Tuesday, November 28, 2023

2023 Ryder Cup teams: Scottie Scheffler, Patrick Cantlay lead USA side’s six automatic qualifiers

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The top half of the United States’ 2023 Ryder Cup team has been solidified. The standings are now firm following the conclusion of the 2023 BMW Championship, which marked the end of the qualifying period for the American side. It will now be incumbent on captain Zach Johnson to fill out the rest of the 12-man U.S. team with six captain’s picks, all of which will come following the 2023 Tour Championship.

World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler leads the U.S. Ryder Cup standings having leapt the field with his 27,617.735 points more than double that of Wyndham Clark (13,738.920). The next-most prominent name in the standings is Patrick Cantlay, the second-ranked American in the Official World Golf Rankings who holds the same overall spot there as he does in the Ryder Cup standings: fourth.

Let’s take a look at the six automatic qualifiers on the United States side.


Scottie Scheffler





Wyndham Clark




Brian Harman




Patrick Cantlay





Max Homa




Xander Schauffele




Clark, Brian Harman — both major championship winners this season — and Max Homa will all be rookies representing America in Rome next month. Homa played his ay into the top six following strong appearances at both the St. Jude Championship and the BMW Championship to jump inside the top six.

“That’s been kind of my goal since these playoffs started, to get into that top six,” Homa said at the BMW Championship. “All that obviously takes some great golf. You’re playing against a lot of great players. It has been fun keeping that goal in mind because you’re competing against the best Americans, which is a tall task.”

Cantlay and Schauffele represent the most reliable qualifiers on the United States side other than Scheffler. Lethal together in foursomes, the two will embark on their second Ryder Cups after making their debuts at Whistling Straits in 2021. 

“You don’t really want to sit around and wait for the phone call,” said Schauffele. “Been on both sides of it, to be completely honest, for a Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup team. I can’t remember which one was a pick, which one was not. But I remember getting a call saying no and a call saying yes. It’s nice to automatically qualify.”

Who will be the six captain’s picks?

Two important items to consider when looking the second half of the U.S. team: (1) There are three rookies already in the field and (2) none of the six automatic qualifiers has participated in a Ryder Cup on European soil. This could affect Johnson’s six captain’s picks from a muddied pool of players.

Schauffele’s strong outing at the BMW Championship saw him climb inside the automatic qualifying range at the 11th hour and knock out PGA Championship winner Brooks Koepka. As a member of LIV Golf, Koepka only had four opportunities to garner points towards qualification this season and has dropped in the rankings since raising the Wanamaker Trophy at Oak Hill in May.

Koepka (No. 7 in standings | 6-5-1 Ryder Cup record) is thought to be a sure pick as are Ryder Cup stalwart Jordan Spieth (No. 8 | 8-7-3) and a resurgent Rickie Fowler (No. 13 | 3-7-5). Spieth narrowly made his way into the Tour Championship finishing the week at Olympia Fields 29th in the FedEx Cup and Fowler continues to flash impressive form. Once you look past these three veterans, the decisions only become more difficult.

Johnson will have to choose between young guns like reigning PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Cameron Young (No. 9), WGC-Match Play winner Sam Burns (No. 12) and two-time major champion Collin Morikawa (No. 10 | 3-0-1).

On the other side of the age spectrum, Lucas Glover (No. 16) is keen on making his first Ryder Cup team at the age of 43 after winning the Wyndham Championship and the St. Jude Championship in back-to-back weeks. 

Keegan Bradley (No. 11 | 4-3-0) has notched two wins this season, as has Tony Finau (No. 21 | 3-3-0), and all of this is before we get to the elephant in the room: Justin Thomas (No. 15 | 6-2-1). Missing the postseason entirely, Thomas will have to rely on his body of work in order to garner a captain’s pick as his team record stands at 16-5-3 (including Presidents Cup efforts).

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