43rd RYDER CUP
When: Friday through Sunday, Whistling Straits Golf Course, Haven, Wis.
Collin Morikawa, Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas and Patrick Cantlay. Captain's picks Daniel Berger, Harris English, Tony Finau, Xander Schauffele, Scottie Scheffler and Jordan Spieth.
Paul Casey, Matt Fitzpatrick, Tyrrell Hatton, Tommy Fleetwood, Rory McIlroy, Viktor Hovland, Jon Rahm, Lee Westwood and Bernd Wiesberger. Captain's picks Sergio Garcia, Shane Lowry and Ian Poulter.
How the teams were chosen
Europe's first four players qualified from its Ryder Cup points list, the next five from the World points list and three picks chosen by captain Padraig Harrington. The top six Americans on the points list and six picks chosen by captain Steve Stricker comprise the U.S. team for a competition postponed from 2020 by COVID-19.
Four matches of four-ball and four matches of foursomes will be played in morning and afternoon sessions Friday and Saturday. Two-player teams play their own ball in four-ball and the lower score each hole counts. Two-man teams play one-ball alternate shots and the total number of strokes count in foursomes. On Sunday, all 24 competitors play a singles match.
Each match is worth one point. A match that ends in a draw is worth a half-point. The first team to reach 14 ½ points wins the Ryder Cup. If there's a draw, 2018 champion Europe keeps the Cup.
Friday: Golf Channel, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday: Golf Channel, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday
Sunday: Ch. 11, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
About Whistling Straits
Europe hosts every four years on parkland courses, not on the great seaside links in the British Open rotation. Pete Dye-designed Whistling Straits on Lake Michigan's shore is a former flat military airstrip remade by an army of bulldozers to resemble an Irish dunes course. It held the stroke-play 2005 and 2015 PGA Championships.
U.S. has six first-timers
At age 32, four-time PGA Tour winner Harris English is second oldest on a U.S. Ryder Cup team for which 37-year-old Dustin Johnson will play in the team match-play event for a fifth time.
English also is one of six "rookies" on a 12-man U.S. team that hasn't faced the biennial competition's pressure that starts Friday at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin.
Two of those six — two-time major champion Collin Morikawa and $15 million FedExCup winner Patrick Cantlay — qualified by the event's points list. They'll meet a European side that has won nine of the past 12 competitions for a trophy originally wagered by a British seed merchant.
Four of them — English, Daniel Berger, Xander Schauffele and Scottie Scheffler — were among U.S. captain Steve Stricker's six captain's picks, all chosen for their power or putting on a tumbling lakeside course where the wind often blows.
"I didn't know that being 32 was considered old these days," English said. "This is my 10th year on Tour and I've been around this game a lot and dealt with some adversity everybody deals with in this game. That's big for match play."
European captain Padraig Harrington chose Cup veterans Ian Poulter, Sergio Garcia and Shane Lowry as his final picks, but not Justin Rose.
This is the first Ryder Cup since 1993 that Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson won't play for the U.S. team.
"The game is getting younger; Tiger Woods is to blame," said Schauffele, a persistent major contender and Tokyo Olympic gold medalist who played in the 2019 Presidents Cup. "Kids are getting better and better. I feel like I'm an old guy on Tour. I'm turning 28 soon and I feel like I'm one of the older guys. Kids keep getting better at younger ages."
Eight U.S. players are in their 20s. World third-ranked Morikawa at age 24 is the youngest who'll face a Europe team with three rookies, including young Viktor Hovland and major champ Lowry.
The last time a U.S. team had six rookies was 2008, when it won comfortably at Valhalla in Kentucky. Until then, Europe had won three consecutive Cups. After that, Europe won three more until the Americans' Sunday victory at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska in 2016.
U.S. rookies are 40-29-17 at the Ryder Cup since 2008.
"Some of them aren't really rookies," said Stricker, who is leading his country in his home state. "They have played in Presidents Cups. Some guys have match-play competition under their belt and other events, the World [Golf Championship] match play. So we don't really feel like they are rookies."
Morikawa, 24, is ranked No. 3 in the world and won the 2020 PGA and July's British Open. Cantlay is the PGA Tour Player of the year after winning three times in 2021. Schauffele was the Tokyo Olympics gold medalist. English has two of his four Tour wins this year. Berger secured the winning point for captain Stricker's 2017 U.S. Presidents Cup team at Liberty National. And big-hitting Scheffler had top 10s in three majors this year.
Among the players left off Stricker's roster were Patrick Reed and Billy Horschel.
Nicknamed Captain America for his Ryder Cup grit that includes 2016 at Hazeltine National, Reed wasn't one of the six picks. Stricker called it a "very, very difficult call" that he lost sleep over. But Reed's health — double pneumonia late last month — was a deciding factor.
As he did in 2014, Horschel won the next week after he wasn't picked. This time, it was on the European Tour. Horschel also won the WGC-Dell Match Play in March. Could he be the 13th man if Morikawa or Brooks Koepka withdraw because of injury or if COVID-19 sidelines someone?