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

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2014 Ryder Cup Teams: USA, Europe and More Rosters Completed After Captain Picks
Kirsty Wigglesworth/Associated Press

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
Player Age Ryder Cup Record Appearances **
Rickie Fowler 25 0-1-2 2
Jim Furyk 44 9-17-4 9
Zach Johnson 38 6-4-1 4
Matt Kuchar 36 3-2-2 3
Phil Mickelson 44 14-18-6 10
Patrick Reed 24 0-0-0 1
Jordan Spieth 21 0-0-0 1
Jimmy Walker 35 0-0-0 1
Bubba Watson 35 3-5-0 3
Keegan Bradley* 28 3-1-0 2
Hunter Mahan* 32 3-2-3 3
Webb Simpson* 29 2-2-0 2
Europe
Player Age Ryder Cup Record Appearances **
Thomas Bjorn 43 3-2-1 3
Jamie Donaldson 38 0-0-0 1
Victor Dubuisson 24 0-0-0 1
Sergio Garcia 34 16-8-4 7
Martin Kaymer 29 3-2-0 3
Graeme McDowell 35 5-5-2 4
Rory McIlroy 25 4-3-2 3
Justin Rose 34 6-3-0 3
Henrik Stenson 38 2-3-2 3
Stephen Gallacher* 40 0-0-0 1
Ian Poulter* 38 12-3-0 5
Lee Westwood* 41 18-13-6 9

ESPN.com

* Denotes captain's selection.

** Appearances include 2014.

 

Captain's Pick Analysis

United States

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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