2023 Ryder Cup - When in Rome...

crackerjack9

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The 44th Ryder Cup will be held at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in Guidonia Montecelio on the stunning Roman countryside, beginning on September 29, 2023. US Captain Zach Johnson is looking for his team to repeat against Europe captain Luke Donald and move to 28-14-1 overall. The US hasn't won on European soil since 1993.

LIV Players are eligible to play in the Ryder Cup, however, can only earn points in the four majors. Brooks Koepka is #2 on the current rankings so would qualify at this point. Given the merger from earlier this month, there should be little controversy if a LIV player is chosen with one of the six Captains picks (especially if Koepka makes it with points).

Watching yesterday's US Open, I couldn't help but get excited at the prospect of Wyndham Clark playing in this format. He seems like he has just the right enough of cockiness and confidence to thrive in this event, although that plays much better on US soil.

Current Rankings:
US Team
1. Scheffler
2. Koepka
3. Homa
4. Schauffele
5. Spieth
6. Cantlay

Bubble
7. Cameron Young
8. Sam Burns
9. Morikawa
10. Wyndham Clark

Europe Team
1. McIlroy
2. Rahm
3. Yannik Paul
4. Adrian Meronk
5. Victor Perez
6. Adrian Otaegui

Bubble
7. Fleetwood
8. Shane Lowry
9. Jorge Campillo
10. Pablo Larrazabal
 

cshea

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That’s not the full picture on the Euro side. There’s the European points list and then also the World list. These are the current qualifiers:

Rory
Rahm
Hatton
Fitzpatrick
Hovland
Paul

Rose, Lowry and Fleetwood seem like locks at the moment, and one could overtake Paul. The last 3 spots is where the depth really falls off for them. Power, Meronk, Straka, etc. maybe Ludvig plays his way into a pick?

The US seems straight forward:

Scottie
Brooks
Max
Xander
Spieth
Cantlay
JT*
Young
Burns
Finau
Clark
Morikawa

Basically the Presidents Cup team with Clark and Brooks replacing Kisner and Horschel. Fowler is probably next man up. Asterix for JT because who knows WTF is going on with him. Rumblings of an injury but he had had an awful season and just shot an 81. Kinda hard to think of him as off the team but it kinda has to be on the table at this point.
 

E5 Yaz

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Is there an Italian player in striking distance of being on the Euro team? A shame to have it held in Italy without a "home" player to root for
 

Dave Stapleton

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I am not sure why Cam Young is a given at this point. He has had a very mediocre year and his current trend is not good. I would take Ricky over him at this point.
 

cshea

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Cam is 6th on Tour in birdie average this season. That plays on match play and probably why the match play was his best finish this year. He’s a lock for me.
 

RedOctober3829

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This would be the European team right now with current OWGR in parantheses.
Rahm(2)
McIlroy(3)
Paul(99)
Hovland(5)
Hatton(15)
Fitzpatrick(8)

Captain's picks could be Fleetwood(20), Lowry(26), Rose(29), Straka(36), Perez(64), Meronk(50), and Otaegui(86)
Avg world ranking: 36.9

USA team with current OWGR in parantheses. It's wild the whole team could be all top 20 in the world rankings and that is without #11 Will Zalatoris.
Scheffler(1)
Koepka(12)
Homa(9)
Schauffele(6)
Spieth(10)
Cantlay(4)
Captains Picks: Morikawa(19), Clark(13), JT(18), Cam Young(17), Finau(14), and Burns(16)
Avg world ranking: 11.6
 

RedOctober3829

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Looking at the course, the 11th and 16th holes will be fun to watch. 11 is a 330 yard par 4 that players could try to drive the green and 16 is 352 yards so it's drivable but with water right in front of the green and fescue in the back.
 

cshea

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The teams are pretty even 1-8, especially with Fleetwood and Rose back in good form. It's 9-12 where the US should seperate. We'll see what happens with the Euro's and LIV. Currently they're ineligible but who knows if that holds up with everything going on. There aren't many Euro options in LIV but maybe they'd pick Sergio if they change the rules. That said, he's taken the flamethrower out during this saga so he may not be the most welcomed guy if it was allowed (though he'll have a hugh ally with Rahm).

That said there are still question marks. First, it's on European soil which never goes well. Of the "locks" on the US side, Max hasn't been great since early in the season. JT has been a disaster and may be dealing with an injury. Morikawa is dealing with a wonky back.
 

RedOctober3829

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The teams are pretty even 1-8, especially with Fleetwood and Rose back in good form. It's 9-12 where the US should seperate. We'll see what happens with the Euro's and LIV. Currently they're ineligible but who knows if that holds up with everything going on. There aren't many Euro options in LIV but maybe they'd pick Sergio if they change the rules. That said, he's taken the flamethrower out during this saga so he may not be the most welcomed guy if it was allowed (though he'll have a hugh ally with Rahm).

That said there are still question marks. First, it's on European soil which never goes well. Of the "locks" on the US side, Max hasn't been great since early in the season. JT has been a disaster and may be dealing with an injury. Morikawa is dealing with a wonky back.
What about Keegan Bradley as a pick if Morikawa doesn't pick things up? He's right up there in OWGR and has had pretty good form this year(13 of 17 cuts made, 7 top 25's, 4 top 10's including winning the Zozo Championship and a 2nd at the Farmers.). I can't see them leaving JT off unless he really doesn't have it. Bradley would seemingly be a good fit for this type of team event.
 

cshea

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What about Keegan Bradley as a pick if Morikawa doesn't pick things up? He's right up there in OWGR and has had pretty good form this year(13 of 17 cuts made, 7 top 25's, 4 top 10's including winning the Zozo Championship and a 2nd at the Farmers.). I can't see them leaving JT off unless he really doesn't have it. Bradley would seemingly be a good fit for this type of team event.
He's not my first choice but should be in the mix. I think these 12 are probably close to locks right now:

Scheffler
Wyndham Clark
Brooks Koepka
Patrick Cantlay
Xander Schauffele
JT
Jordan Spieth
Colin Morikawa
Cam Young
Tony Finau
Sam Burns
Max Homa

JT and Morikawa's health being at the top of the list of concerns. Performance wise I think JT, Burns, Finau and Cam Young would potentially be under the spotlight but if I'm picking today I have them in. Maybe 2 more months of play changes the calculus on one or all of them. If injury or someone plays their way out..

In no particular order I think these guys are next up. Bradley is part of that group.

DJ
Rickie
Sahith Theegala
Keegan Bradley
Kitayama
Harris English

They probably go with the hot hand and maybe look at the data on course fit as a tie breaker.
 

Dave Stapleton

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I assume those who have Cam Young as a definite are assuming he turns it around the next few months? At some point, it should be a reward for actual results.

Here are his 2023 results:

T13
T26
64
T20
T10
T51
2
T7
T51
T59
CUT
CUT
T57
T32


By comparison here is Rickie Fowler. Eight Top 20s in his last 9 events (including 3 top 10s). Cam has two.

T54
T11
T10
T20
T31
T13
T17
T10
T15
T14
CUT
T6
T9
T5
 
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Dave Stapleton

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Fowler with another Top 15. Given Cam’s performance again (T60) and with Keegan continuing to move up he has to be on the outside looking in at this point. There could be some interesting decisions as we move to the end of the season.

Question will be does last years performance for Cam outweigh his poor recent play and strong recent play of others. Keegan is now sitting at 7 so may force the issue.
 

cshea

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Bumping this a bit. Keegan won the week this thread popped up. Rickie won the next. This week, Cam Young is out skinning the mules at the John Deere.

I don't think winning is a pre-requisite to making the team, nor a guarantee but it shows just insanely deep the US should be. 2 of the following will not be on the team.

Scottie
Wyndham
Brooks
Xander
Cantlay
Max

Keegan
Spieth
Morikawa
Cam Young
Burns
Rickie
JT
Denny McCarthy

Bold are the auto qualifiers at the moment, plus the next 8. Finau is a veteran with a good record, won a bunch last season, and he's sitting at 18th and probably has no chance. Cam winning this week probably bumps him up over Spieth but his spot still would feel somewhat tenuous.

Going to be an interesting final few weeks of qualifying.
 

cshea

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Through the final major. Clark and Harman gobbled up auto-qualifier spots out of nowhere (and it may not be a good thing). Current standings:

Scottie Scheffler
Wyndham Clark
Brian Harman
Brooks Koepka
Xander Schauffele
Patrick Cantlay

Max Homa
Cam Young
Jordan Spieth
Keegan Bradley
Colin Morikawa
Rickie Fowler

Next: Sam Burns, JT, Denny McCarthy

Bold are the auto-qualifiers.

I think Homa, Young and Spieth are probably safe, especially with Max and Cam showing some form recently. I think Rickie is safe too even though he's in 12th, he's dragged down by last year. This year he's probably been the 2nd best American player.

The big decision is still JT. He's having a terrible year but has experience and is considered a core member of the current group. Do they take him despite current form? He's currently outside the top 70 in the FedEx Cup which means he is not in the playoff picture. He's playing the 3M this week, not sure if he'll go to Wyndham too if he needs points. Either way, he's running out of runway. As has been mentioned some places, the Euro's in the past have taken their core guys with lengthy good track records like Sergio and Poulter who had miserable tour seasons. Of course, the Euro's probably haven't had depth to choose from like the US has right now. I didn't even list Tony Finau who despite winning a bunch the past 2 years probably has no shot.

If they do take JT I think it comes down to Keegan or Morikawa getting the boot. No idea which way to go with that. Traditionally they have been similar players, excellent ball strikers and lousy putters. This year, Morikawa is excellent tee to green and shitty putting. Keegan is decent tee to green and good putting. I think I'd lean towards the elite ball striker in Morikawa but it's close.
 

cshea

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1 week left in qualifying for the US.

Scheffler
Clark
Cantlay
Harman
Koepka
Max

Xander
Spieth
Cam Young
Morkawa
Keegan
Burns

Rickie
JT
Denny McCarthy
Lucas Glover

The 6 in bold are the auto qualifiers. There might be some jockeying there with Max/Xander/Spieth depending on next weeks results but I think functionally 1-8 right now are all locks regardless of who actually picks up the final auto spot.

Then it gets somewhat interesting. I think Rickie has done enough to made the team so, for me, he goes in over Sam Burns. The JT question is going to loom until the picks are made. He showed some life at the Wyndham but ultimately missed the playoffs by a shot. I'm a JT honk and have no clue what to do.

I think Morikawa is safe. The results don't jump off the page but the strokes gained are there. He's still the second best ball striker on the planet and is 4th in tee-to-green but, much like Scottie, the putting is an issue. Cam Young banked a lot of points last season. He hasn't been great this year but has 2 top 10's in his last 4 starts, including a major, so there's that. His best performance of the year also came at the match play if you want to put stock in things like that. His strokes gained are OK, he's 32nd tee to green then putting drags him down. A data point that I do like for Cam Young is he makes a lot of birdies. He's 4th in birdie average and 10th in par breaker percentage on Tour this year. That's the kind of thing you need in match play. I don't care if he makes 5 bogey's if he's offsetting it with 8 birdies. I would pick Cam Young.

If Rickie replaces Burns, I keep Morikawa and Young that leaves Keegan as the odd man out if I go with JT. It would be purely a gut play, basically all the data indicates Keegan has been a better player than JT this year.

I guess another wild card emerging is Lucas Glover. I don't think he's done enough given the horses ahead of him, but he's been really good for almost 2 months now. He missed the cut at the Travelers and since then has gone T4, T6, 5, MC, 1, 1 to rocket up the standings. Granted most of that was in mule fests but he did just go almost wire to wire at a playoff event fending off Rory, Spieth, Max, Fleetwood, Hovland, Cantlay and other studs. If he runs the table...maybe? This is one they'd probably have to deep dive into the data and see if there's anything suggesting it's sustainable. He's 58th in total strokes gained for the season.
 

4 6 3 DP

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Fascinating how one wouldn't take Glover given his last 6 weeks but it's close. I'd be Rickie for Burns and Glover for Keegan myself but certainly understand that's a gut feel.
 

cshea

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Fascinating how one wouldn't take Glover given his last 6 weeks but it's close. I'd be Rickie for Burns and Glover for Keegan myself but certainly understand that's a gut feel.
If Glover keeps this up for 2 more weeks...maybe. I'd just need to be convinced this is sustainable through the end of September. They're going to need to have the data people figure that out. Tony Finau won back to back this time last year and added a 3rd win this season and is nowhere near sniffing the team right now. They are deep and it's going to be really tough to take Glover ahead of Keegan (best out of the 3 over a long period of time) or JT (Ryder Cup core member; #1 player in the world ceiling).

To be honest the auto-qualifying thing kind of sucks. Clark and Harman taking up 33% of the auto-qualifiers and I'm not entirely sure I'd take both if I was just picking the 12 best Americans.The qualifying period is basically 2 years and I don't think winning 1 week, even a major, should be weighted so heavily that's essentially a guaranteed spot. Brooks has history but over 2 years he had like 10-12 qualifying tournaments and won 1 and finished T2 in another and the rest of his performance didn't matter. I think Brooks is clearly one of the 12 best American players and I'd take him along either way but I'm just not sure the auto-qualifying process they have in place is the best way to identify the top 12 American or European players. Peaking one week can basically erase 2 years of data.
 
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4 6 3 DP

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Completely agree. Keegan has the right temperament for the match play as well.
 

Comfortably Lomb

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1 week left in qualifying for the US.

Scheffler
Clark
Cantlay
Harman
Koepka
Max

Xander
Spieth
Cam Young
Morkawa
Keegan
Burns

Rickie
JT
Denny McCarthy
Lucas Glover
Xander, Spieth, Young, Morikawa, Keegan, and Rickie. I could be convinced on JT and the only thing making me pause is how terrible his play has been for... months. This thing is for funsies and a drunk crowd. Just go with the popular guys and don't worry about it beyond that.
 

cshea

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ZJ makes his picks today.

Auto Qualified: Scheffler, Clark, Harman, Cantlay, Max, Xander

Next: Brooks, Spieth, Cam Young, Morikawa

Bubble (2 make it): Keegan, Burns, Rickie, Denny, McCarthy, JT

Rickie and JT are my guesses for the final 2 spots, and also the 2 players I would select.
 

johnmd20

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Rumors indicate Cam Young isn't going to make the team.

edit - to wit, they say it's going to be Rickie, JT, and Sam Burns, no Young.
 

SoxJox

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JT best not be on this team. He started the year poorly and declined from that point. Either he has some undisclosed injury (back? shoulder?) or something is seriously wrong in his head (a personal or family issue?) Just speculation on my part. But such a dramatic shift.

This from ESPN (I know, I know)

Why he should be on the team: Thomas has been a match-play monster for the Americans. He has a 6-2-1 record in two previous Ryder Cup appearances and a 10-3-2 mark in three Presidents Cups, tallying 17.5 points for the Americans. He is a vocal leader and would be well-liked in the locker room

Why he shouldn't be on the team: He probably doesn't deserve to make the team because of his form and results this season. JT had three top-10s in 20 starts. He missed the cut in three of four majors. He carded an 81 at the U.S. Open and an 82 at The Open. Along with his putting woes, he is 138th in driving accuracy, hitting 56.24% of fairways.
 

TFP

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He's the USA version of Sergio. He should be on the team.
 

Dave Stapleton

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I have been consistent with my questioning of whether Cam Young would be on the team. I just don’t think he has shown much since the spring other than the Open. I was listening to the Barstool golf podcast and Kisner was on. He said “JT and Ricky will be on the team because they are part of the click and that Cam and Keegan would be out because they are not”. I wonder how prevalent this view is among the rank and file.
 

SoxJox

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I have been consistent with my questioning of whether Cam Young would be on the team. I just don’t think he has shown much since the spring other than the Open. I was listening to the Barstool golf podcast and Kisner was on. He said “JT and Ricky will be on the team because they are part of the click and that Cam and Keegan would be out because they are not”. I wonder how prevalent this view is among the rank and file.
I would imagine, quite.
 

TFP

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And Scheffler was part of that "cool kids club" and made the team over Kisner in 2021. Turned out pretty well if you ask me.

The US has finally got a core of golfers who care about this and can actually beat Europe. They want to play with guys they know and like and have input into who gets to come, and it's actually worked. The rush to break that up to bring someone else as the 12th guy just mystifies me. Go look at the bottom of the Euro roster to see how little the 12th guy likely matters on the course.

This likely will come down to the top 6 players on each team anyway (where I think Euro is even with or better than the US). It's really really hard to win it on foreign soil either way.
 

cshea

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Rumors indicate Cam Young isn't going to make the team.

edit - to wit, they say it's going to be Rickie, JT, and Sam Burns, no Young.
FWIW, Assistant Captain Fred Couples said Cam Young would be on the team. This was about a month ago so things certainly could've changed but I'd be surprised. The scouting report on Marco SImone golf course is that driving distance and accuracy is a premium skill for the course which leans into Young's strengths.

https://www.golfchannel.com/news/fred-couples-reveals-three-us-ryder-cup-locks-his-radio-show

Burns is buddies with Scheffler so maybe there's something there if they are soliciting input from the players and Scottie asks for his best friend to be a partner (they played together at last years PC). I don't have much of a read on where Young fits in with the group, he comes across as a quiet do his own thing type of guy.

And I'm pro JT. He's the real Captain America. I can't count the number of times I wrote off Poulter or Sergio entering a Ryder Cup because they had lousy Tour seasons and then on Friday of the Ryder Cup I'm kicking myself watching them drain 30 footer after 30 footer and fist pump and scream their way around. It is just a different beast and JT seems to be a guy that gets it and can handle it. Worst case scenario, they send him out on Friday and he sucks and then they put hjim on the bench until Sunday. I know Keegan's done it before but if the chips are on the table and it's 12-12 late on Sunday I'd prefer JT to Keegan in the deciding match.
 

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Freddy doing that is exactly what Kisner was referring to. His point was that the "click" is driven by the fact that it is the same group of captains each year.
 

BaseballJones

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Looks like Burns over Bradley. Hate that for Keegan. He would have been a great fit for this team.
I agree. The US simply has too many good players and/or guys that have been highly successful at the Ryder Cup. Some really good and deserving players are going to be left off. Just no way around it. But yeah, I wanted Bradley to make it.
 

cshea

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I also don’t get Fowler over Bradley.
Statistically speaking, Rickie has been a better player than Keegan (and the majority of the team) over the course of the year. By total strokes gained, Rickie wass the 6th best American player this past season. Add in his experience and relationships with the other players, there was no chance he wasn't making it.

I think JT was always a lock so I believe the 12th man choice was Keegan vs. Burns vs. Young. Statistically, slight edge to Keegan but it's a slim margin. Keegan was 22nd on Tour in total strokes gain, 0.885 total strokes gained per round. Burns was 30th at 0.795 so a fairly negligible difference between the two. Cam Young was much futher down at 65th overall so he probably got eliminated first.

Burns vs. Keegan are sp close statistically that it was probably a coin flip and it wouldn't surprise me if the deciding factor was essentially the other 11 guys or however many team members ZJ solicited advice and opinions for said they prefer Burns. He's very close with Scottie, Spieth, etc which probably tilted the scale.
 

RedOctober3829

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Europe has their full team
Rory McIlroy
Jon Rahm
Viktor Hovland
Tyrell Hatton
Matt Fitzpatrick
Robert McIntyre
Tommy Fleetwood
Sepp Straka
Justin Rose
Shane Lowry
Ludvig Aberg
Nicolai Hojgaard

Aberg becomes the first player in Ryder Cup history to play in a Ryder Cup before playing in a major championship.
 

BaseballJones

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That team seems pretty solid. Serious talent until maybe the very end of the roster. They absolutely can win this thing.
 

johnmd20

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That team seems pretty solid. Serious talent until maybe the very end of the roster. They absolutely can win this thing.
Top ten are household names to any golf fan. (McIntyre might be the only one who is kind of unknown to a casual fan)

Those last two, I have literally never heard of either.
 

cshea

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Ludvig just turned pro. Not a household name yet but probably will be. Won the Ben Hogan award for best men’s college player the past two seasons. Didn’t win right away like Morikawa/Hovland when they turned pro out of college but has that kind of upside. Ridiculous driver.
 

E5 Yaz

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Thread hijack: Europe has rebounded from an 0-4 deficit after Friday's morning round to tie the Solheim Cup at 8-8 going into Sunday's singles. Leona Maguire of Ireland was amazing in Saturday's afternoon round
 

E5 Yaz

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Got to hand it to Europe, starting off the weekend down 0-4 and rallying. On the other hand, being up 4-0 and not being able to close the deal ...