Jim Furyk has announced his first three 2018 Ryder Cup captain’s picks, and they’re exactly who you’d think they would be.
Furyk has named Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau to the eight players who automatically qualified for the Paris-bound American team after the PGA Championship in August.
DeChambeau finished ninth in the final points standings, falling just outside of earning an automatic berth. However, the SMU product forced Furyk to select him — which hasn’t happened in the last 10 years for the odd man out in the U.S. Ryder Cup standings — by becoming the first player since Vijay Singh in 2008 to win the first two FedEx Cup playoff events. DeChambeau is assured the top spot in the FedEx Cup standings heading into the Tour Championship, regardless of what happens this week at the BMW Championship.
The four-time PGA Tour winner found out in a great moment to start the day.
“I just got out of the shower and Davis [Love III] actually texted me and said, ‘Give the captain a call.’ So I gave him a call. He invited me to the team, and that was a tremendous honor,” DeChambeau said. “There are some moments in life that are just too good to be true, and that was one of them, but it was true, and
it was an honor that I’ll never forget.”
Mickelson finished 11th in points, and once he won the WGC-Mexico Championship, he was practically assured a spot in some capacity. Top-17 finishes in the first two FedEx Cup playoff events signaled a rejuvenated Mickelson, ready at 48 to give one last try to winning the Ryder Cup on European soil. The last time the U.S. won an away game in the series was 1993.
“Certainly, this is most likely my last chance to go over to Europe and to be a part of a winning U.S. team in Europe,” Mickelson said. “We haven’t done that in 25 years.
“I set out this year, on really, a strong commitment and journey to get on the team. I got off to a great start this year. It’s been a really good year, and although I fell just shy of making it on points, it feels great to be a part of this team and serve this team in any way I can.”
Woods, who was previously named to be one of Furyk’s assistant captains, knew he had a wild-card pick in hand after the PGA Championship.
“I played well at the PGA, so we — sorry — the vice captains and the captain were hinting at picking him as a player, so as a vice captain, I put my hat in for that player,” Woods said to laughter.
Woods’ selection, marking his first appearance on the US Ryder Cup team since 2012, meant he wouldn’t be a playing assistant captain.
Furyk also named three assistant captains in David Duval, Zach Johnson and Matt Kuchar, telegraphing Kuchar will not get the final pick, made after this week’s BMW Championship, the third leg of four FedEx Cup playoff events. It’s expected Tony Finau will get that final pick.