Romine: If Ryder Cup began today, here's what U.S. team should look like

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Romine: If Ryder Cup began today, here's what U.S. team should look like

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Romine: If Ryder Cup began today, here's what U.S. team should look like

There are exactly two weeks left until the first eight players are named to the 2018 U.S. Ryder Cup team.

The eight automatic selections will be announced Aug. 13, the day after the final round of the PGA Championship at Bellerive. Three captain’s picks will then be selected on Sept. 3, the day after the final round of the Dell Technologies Championship, with the fourth and final pick being revealed the following Sunday evening, on Sept. 9.

The PGA of America announced Monday that the current top three players in the U.S. Ryder Cup standings – Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson and Patrick Reed – had clinched their spots on the U.S. team that will compete in Paris in late September.

Nos. 4-8 – Justin Thomas, Bubba Watson, Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler and Webb Simpson – are also in position to earn automatic bids. Players will earn one point per $1,000 earned at this week’s WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and two points for every $1,000 earned at next week’s PGA Championship.

But what if the Ryder Cup was being held today? Who would join the top 8 on the team? Here’s what Jim Furyk’s 12-man squad should look like if the Americans were teeing it up at Le Golf National today:

(x-already clinched spot)

1. x-Brooks Koepka

2. x-Dustin Johnson

3. x-Patrick Reed

4. Justin Thomas

5. Bubba Watson

6. Jordan Spieth

7. Rickie Fowler

8. Webb Simpson

Captain’s pick: Tiger Woods. With the way his comeback season has gone, it will be impossible to deny Woods an eighth Ryder Cup appearance, even if he’s only been a part of one winning team. Woods brings so many intangibles to the team room, and he’s also played well on the course this season, posting six finished of 12th or better, including a T-6 at the British Open. He ranks sixth on Tour in strokes gained tee-to-green and for all the critique about his putting, he is a respectable 56th in strokes gained putting.

Captain’s pick: Phil Mickelson. Like Woods, Mickelson’s experience at the Ryder Cup will be hard to replace. Besides, Mickelson has had a resurgent season, as well. He won the WGC-Mexico Championship earlier this year and has five other top-6 finishes this season. Mickelson is also No. 2 on Tour in strokes gained putting. A 12th Ryder Cup appearance for Lefty seems likely.

Captain’s pick: Bryson DeChambeau. This will be a controversial pick, not because of DeChambeau’s ability but because of his maturity. DeChambeau is ninth in the U.S. standings and won the Memorial Tournament earlier this summer. He also nearly won the Porsche European Open in Germany last week until a final-round collapse that included some poor sportsmanship – DeChambeau was shown giving winner and playing competitor Richard McEvoy as very brief handshake after the final round, and received backlash on Twitter. That came after DeChambeau was filmed having what could best be described as a meltdown on the driving range at Carnoustie. But if given a chance to be part of a Ryder Cup team, there’s little doubt that DeChambeau would embrace the opportunity. He’s also a strong match-play player, having won the 2015 U.S. Amateur, and his putting has been much improved this season. On a team with not many rookies, it’s worth giving DeChambeau a chance to shine. Plus, if the Americans’ Flux Capacitor breaks down between sessions on Saturday, who else is going to fix it?!?

Captain’s pick: Tony Finau. Speaking of rookies, Finau would be another worthy addition to Furyk’s squad. If DeChambeau indeed ends up making the team as either an automatic selection or a captain’s pick, that would mean he and Justin Thomas would be the only rookies. Finau could potentially be a Ryder Cup star for years to come, and giving him experience on a veteran-loaded team would make sense. Finau bombs it and plays well tee to green. He also is a high character guy and would pair well with almost anyone. There’s no doubt he has what it takes to compete in big events. After all, he has yet to finish outside the top 10 in a major this season. He is 14th in the standings, too, so it wouldn’t be a stretch to pick Finau over, say, Matt Kuchar, who has lots of Ryder Cup experience but has just four top-10s this season. Could also see Xander Schauffele getting his first national-team nod, too.

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