Stricker picks rookies ahead of Reed for Ryder Cup

He’s been a polarising, yet popular, figure in previous Ryder Cups but Steve Stricker has decided not to include Patrick Reed in this year’s Captain’s Picks.

Instead, the 54-year-old has chosen to go with Jordan Spieth (2014, 2016, 2018) and Tony Finau (2018) in addition to four rookies – Daniel Berger, Harris English, Xander Schauffele, and Scottie Scheffler.

Steve Stricker Steve Stricker (Credit: PGA Tour)

A veteran of three Ryder Cups, Reed’s exclusion might come as a surprise. But the World No. 19 has been off his game lately; a recent stint in hospital with pneumonia saw him miss the final two qualifying events of the FedExCup Playoffs.

“Patrick Reed, that was a very, very difficult call. Kind of lost sleep over that one,” said Stricker.

“He’s a tremendous competitor. He brings a lot to match-play golf. His record here at The Ryder Cup is pretty darned good. It was just the uncertainty of his health and really the lack of play that led to our decision down the stretch.”

The addition of four rookies takes the total to six with the inclusion of Patrick Cantlay and Collin Morikawa – the most on the US team since their 16½–11½ win at Valhalla in 2008.

The full 12-man US roster is Dustin Johnson (4 Ryder Cup appearances), Jordan Spieth (3), Brooks Koepka (2), Bryson DeChambeau (1), Justin Thomas (1), Tony Finau (1), Collin Morikawa, Patrick Cantlay, Xander Schauffele, Harris English, Scottie Scheffler and Daniel Berger.

So how will the Europeans respond? Well, Padraig Harrington has the luxury of one more week to make his decision with the Captain’s Picks not due to be finalised until the completion of this week’s BMW PGA Championship in England.