Ryder Cup: U.S. player capsules

Rickie Fowler is one of 12 players who will represent the U.S. at the 2014 Ryder Cup.
Rickie Fowler is one of 12 players who will represent the U.S. at the 2014 Ryder Cup. ( Associated Press )

Friday, September 19, 2014

Here is a closer look at the U.S. squad for the 2014 Ryder Cup, to be played Sept. 26-28 at Gleneagles in Perthshire, Scotland:

• • •

Bubba Watson

Age: 35

2014 PGA Tour highlights: 19 starts, two wins (Northern Trust, Masters), seven top 10s

Ryder Cup experience: 3-5 record in two appearances

Buzz: Watson started the season off strong with two wins, including his second Masters triumph, and three other top 3s before June. But he’s cooled off this summer, with no finishes better than T-16 since missing the cut at the U.S. Open.

• • •

Rickie Fowler

Age: 25

2014 PGA Tour highlights: 24 starts, eight top 10s, including two-runner-up finishes (U.S. Open, Open Championship)

Ryder Cup experience: 0-1-2 record in one appearance

Buzz: Fowler has been stellar in the majors this year, with top-five finishes in each of them this season. He also has a pair of top 10s in WGC events and a T-9 at The Barclays, too, so he knows how to step up on the biggest of stages.

• • •

Jim Furyk

Age: 44

2014 PGA Tour highlights: 19 starts, nine top 10s, including three runner-up finishes

Ryder Cup experience: 9-17-4 record in eight appearances

Buzz: There are few players hotter than Furyk right now. He hasn’t won, but he has four finishes of fourth or better since May and has finished worse than T-19 just twice in his last 14 starts.

• • •

Jimmy Walker

Age: 35

2014 PGA Tour highlights: 25 starts, three wins, 10 top 10s

Ryder Cup experience: making first appearance

Buzz: Walker won three times in his first nine starts this season, and although he hasn’t won again, he still has 11 top 25s in his last 17 starts. He was T-9 at the Deutsche Bank.

• • •

Phil Mickelson

Age: 44

2014 PGA Tour highlights: 20 starts, one top 10

Ryder Cup experience: 14-18-6 record in nine appearances

Buzz: No top 10s all season until the PGA Championship. But Lefty, last year’s Open Championship winner, used a runner-up finish at Valhalla to automatically make Tom Watson’s squad – of course, he would’ve been a captain’s pick anyways.

• • •

Matt Kuchar

Age: 36

2014 PGA Tour highlights: 22 starts, one win, 11 top 10s

Ryder Cup experience: 3-2-2 record in two appearances

Buzz: A back injury forced Kuchar to pull out at Valhalla before his first-round tee time. When healthy, though, Kuchar is one of the most consistent players in the game with just two missed cuts and 11 top 10s this season.

• • •

Jordan Spieth

Age: 21

2014 PGA Tour highlights: 25 starts, seven top 10s, including two runner-up finishes

Ryder Cup experience: making first appearance

Buzz: The kid earned a spot on the Presidents Cup team last fall and now gets his first Ryder Cup nod. He has just one top 10 since The Players and missed the cut at Valhalla, but did make the cut and crack the top 30 in each of the first two playoff events.

• • •

Patrick Reed

Age: 24

2014 PGA Tour highlights: 26 starts, two wins (Humana, WGC-Cadillac), four top 10s

Ryder Cup experience: making first appearance

Buzz: Reed had two wins by early March, but has been reeling ever since. He has six missed cuts and just two top-10 finishes in 16 starts since winning at Doral. But he did tie for ninth at The Barclays.

• • •

Zach Johnson

Age: 38

2014 PGA Tour highlights: 24 starts, one win (Hyundai), five top 10s

Ryder Cup experience: 6-4-1 record in three appearances

Buzz: Johnson was runner-up at the John Deere in July, but since April he has no other finishes better than T-14. He’s a short hitter, but has Ryder Cup experience.

• • •

Keegan Bradley

Age: 28

2014 PGA Tour highlights: 25 starts, no wins, six top 10s

Ryder Cup experience: 3-1 record in one appearance

Buzz: Hits it long, hits it pretty straight, and was a force with Phil Mickelson at Medinah. Hasn’t been so hot with the putter of late, but really, is there any player who wants to get to Gleneagles more than he does?

• • •

Hunter Mahan

Age: 32

2014 PGA Tour highlights: 23 starts, one win (Deutsche Bank), six top 10s

Ryder Cup experience: 3-2-3 in two appearances

Buzz: Watson wanted form, and Mahan jumped in and showed it with a big victory at Barclays to open the playoffs. He has experience in both cups (Ryder and Presidents), hits a lot of greens and is a good putter.

• • •

Webb Simpson

Age: 29

2014 PGA Tour highlights: 23 starts, one win (Shriners), nine top 10s

Ryder Cup experience: 2-2 record in one appearance

Buzz: He won the season-opening event last fall, has nine top 10s, $3.3 million in earnings, and has had some good showings of late (three top 9s since Greenbrier). Very good putter, good scrambler, and a man who can partner with Bubba Watson, which won’t be the captain’s easiest assignment.