Ryder Cup 2020: Steve Stricker leaves Patrick Reed out of his six wildcard picks for Team USA
Daniel Berger, Harris English, Tony Finau, Scottie Scheffler, Xander Schauffele and Jordan Spieth named as Steve Stricker's wildcard picks for Team USA; Ryder Cup to be played from September 24-26 at Whistling Straits
By Ali Stafford
Last Updated: 09/09/21 6:20am
USA captain Steve Stricker has named Jordan Spieth and Xander Schauffele among his wildcard picks for the Ryder Cup, while Patrick Reed missed out on a place.
Spieth will make his fourth consecutive Ryder Cup appearance, having returned to form on the PGA Tour last season, while Schauffele will be one of six debutants in Stricker's side at Whistling Straits after winning Olympic gold during an impressive campaign.
Daniel Berger, Harris English and Scottie Scheffler are the other Ryder Cup rookies handed picks for the biennial contest, live on Sky Sports from September 24-26, with Tony Finau - who made his debut in 2018 and won The Northern Trust last month - also selected for Team USA.
The six players will join automatic qualifiers Collin Morikawa, Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas and Patrick Cantlay in the American line-up in Wisconsin, where the hosts will be aiming to regain the trophy after their 17.5-10.5 loss at Le Golf National in 2018.
Reed, who has previously been dubbed 'Captain America' and featured in every American team since 2014, was left out having only returned from bilateral pneumonia at last week's Tour Championship.
Webb Simpson, 13th in the qualification standings and a three-time Ryder Cup player, Billy Horschel, Kevin Kisner, Sam Burns and Kevin Na were among the other players to miss out on a place.
The European qualification campaign ends on Sunday, following the conclusion of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, with Padraig Harrington then announcing his three captain's picks - live on Sky Sports Golf - on Sunday evening.
Stricker revealed he was looking for players who would fit the long course at Whistling Straits when making his selections.
"We are super-excited about these six individuals," he said. "I talked to each and every one of them a couple of days ago and they are extremely excited and happy and fired up to be part of this team.
"All a great fit for Whistling Straits. They all can't wait to do one thing and that's to bring the cup back where it belongs.
"All six of these guys have been playing some really good golf for a long period of time. It's more about a body of work. They have all played great throughout this year and very well deserving of these picks.
"I'm excited. I'm truly excited how this team is made up. Composed of a good mix of young guys and veterans."
Stricker also revealed he had an eye on the weather conditions in Wisconsin in late September as another factor in his decision-making.
"We looked into better wind players - it can be breezy here - how they pair well with others, how they are in the team room. I want to make sure that we are going to get along. But ultimately how these guys fit the course is the biggest determining factor."
Spieth earned his place thanks to his improved form this year and he admitted the one-year delay had played into his hands.
"If it were last year I may not have made the team, so in a weird way I feel fortunate that this goal was set at the beginning of this year for me. It was a lofty one," he said.
"I had to make up a lot of ground after not making a lot of points the past couple of years, so very happy that captain Strick has put his trust in me. I love the Ryder Cup - there really is nothing like it in our sport."
Finau was also a captain's pick for Paris in 2018 and is keen to avenge that defeat to Europe.
"I'm honoured to join this team. I can draw back on some of the wins I had in Paris and will draw from those experiences to help bring the cup back to the US.
"It was kind of a salty feeling watching them celebrate on the green right in front of us. But we have an opportunity to return the favour this year and we hope to be able to do that with this squad."
Schauffele, meanwhile, is pleased to be part of a youthful American team.
"I'm excited to run with all of these boys - a lot of familiar faces," he said. "I'm really happy that 32 is on the older side of the team. It's a good time for a younger influx of players."
Scheffler's selection was possibly the biggest surprise and he admitted it had been a nervous wait for him.
"To get the call from Strick was amazing," said the 25-year-old. "The last month and a half has been stressful just not really knowing where I stand. It's been a dream of mine to play on this team and I am honoured to be a part of it."
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