2014 Ryder Cup

2014 Ryder Cup Teams: USA, Europe and More Rosters Completed After Captain Picks

European Ryder cup team captain Paul McGinley stands by a list of his chosen players during a press conference at Wentworth Golf Club to announce his three wild card selections for his team to play at Gleneagles in Scotland against the USA, in Wentworth England, Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
Kirsty Wigglesworth/Associated Press
Sean ODonnellContributor IIISeptember 3, 2014

The 2014 Ryder Cup teams are set after American captain Tom Watson and European captain Paul McGinley each faced a daunting task on Tuesday, sifting through a bevy of talented golfers to select just three captain's picks for their respective teams.

Why is this such a challenge? Because unlike the first nine golfers on each team—all qualified based on season-long point standings—the final three selections are solely chosen at the captain's discretion. Of course, that can lead to plenty of scrutiny should the public disagree.

With all 12 players officially announced for each team, here's a look at how this year's Ryder Cup teams will look in Perthshire, Scotland:

2014 Ryder Cup Teams
United States
PlayerAgeRyder Cup RecordAppearances **
Rickie Fowler250-1-22
Jim Furyk449-17-49
Zach Johnson386-4-14
Matt Kuchar363-2-23
Phil Mickelson4414-18-610
Patrick Reed240-0-01
Jordan Spieth210-0-01
Jimmy Walker350-0-01
Bubba Watson353-5-03
Keegan Bradley*283-1-02
Hunter Mahan*323-2-33
Webb Simpson*292-2-02
Europe
PlayerAgeRyder Cup RecordAppearances **
Thomas Bjorn433-2-13
Jamie Donaldson380-0-01
Victor Dubuisson240-0-01
Sergio Garcia3416-8-47
Martin Kaymer293-2-03
Graeme McDowell355-5-24
Rory McIlroy254-3-23
Justin Rose346-3-03
Henrik Stenson382-3-23
Stephen Gallacher*400-0-01
Ian Poulter*3812-3-05
Lee Westwood*4118-13-69
ESPN.com

* Denotes captain's selection.

** Appearances include 2014.

 

Captain's Pick Analysis

United States

NORTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 01:  Hunter Mahan takes his second shot on the 12th hole during the final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship at the TPC Boston on September 1, 2014 in Norton, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Team USA tweeted this welcome message for its three newest members:

Keegan Bradley was a logical selection for Watson. Despite a limited amount of experience, Bradley is one of the few members of the American team who owns a winning record in the event.

The world's 23rd-ranked player, Bradley has yet to record a win in 2014, but he's been close several times. He finished solo second in the Arnold Palmer Invitational and accumulated four top-10 finishes, including a T4 in the U.S. Open. Still riding a hot streak, Bradley was recently in contention in the Deutsche Bank Championship after a first-round 65 but finished T16.

The PGA Tour tweeted Watson's comment when naming Bradley to the team:

Hunter Mahan is the world's 20th-ranked golfer and is currently riding a hot streak of his own. Mahan took home his first title since 2012, winning The Barclays at the end of August. He had a roller-coaster season before his win, but Mahan always steps up his game in match-play events. In the WGC Accenture Match Play Championship, he finished second in 2013 and T9 in 2014.

Watson's third selection was Webb Simpson. While he has yet to win a tournament this season, Simpson has earned seven top-10 finishes—including three third-place finishes—this year. Like Mahan, he's excelled in match play, earning a T5 finish in 2013 and T9 finish in 2014 at the WGC Accenture Match Play Championship.

 

Europe

Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press

The European Ryder Cup Team's Twitter account gave us our first glimpse of all 12 members:

The European team has plenty of experience, but McGinley's first captain's pick, 40-year-old Stephen Gallacher, is a Ryder Cup rookie. Gallacher certainly isn't a household name, but he's surged up the world golf rankings this season, moving from 66th to 33rd thanks to some efficient play.

Gallacher notched a win at the Dubai Desert Classic this year, and earned seven top-10 finishes as well. However, he hasn't fared so well in major tournaments in 2014. Gallacher has missed the cut in three of the four, which could make him a questionable decision due to the big stage at the Ryder Cup.

The European's Ryder Cup Twitter account noted the effectiveness of the next two picks:

Ian Poulter is a must-have for the European team. No matter how he's faring throughout the year, he always seems to save his best golf for the Ryder Cup. In four appearances in the tournament, Poulter owns a stellar 12-3-0 record.

While Poulter has dropped to No. 36 in the world golf rankings after recording only two top-10 finishes this year, don't expect his play in the Ryder Cup to resemble his struggles this season.

Lee Westwood rounds out the European team. At 41 years of age, he's the most experienced on the squad with eight previous appearances, resulting in a record of 18-13-6.

This year, Westwood did earn a victory in the Maybank Malaysian Open, and while he's only notched two top -10 finishes, they came in the Masters and Players Championship. Westwood knows how to step up his game on a big stage, and that's why he's a captain's selection this year.

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