Captain Davis Love III went with experience for the U.S. Ryder Cup team, picking Jim Furyk, Dustin Johnson and Steve Stricker on Tuesday but adding Brandt Snedeker for his first cup team as a professional.
In an announcement at the NASDAQ market site in Times Square, Love picked three players – Furyk (7), Johnson (1) and Stricker (2) – who have competed in a total of 10 U.S. Ryder Cups against the Europeans. Furyk and Stricker have experienced victory and defeat, having played in the past two cups, a U.S. loss in Wales in 2010 and a victory at Valhalla in 2008.
Johnson experienced the wet conditions of Wales and a loss in his only Ryder Cup appearance. However, his performance during the past two weeks of the Tour’s FedEx Cup playoffs, in which he tied for third at The Barclays and tied for fourth at the Deutsche Bank Championship, that seemed to sway Love in the big hitter’s direction.
The combined record of Furyk, Johnson and Stricker in Ryder Cup competition is 12-20-7.
Among them, the trio recorded two Tour victories in 2012 (Stricker at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions and Johnson at the FedEx St. Jude Classic) but also had some famous collapses, notably when Furyk took the 54-hole lead into the U.S. Open and WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and failed to finish it off.
Snedeker, 31, has never played on a Ryder or Presidents cup team and was not believed to be on the initial short list that included Rickie Fowler, Hunter Mahan, Furyk and Stricker.
Snedeker, who won early in the season at the Farmers Insurance Open, finished 13th in the final Ryder Cup points standings after missing the cut at the PGA Championship.
But Snedeker, who ranks first on Tour in the strokes gained-putting category, has had a strong run in the past three weeks – T-28 at the Wyndham Championship, second at The Barclays and sixth at last week’s Deutsche Bank – to win Love’s attention.
Snedeker, No. 18 in the Official World Golf Ranking, is the 10th-highest-ranked American.
The 39th Ryder Cup matches will be played Sept. 28-30 at Medinah (Ill.) Country Club’s No. 3 course near Chicago.