US captain names three wildcard picks
Fowler, Holmes, Kuchar in team
Rickie Fowler may have failed to reach the final of the lucrative FedEx Cup playoffs, but the US golfer has been handed a chance to salvage his season at the Ryder Cup.
Fowler narrowly missed out on a place at the 30-man Tour Championship after finishing tied for 59th at the BMW Championship on Sunday – it left him 31st in the standings.
However, on Monday the world No. 9 was given one of three wildcards by US Ryder Cup captain Davis Love for the clash with Europe at Hazeltine.
The 27-year-old will make his third appearance in the prestigious team event, but his first on home soil, having been named along with J.B. Holmes and Matt Kuchar.
“We found no weaknesses in his game,” Love said of Fowler. “He’s such a great teammate. He’s really confident on the big stage as we’ve seen in the Olympics. He plays well all over the world; he travels well, brings a lot of intangibles to our team.”
Like Kuchar, Fowler was in the US team for the Rio Olympics last month, and played five weeks in a row as he sought to earn FedEx Cup points for the finale – where the overall winner lands a $10 million jackpot.
Kuchar, who won a bronze medal at Rio, qualified 16th after tying for fourth at Crooked Stick. He was 11 shots behind winner Dustin Johnson, who had already qualified for the Ryder Cup team.
Holmes was also in that group with Kuchar, scraping into the East Lake field in 28th place overall.
“I’ve been on a lot of teams with Matt,” Love added. “He’s got a great attitude for match play. He’s a great partner. Like J.B., he’s consistent. He’s easy to pair. These three guys are who we really all wanted. We’re very confident in them.”
Love still has one more wildcard to pick ahead of the Ryder Cup, which runs from September 30 to October 2.
Two-time Masters winner Bubba Watson will be hoping to get the nod, having also played at the Olympics and three previous Ryder Cups.
Watson, ranked seventh in the world, tied for 20th at the BMW Championship and qualified for the Tour Championship in 24th place.
Former Masters winner Charl Schwartzel snatched the final berth from Fowler after a final-round 64 pushed the South African up the leaderboard to share fourth with Kuchar, Holmes, Adam Scott and Ryan Palmer.
Johnson won by three shots from England’s US-based Paul Casey, who was not eligible for Europe’s Ryder Cup team as he is not a member of his home tour.