“ Defeat at the Ryder Cup, analyzing the American, lost in Rome“.

by Timothy Mcalvanah

October 2, 2023

U.S. Ryder Cup captain Zach Johnson recently defended his picks for the upcoming 2023 Ryder Cup in Rome. While some of his choices were expected, such as Brooks Koepka, Jordan Spieth, Collin Morikawa, and Rickie Fowler, his selections of Justin Thomas and Sam Burns raised eyebrows among fans and experts.

Johnson explained that the process of selecting the six captain’s picks involved considering various elements and finding the players who complemented the six who had earned their spots. He emphasized the importance of unity and teamwork, stating that it became clear which players should be part of the team and what would make them whole.

It is evident that Johnson did not solely focus on players’ recent form or hot streaks. Instead, he prioritized choosing the right players based on his belief in their abilities. Additionally, the opinions of the six automatic qualifiers were considered during the selection process for the remaining spots. Johnson highlighted the significance of team chemistry, camaraderie, and versatility, as well as the avoidance of drama.

One notable factor in Johnson’s picks is the friendship between World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler and Sam Burns. Their connection, established during the 2022 Presidents Cup, played a role in Johnson’s decision-making. Burns, a four-time PGA Tour winner in the past two seasons, recently defeated Scheffler in the semifinals of the 2023 WGC-Match Play.

The selection of Justin Thomas is the decision that Johnson believes will define his captaincy. Despite Thomas’ recent struggles since winning the 2022 PGA Championship, Johnson valued his experience in the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup. Thomas boasts an impressive record of 16-5-3 in team competitions, including a perfect 4-0-0 record in the most recent Presidents Cup.

With the pairings of Spieth and Thomas, as well as Cantlay and Schauffele, already expected, Johnson has penciled in the remaining duos, including Max Homa and Collin Morikawa, and Rickie Fowler and Wyndham Clark. These pairs possess complementary skillsets, and Johnson believes they have the potential to be formidable teams.

Ultimately, Johnson’s vision for the Ryder Cup team is influenced by a combination of skillsets, personalities, and experiences. His goal is to select the six players who he believes can win the Ryder Cup in Rome at the end of September. Johnson emphasizes that his job is simple but crucial in shaping a victorious team.