Aug 24, 2016

    3 spots on US Ryder team to play for


    WITH the Ryder Cup just over a month away, the teams are shaping up, with this week's Barclays tournament at Bethpage determining the last three automatic spots on a United States team desperate to end Europe's recent domination.

    US Open champion Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Phil Mickelson, PGA Championship winner Jimmy Walker and Ryder rookie Brooks Koepka are set for the trip to Hazeltine outside Minneapolis for the biennial matches starting on Sept 30.

    Eight players automatically qualify from the US points list, creating a scramble for the last three on offer from candidates uch as Brandt Snedeker, Zach Johnson, Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson, Olympic bronze medallist Matt Kuchar and Rickie Fowler.

    US captain Davis Love III will add four other players as captain's picks to a team who have lost the last three match play competitions to Europe.

    Europe have already assembled their first nine in a group featuring Rory McIlroy, British Open winner Henrik Stenson, Olympic champion Justin Rose and cup veteran Sergio Garcia, plus five rookies including Masters winner Danny Willett.

    Joining Willett on the Europe side are fellow British first-timers Chris Wood, Andy Sullivan and Matthew Fitzpatrick, and Spain's Rafael Cabrera-Bello.

    Europe captain Darren Clarke has three wild-card choices to announce next Tuesday. He said at last month's PGA Championship he would probably seek to balance his rookie contingent with players with Ryder Cup experience.