• Ryder Cup

Davis Love III names Ryder Cup wildcards

ESPN staff
September 4, 2012
Davis Love III's team will meet Europe on September 28-30 © PA Photos

US skipper Davis Love III has completed his Ryder Cup team by selecting Dustin Johnson, Jim Furyk, Brandt Snedeker and Steve Stricker as his captain's picks.

There are four rookies in the American team - Jason Dufner, Webb Simpson, Keegan Bradley and Snedeker - while Zach Johnson, Matt Kuchar, Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson and Tiger Woods round out the selection.

"It was obviously a tough decision, we had a lot of guys playing great, but I am so excited about these four players," Love said.

In announcing his four wildcards, Love confirmed that he had "plugged some holes" in the team, and announced a mix of strengths, combining Johnson's impressive game off the tee with the putting specialists Snedeker and Stricker.

Johnson, who finished tied for fourth at the Deutsche Bank Championship on Monday, will make his second Ryder Cup appearance following his debut in 2010. Love described the world No. 14 as "the best athlete on the team" and felt his game was perfectly suited to Medinah.

"Obviously I am very excited to be on the team, " Johnson said. "I have played well the last two weeks to make my case pretty solid and I am really excited about it. I am really looking forward to playing on US soil."

In Furyk, Love has a veteran of seven Ryder Cups, who has never missed the tournament since his first appearance in 1997. "We also needed experience," Love said of Furyk. "He is one of the most consistent players on tour and one of the most respected players on the tour."

Stricker, meanwhile, struck up a successful partnership with Woods two years ago, and won three points from a possible four at Celtic Manor. "He is the best player, in my mind, on tour the last five or six years," Love said. "He is somebody I really trust on and off the golf course.

Completing the team is rookie Snedeker, who finished in a share of third place with Tiger Woods at this year's Open. "We need hot putters," Love said of the 31-year-old. "There really hasn't been a hotter putter on tour since the British Open. He brings a lot to the team room on and of the golf course and can pair with anybody which is a great asset."

"It has been a pressure-packed couple of weeks for me, but it has been all worth it," Snedeker said. "I look forward to getting to Medinah and making Davis look like he is a genius and trying to play as well as I possibly can."

The Ryder Cup, which was won by Europe at Celtic Manor in 2010, will be contested at the Medinah course in Illinois between September 28-30. European captain Jose Maria Olazabal finalised his squad last month by choosing Ian Poulter and Nicolas Colsaerts as his wildcards.

The final European team reads: Colsaerts, Luke Donald, Sergio Garcia, Peter Hanson, Martin Kaymer, Paul Lawrie, Graeme McDowell, Rory McIlroy, Francesco Molinari, Poulter, Justin Rose, Lee Westwood.

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