Zach Johnson completed his USA Ryder Cup squad with familiar faces as he shared his six captaincy picks on Tuesday. Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler, along with LIV Golf’s Brooks Koepka, formed the team as the Americans seek to end three decades of defeat on European soil.
Johnson also left with Jordan Spieth, Collin Morikawa and Sam Burns, who will make his Ryder Cup debut despite failing to win a game at last year’s Presidents Cup.
Among those Johnson missed for the trip to Rome were Cameron Young, who finished 9th in the Ryder Cup standings, and Keegan Bradley, who won twice this season and finished 11th overall.
Koepka joins the team after leaving the PGA Tour last year to join LIV. In May, he won the PGA championship, his fifth major title of his career and his first in four years. Koepka and his LIV colleagues are banned from the PGA Tour after switching to the Saudi Arabia-backed competition. However, they are still a member of the PGA of America for a transition period ending next June, which means they can compete in the Ryder Cup. However, Koepka is the only LIV player to make the squad.
Thomas was only No. 15 in the Ryder Cup standings, has gone 15 months without a win and failed to make the top 70 to reach this month’s FedEx Cup playoffs.
However, Thomas is considered an emotional spark for the US team. He has a 6-2-1 record in two Ryder Cups and fits well with Spieth, the three-time Major champion who has competed in every Ryder Cup since 2014.
The Ryder Cup gets underway at the Marco Simone outside Rome on September 29th. The Americans haven’t won away at England’s The Belfry since 1993 – some Americans in that side weren’t even born then.
The European team will only be finally determined after the European Masters this week in Switzerland. Luke Donald also has six captain picks.