Ryder Cup 2023: Has Zach Johnson picked his best side? We discuss...

The wait is finally over and we now know who will be representing Team USA at the 2023 Ryder Cup. Has Zach Johnson picked the right team? We discuss...

Ryder Cup 2023: Has Zach Johnson picked his best side? We discuss...

Ladies and gentlemen the wait is over and we now know exactly who will be heading to Rome to represent Zach Johnson's Team USA at the 2023 Ryder Cup.

Johnson named his captain's picks on 29 August. 

They are as follows:

They will join:

GolfMagic's staff have taken some time to reflect on Johnson's picks and offered their thoughts on the red, white and blue. 

Will Johnson's side become the first U.S. side to win the Ryder Cup on European soil for the first time in 30 years?

Andy Roberts, Editor

Biggest surprise?

The biggest surprise to me wasn't necessarily the choice of the six picks, but more to learn Zach Johnson didn't even give Bryson DeChambeau or Dustin Johnson a call to let them know they did not make the team. 

Apparently the US captain only called players down to 25th on the US Ryder Cup standings, which means he spoke to the likes of Sahith Theegala, Adam Schenk and Taylor Moore over the likes of past US Ryder Cup stars and major champs DeChambeau and Johnson. 

To me, that is absolutely shocking, but also a huge eye opener as to what he really thinks of LIV Golf. Some of his comments in recent weeks about not having been able to even see what the guys on LIV Golf are doing is absurd, when he can simply turn on The CW Network or watch some highlights to see how they are getting on. 

You feel like he's only taking Brooks Koepka, the sole LIV Golf representative, just to play down any talk the US Ryder Cup team is heavily influenced by the PGA Tour. 

Biggest mistake?

DeChambeau, all day long. He should have been given the nod after that scintillating 61-58 finish to win his first LIV Golf title earlier in the month. 

But if truth be told, I knew Bryson wasn't going to be picked two weeks ago when Johnson didn't even bother to speak about him when asked on a podcast about the form of LIV Golf players ahead of his six picks. He only chose to speak about Koepka, (who has just gone T38-T38 on LIV Golf) and that said everything to me. There is obviously a bit of bad blood there between Johnson and DeChambeau perhaps?! I just don't get it. 

Maybe Bryson doesn't fit the team quite as well as others. All I know if I was the captain then I would want the most in-form players competing in my team, especially when you've not won away from home since 1993. 

Yes, Justin Thomas is loved by everyone on the team, but he's not in any form so to speak having missed six of the last 12 cuts on the PGA Tour. That saw him miss out on the FedEx Cup Playoffs for the first time.

You can look back at past records all you want, and yes JT has an outstanding Ryder Cup record, but he was in very decent form going into the last two Ryder Cups. 

The same cannot be said this time around, and I think he's a mistake for the USA. 

Who will feel let down the most?

I think Cameron Young is remarkably unlucky to miss out, especially having finished ninth in the US Ryder Cup standings. 

Yes, he's not won yet on the PGA Tour but he's proven a solid matchplayer having taken out Rory McIlroy at the WGC Match Play, and has shown he steps up on the big stage with a solo second at last year's Open and T3 at last year's US PGA. 

I think he will also be fairly miffed having been told by Fred Couples that he was in the team earlier this summer. That was incredibly poor from Freddie to say that, even if Johnson says it was all in jest. 

Young might now consider a switch over to LIV Golf, and I would not blame him! 

Overall thoughts?

Four of the six picks were bang on the money in Brooks Koepka, Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler and Collin Morikawa. I have absolutely no issues there.

For me, Justin Thomas and Sam Burns got away with one, simply because they are best mates with certain guys on the team. Burns is good pals with Scheffler so an easy pairing, and JT is good friends with both Rickie and Jordan. So it does all sync up nicely for Johnson, but I think he's made a mistake on Burns and Thomas in all honesty. 

Has your opinion changed on who you think will win?

No, I think USA will still win the 2023 Ryder Cup, simply as a result of the back end of the European team being incredibly weak with all due respect to them. We are still yet to learn the picks in Luke Donald's team, but several of them will not scare Team USA in the slightest if it's to be the likes of Adrian Meronk, Sepp Straka and then either Nicolai Hojgaard or Ludvig Aberg. Team USA has not won for 30 years on European soil and that will no doubt be eating away at them in Rome, but I can see Johnson's side running out victors by at least four points.

16-12 USA would be my prediction.

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Ben Smith, News Editor

Biggest surprise?

For the most part, the team seemed right. In the weeks leading up to Johnson's announcement, I got the feeling Lucas Glover needed to play his way onto the team whereas I always felt that Keegan Bradley was going to get the nod. And deserve it.

So if we had a surprise, it was Bradley. He won twice and finished 11th in the standings having made it to East Lake.

His passion for the Cup is evident. I'd have probably taken Bradley over Sam Burns given Zach Johnson is taking a plethora of rookies. But that's just my opinion. 

Steve Stricker previously spoke of the importance of continuity after his successful stint as captain at Whistling Straits. They've got a fantastic crop of young players so it would seem a bit foolish to abandon those principles and not keep the nucleus of that side together.

Collin Morikawa and Jordan Spieth were always going to be picked. Rickie Fowler deserved recognition for his body of work this season and he's part of the gang. 

No disrespect to Glover here, but if you're Europe who would you rather be playing? Glover or Justin Thomas? I know the answer if I'm Europe. 

The point I'm trying to arrive at here is that there wasn't any real shut the front door surprises here.

Biggest mistake?

Honestly the amount of rookies is concerning. Sam Burns is a fantastic talent and you wouldn't be surprised if he ticks off a few majors in the next few years and is part of future successful US Ryder Cup sides. He doesn't strike me as someone that's going to wilt under the gun. But this is a Ryder Cup. In Europe. I think I would have leaned on taking a bit more experience if I were Johnson. 

Who will feel let down the most?

As we've mentioned, undoubtedly Keegan Bradley can feel more than a bit ticked off right now. But if you're Cameron Young you might be leaving sending some NSFW messages to Fred Couples right now, given that the vice captain said - unequivocally - Young would be picked. I do harbour a tinge of sympathy to Bryson DeChambeau as well. He was part of that aforementioned nucleus and played extremely well at Whistling Straits. He's fit and healthy now and has been playing well for the last few months. Politics aside, at the very least he deserved a phone call. Shame. 

Overall thoughts?

I like the team a lot. It's well-balanced. Johnson and his team of vice captains appear to have picked the players who will mesh with the automatic qualifiers. The onus is now very much on the likes of JT to repay that faith. 

Has your opinion changed on who you think will win?

I still think the U.S. will win, but it will be closer than I previously anticipated after the old guard were swept aside with ease in Whistling Straits.

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