Stricker, Johnson, Snedeker, Furyk make Ryder Cup team
New York, NY (Sports Network) - U.S. Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III selected Steve Stricker, Dustin Johnson, Brandt Snedeker and Jim Furyk on Tuesday to round out his team.
They join Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Masters champion Bubba Watson, U.S. Open winner Webb Simpson, Jason Dufner, Matt Kuchar, Keegan Bradley and Zach Johnson. That group of eight made the team automatically after the PGA Championship three weeks ago.
Among those snubbed on Tuesday were 2-time winner this season, Hunter Mahan, and Nick Watney, who won The Barclays two weeks ago.
"It was tough to leave anybody off," said Love. "There was a lot of guys who played a lot of good golf."
The Ryder Cup tees off three weeks from Friday at Medinah. The European side, which was finalized last Monday, won in Wales in 2010.
Now the Europeans know their opponents.
Stricker seemed like the easiest choice on Tuesday. He will play his third consecutive Ryder Cup and has amassed a 3-3-1 record. Stricker won this year's season-opening Hyundai Tournament of Champions and is the 10th-ranked player in the world.
Another factor that had to play in Love's mind with respect to Stricker is his partnership with Woods. The two have combined for a 5-2-1 mark as teammates in both the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup.
"Tiger/Stricker has worked pretty well," said Love. "They would continue to be a team we're certainly going to look at."
Dustin Johnson, who will play in his second Ryder Cup, earned a spot with his play during the three weeks after the eight automatics made it.
Johnson, who missed time earlier this season due to injury, tied for third at The Barclays two weeks ago and shared fourth Monday at the Deutsche Bank Championship. He won the St. Jude Classic in his second tournament back from the knee injury and tied for ninth at The Open Championship.
"I thought I made my case pretty solid," said Johnson, who will also be key at the long Medinah with his length. "I'm really looking forward to it. I really think I can help."
Snedeker was the only rookie chosen by Love on Tuesday. Much like Johnson, his run late in the year solidified his spot. After his own return from injury, Snedeker tied for third at the Open Championship, took second two weeks ago and sixth on Monday.
Snedeker's biggest asset is the flat stick. He ranks No. 1 on the PGA Tour in strokes gained through putting.
"They both have come back from injury. They both came back right at big tournament time," Love said of Johnson and Snedeker. "You can't argue with the golf Brandt and Dustin have been playing. These two guys, with the pressure on them, have played very, very well."
Furyk may have been the most questionable of Love's choices.
Despite playing seven previous Ryder Cups, Furyk, who has fallen to 30th in the world rankings, has not won on tour since the 2010 Tour Championship. That win spurred him on to the FedExCup title and he was in position to win both this year's U.S. Open and WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, but squandered leads late on Sunday.
Furyk has a less than stellar 8-15-3 record in his previous seven Cup appearances, but is 4-1-2 in singles. He barely made the 2011 Presidents Cup squad, then went 5-0 at Royal Melbourne.
The European side consists of world No. 1 and winner of Monday's Deutsche Bank Championship Rory McIlroy, world No. 2 Luke Donald, Sergio Garcia, Graeme McDowell, Justin Rose, Lee Westwood, Peter Hanson, Martin Kaymer, Paul Lawrie and Francesco Molinari.
European captain Jose Maria Olazabal tabbed Ian Poulter and Nicolas Colsaerts to round out his side.