Ryan Moore lost his bid to win the Tour Championship finale in extra holes, but picked up an important consolation prize: the fourth captain’s pick and the last slot on the 12-man U.S. Ryder Cup team.
The matches tee off in five days in Minnesota. U.S. captain Davis Love planned to make the announcement during halftime of “Sunday Night Football,” — just hours after Moore was beaten by a birdie from European Ryder Cup star Rory McIlroy on the fourth extra hole at East Lake Golf Club. But after the death of golfing great Arnold Palmer, he released the selection in a news release.
Love had previously announced three captain’s picks — J.B. Holmes, Rickie Fowler and Matt Kuchar, who ranked Nos. 10, 11 and 12 in the Ryder Cup standings, respectively. Moore joins Brooks Koepka as the only two rookies on the U.S. team Europe will carry six rookies.
The U.S. team added the fourth pick after a PGA of America task force argued that adding a “hot” player at the last minute could help it reverse course after the Americans lost three consecutive matches and eight of the past 10. It became known as the “Billy Horschel rule after he was left off the team two years ago despite a terrific end-of-season run.
Love had said he wouldn’t be unduly influenced by the “hot” factor and had invited three potential picks to practice last week at Hazeltine National Golf Club — No. 7 world-ranked Bubba Watson and 23-year-olds Justin Thomas and Daniel Berger.
This is Love’s second time as captain. He was in charge at Medinah Country Club in 2012, when a furious last day rally by the Europeans in singles matches enabled them to keep the Cup. Among the U.S. players, JB Holmes and Phil Mickelson are the only players to won a Ryder Cup experience a winning team; Mickelson in 1999 and Holmes in 2008).
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