tour Championship is helping him make a push. I just feel that he’s the big one left off to put JT on the team.

    Sam Burns – Burns finished 12th on the U.S. points list but it feels like he’s been non-existent since his win at the Dell Match Play in March. Coupling that with his 0-3-2 showing at the Presidents Cup last fall, I’d leave him off the team.

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