Article

Furyk confident as Team USA takes shape

18 August 2018 09:36

United States Ryder Cup captain Jim Furyk is full of confidence in the eight players to have automatically qualified for next month's event in Paris, as speculation mounts over his potential picks. 

Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson, Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler and Webb Simpson are guaranteed to feature for the holders at Le Golf National when the biennial transatlantic showdown gets underway on September 28. 

Team USA mainstays Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Matt Kuchar missed out on confirmed berths in the team, but are thought to be among the front-runners to earn wildcard selections from former team-mate Furyk.

The 48-year-old, though, was giving little away when he addressed the media during the PGA Tour's Wyndham Championship.

"We know the atmosphere will be fantastic," he said.

"We know the fans will be loud and we'll be playing against a really tough team, but I've already got eight guys who will like that challenge.

"Look at Brooks Koepka. It seemed like when things got tough at the [US] PGA [Championship] he played superb golf down the stretch, so that's what we're hoping for in September.

"Right now we have a lot of experience, so I wouldn't say that's the most important thing. If you look at our top eight, there's only one guy that hasn't played in the Ryder Cup and that's Justin Thomas.

"But Justin won the PGA last year, he was PGA Tour Player of the Year and also won the FedExCup, so he's got plenty of experience."

Assessing the factors that will decide his picks, Furyk said: "Form and compatibility are fairly even, but I would say form might get the nod, although compatibility is a very, very close second.

"I always like experience but we already have it so I'm not thinking that's the most important [thing]. But if we had four or five rookies on the team, then experience would be number one."

Four-time European Ryder Cup player Martin Kaymer, meanwhile, does not expect to receive a call from the hosts' skipper Thomas Bjorn.

"Do you think I deserve to be on the [team] after the way I've been playing, and with just one win in Sweden?" he told Sky Sports after two encouraging rounds at the Nordea Masters. 

"Is that enough? I don't think so."

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