Europe will seek to defend their Ryder Cup crown next year, as they travel to America for the 43rd edition of golf’s iconic team competition. The Whistling Straits course in Wisconsin will host the event, but which golfers will be making the trip to take to the course? There are two ways to make a Ryder Cup team. Firstly, if you finish in the top eight players for points accrued at ranking events, you’re in. Secondly, if you missed out in that regard, the captain can pick you as a, well – captain’s pick. Padraig Harrington and Steve Stricker will captain the sides, but we thought we’d take an early look at those teams they may have at their disposal.
America: Jordan Spieth
We’ll start with the hosts. Spieth is one of the most capable golfers in the world right now, and will almost certainly be selected on the back of his points ranking.
America: Brooks Koepka
Another lock-in, Koepka has three major wins in the last two years. A good fourball player, the 28-year-old lost neither of his matches in that discipline in France.
America: Justin Thomas
‘JT’ will also be one of the first names on the American team sheet. On fire at Le Golf Nacional, the 25-year-old won four points for his team.
America: Rickie Fowler
Whilst his quest for a major continues, few can doubt the quality of Rickie Fowler. Expect him to be a mainstay of the US team for years to come.
America: Dustin Johnson
He’s no longer the world number one, but the 34-year-old is still a contender in every tournament he arrives at. 2020 seems a long time away, but I’d be stunned if he didn’t qualify off the back of his points.
America: Xander Schauffele
A string of impressive PGA Tour victories seem to suggest Xander Schauffele’s career is trending in the right direction. Coming close in both The Open and the US Open last year, I am confident in the 25-year-old’s ability to stay hot and qualify in an automatic spot.
America: Bryson DeChambeau
DeChambeau made his Ryder Cup debut in 2018 – and struggled. Three matches, and three defeats meant a tricky start to life in national colours, but is looking good to be selected for his points once again.
America: Matt Kuchar
Picked as a non-playing vice captain in 2018, I believe that was something of a bad decision. Kuchar is still a useful player at the age of 40 and has proven that with a pair of PGA Tour wins so far this season. Whilst you might have thought he’d be a captain’s pick, I reckon Kuchar makes this team from his own performances.
America: Tiger Woods
You take Tiger. That much should be obvious. The former world number one’s return to the top of the golfing table has been amazing to watch and he has proven yet again he still has what it takes to grind out results on the course.
America: Patrick Reed
I’m not entirely sure Reed makes it from his ranking, but that is no reason to be put off from the 2018 Masters winner.
America: Bubba Watson
Bubba is another one that I think may be beaten to the top eight, but is still more than worthy of a spot in the team. His unique brand of golf is one of the most entertaining to watch and has also proven to be invaluable in tense Ryder Cup play.
America: Webb Simpson
Simpson rounds off my US team and I know what you’re thinking – where’s Phil Mickelson? The lefty will be 50 by the time this competition rolls around and featured in only two matches a year ago – losing them both. Simpson is worthy of his spot in the team, but will need to string together some impressive PGA Tour performances to keep the competition out.
Europe: Justin Rose
Onto the Europeans. World number one Justin Rose is likely to be the first name on the list come next year and is part of the furniture for this team by now.
Europe: Rory McIlroy
Rory is another surefire team member and could be up at the top of the world rankings alongside Rose before long.
Europe: Jon Rahm
The Spaniard is fast becoming one of my favourite players on the tour and is highly likely to qualify for Wisconsin on the basis of his points.
Europe: Tommy Fleetwood
One of England’s most beloved golfing sons, Fleetwood’s strong performances on the European Tour. The 28-year-old is still searching for that major win, but is already well on the way to creating some incredible Ryder Cup memories.
Europe: Tyrrell Hatton
Tyrrell Hatton was one of a number Ryder Cup debutantes last year and his success on the European Tour should deliver him stateside for his first contest on enemy soil.
Europe: Francesco Molinari
Molinari shot to international stardom with his win at The Open in 2018 and the Italian is likely to be indispensable to Harrington’s team.
Europe: Alex Noren
The Swede has maintained a consistent standard of play for a few years now and added his first PGA Tour win to his trophy cabinet in 2018. A veteran presence on the team, Noren picked up a pair of points in Paris.
Europe: Paul Casey
A captain’s pick in 2018, I am backing Casey to make it of his own efforts in 2020. A mature, composed golfer, Casey is a great candidate to partner a rookie in the foursomes or fourballs.
Europe: Ian Poulter
Onto the captain’s picks, and how can you look past Ian Poulter? The six-time Ryder Cup veteran has whatever intangibles you need to succeed in this competition. His passion and commitment to the cause are unrivalled.
Europe: Sergio Garcia
Similar to Poulter, taking Garcia is about something more than his ability on the golf course. There is some mystical quality that hangs over these two, that when the chips are down in the Ryder Cup, they excel.
Europe: Eddie Pepperell
I’d love to see this one happen. Pepperell’s performance in 2018 has put him firmly on the radar of European golf fans and I believe there is every chance he makes his Ryder Cup debut in the States.
Europe: Henrik Stenson
Old faithful rounds off our teams, in what would be his sixth Ryder Cup. A terrific player in the pairs, you can also trust the Swede with a critical singles match.