Meet the 12 members of Zach Johnson's team

Ryder Cup player records: Ben Coley's Team USA player profiles

Ben Coley profiles the 12 members of the United States Ryder Cup team, including their individual records broken down by format.

Scottie Scheffler

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So high are expectations that it's been a bit of a disappointing year for Scheffler, who has merely won The PLAYERS and the Phoenix Open and finished runner-up in the PGA Championship, his worst performance in a major a tie for 23rd at Hoylake.

That's testament to two things: how much he's achieved since signing off his Ryder Cup debut with defeat of Jon Rahm in the singles, and the fact that his long-game has been so far clear of the rest that two wins feels like underachievement. Anything like a good putting run and we'd be talking about an all-time-great season.

It's this issue on the greens that has some pondering whether he's a point of weakness for the US, to which I'd say remember what the bottom line is in golf: low score wins. Scheffler has been the best player in the sport in 2023 and will be a vital part of this side, surely paired with his friend and Presidents Cup partner Sam Burns at times. If that's the case, they ought to ask if Burns can hit all the putts. They'd be near unbeatable.

Wyndham Clark

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This year's breakout star having transformed himself from longstanding PGA Tour maiden to major champion, slayer of big names both there at LA Country Club and previously at Quail Hollow.

Clark largely held his form after that stunning start to summer, signing off the season with an excellent performance at East Lake, and he's a hot-putting big-hitter who could be very hard to contain, even on debut.

He'll certainly hope to better his previous appearance for a US national team on European soil, having endured a miserable week in the 2014 Palmer Cup, one which ended with a crushing defeat to one Rahm in the singles.

Brian Harman

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The second surprise major champion of the year, Harman was also the most dominant, running away with the Open Championship thanks to a display of precision, poise, and incredible putting – a fair summary of his game when firing on all cylinders.

Like Clark, he played well afterwards and continues to putt the lights out, while the 36-year-old is not the type to fear reputations. We saw evidence of that in the Open where he did particularly well against vocal home support on Saturday and he's not a player to take lightly.

There might be some concerns around the course and how well it suits him so I wouldn't necessarily expect him to play the significant role you might expect of a major winner who qualified in third. Nevertheless he gives this side balance and could be handy in foursomes.


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Patrick Cantlay

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If there is an American answer to Moliwood then it's probably Cant...elle. Schauff...lay. You get the point: Cantlay and Xander Schauffele, good friends off the course, have been pretty formidable on it both in this event and the Presidents Cup. Note that they've won all six foursomes matches so far including both in 2021, their respective Ryder Cup debuts.

That's a potent combination we should expect to see very early on and while neither man excelled in 2023, nor did their levels dip respectively. Cantlay missed just two cuts and didn't finish worse than 33rd when making the weekend, signing off with his now typical run of good golf in the Playoffs

If there's a worry it's that his putting hasn't been quite so effective but it's very hard to find fault with a player who has gone 3-0-0 in singles. On paper, fourballs is the problem but I doubt that's true in reality and he and Schauffele should get another go at it, possibly from either the first or last match given how reliable they are.

Max Homa

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It's taken a while for this former amateur stud to catch up with his peers but he's now firmly established as one of the best players on the PGA Tour, winning six times since his 2019 breakthrough. The missing piece of the puzzle has been majors but his first top-10 finish, at the Open in July, was a big step in the right direction.

This is a new experience but Homa was outstanding in last year's Presidents Cup, winning all four of his matches. That each of them was tight reveals how clutch he was in the big moments, something we've seen throughout those six victories, and the occasion surely won't beat him.

Popular in the team room and statistically strong through the bag, potential partners can be found everywhere you look. It'll be interesting to see whether he's treated like the rookie that he technically is and sent out alongside someone with more experience, such as Collin Morikawa, who he played with at the Zurich Classic. They'd make a handy foursomes duo.


The Ryder Cup has produced many memorable moments down the years

Xander Schauffele

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It really is difficult to separate Schauffele from his friend and partner Cantlay and similarities continued in 2023, both of them unable to win and frustrated at their respective major performances. Schauffele finished inside the top 20 in all four, but couldn't kick on from a hot start at the US Open and should've done better than 10th there.

Otherwise it was another excellent season, his only non-top-25 finish since Sawgrass coming in the Scottish Open. And let's not forget that Schauffele ended the year first in scoring at East Lake, the season-ending course he so adores and where his approach work was electric.

In fact it's been his best year so far in that department as it has on the greens, so if Schauffele can dial in his driver again then big things await. As far as this week goes, his fortunes are tied to those of Cantlay and a formidable foursomes partnership, and it remains to be seen whether their absence from the scouting trip proves a negative.

Brooks Koepka

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Winner of the PGA Championship in May having contended for the Masters, Koepka looked a likely qualifier only to be bumped out late. Remember, he couldn't accrue points on the LIV Golf circuit, from which he's the only player heading to Rome, and he clearly deserved his selection.

Although not at his best at Whistling Straits, Koepka still came up with the goods on a couple of occasions when called upon and his experience playing in Europe is beneficial. Indeed, he's a past winner in Italy on the Challenge Tour and this course really will suit.

Arguably the player to fear most in singles, the only real worry would be that he has gone off the boil of late, based on what limited evidence we have to consider. Finishes of 38th and 38th in two LIV starts since 64th in the Open create uncertainty where there was none during that brilliant spring.

Jordan Spieth

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Although his selection was never really in doubt, it's been a strange old year for Spieth, who missed the recent Rome scouting mission due to the birth of his daughter. There's been plenty of good golf with seven top-six finishes, but since May he's missed four cuts from seven events that had one and generally been unable to string rounds together.

Baseline numbers however suggest it's been a stronger campaign than 2022, which he ended by going 5-0-0 in the Presidents Cup, all four pairs wins coming alongside his friend and fellow wildcard, Justin Thomas. It's going to be fascinating to see whether they're trusted in the first session, given Thomas's general struggles and Spieth's lack of standout form. My instinct would be yes, but that they'd have one chance to get it right.

Vital Ryder Cup stats! All the key trends from golf's greatest show

When we get to Sunday, Spieth will search for his first singles win at the fifth attempt in the Ryder Cup. It took him four Presidents Cup appearances to finally achieve that and his propensity to give away holes on the cheap means he's not an opponent to fear – unless, that is, he arrives there having won all four matches to that point.

Collin Morikawa

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Golf is a maddening game and of this US side, perhaps Morikawa would be best placed to make that point. Here's a two-time major champion who won five times during his first two years as a professional, yet since his DP World Tour victory in 2021 he's been on a winless run which nobody could've seen coming – despite some of his best overall numbers this year.

He'll surely play a big role for this side regardless but will need a new partner, having been paired with Dustin Johnson and gone 3-0-0 together in 2021. Homa is the obvious one but a like-for-like switch from Johnson to Koepka could also make sense – more, surely, will be revealed in early practise sessions.

Morikawa wasn't necessarily at his best in the Presidents Cup last year but still signed off with a commanding singles win and is likely to be a mainstay of this side for years to come. Note that he only played foursomes there and, so far, is a perfect 6-0-0 in the format in the big team events for the USA (Walker, Presidents, Ryder).

Sam Burns

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Much talk of the boys' club centred around Justin Thomas, but what of Burns, friend of Scheffler? It's been a generally quiet year, his worst on paper since 2020, and that's despite excellent putting – approach play, the puzzle he cracked to start collecting titles, appears to have become a problem again.

With no worthwhile majors form to his name and having gone 0-3-2 in the Presidents Cup, Burns was given plenty of leeway versus the likes of Keegan Bradley, who outperformed him by most measures. Still, he's a fantastic talent who does have the game for this course, and picking players based on pairings and personality seems valid to me.

Burns was statistically the best player at the Presidents Cup, unfortunate to bump into the wrong opponents, although he's to blame for some late mistakes when leading on a couple of occasions. A better end to the season raises hopes but on balance he's among the weaker options for Zach Johnson.

Rickie Fowler

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Fowler's resurgence, which began when he went back to old coach Butch Harmon, has been one of the stories of the season. It began when contending in Japan and continued with a run of consistently excellent form throughout the early months of 2023, then saw him contend in the US Open before capturing the Rocket Mortgage Classic.

Never before has he hit his irons better, he's been good off the tee and a two-year putting malaise appears to have ended, all of which earned Fowler a return to the Ryder Cup having missed the 2021 edition.

His record so far is decidedly modest, both personally and having been part of just one winning side, but five halved matches mean he's avoided defeat more times than he's suffered it. Still, I suspect he's one to take on in singles after a quiet end to a back-to-life campaign.

Justin Thomas

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The most controversial pick on either side, Thomas was fortunate in some ways having endured the worst year of his professional career. There were some highlights, particularly towards the start of the season, but his trademark approach play dipped markedly and his putter became a deep-rooted issue.

Zach Johnson suggested that dropping Thomas was never really in his mind, although it surely must have been at times. Thomas though produced a spirited run at the Wyndham to end his season on a positive, and then benefited from quiet Playoffs from Tony Finau and Cam Young in particular. While they were playing badly, he was able to lean on an excellent record for the US plus some natural partnerships.

No doubt he and Johnson would both have been relieved to see Thomas play well at the Fortinet Championship, where for the second event running he putted well. With his approach play massively improved, Thomas began to look like the player we know he is, the one Johnson put his unequivocal faith in. Will that extend to a key role in the opening session?


Meet the 12 members of Luke Donald's team
Meet the 12 members of Luke Donald's team


Get our analysis and betting tips ahead of the Ryder Cup
Get our analysis and betting tips ahead of the Ryder Cup


Ben Coley sets the scene ahead of the Ryder Cup
Ben Coley sets the scene ahead of the Ryder Cup

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