Furyk names Woods, Mickelson and DeChambeau to Ryder Cup team
Jim Furyk announced Bryson DeChambeau, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods as his first three captain's picks for the United States Ryder Cup team on Tuesday, Sept. 4.
The three will join the eight players who previously earned automatic spots on the U.S. team that will take on Team Europe at Le Golf National in France beginning Sept. 28. Furyk will announce his final captain's pick after this week's BMW Championship.
There was little drama to Tuesday's announcement after DeChambeau won his second consecutive playoff event on Monday. He finished ninth in the Ryder Cup team points race and has climbed to No. 7 in the world while now also leading the FedEx Cup rankings.
"I have to say, I guess, 'thanks,' you made it really easy on the captain," Furyk said with a smile as DeChambeau took the podium next to him.
Mickelson and Woods were considered virtual locks, with both Ryder Cup veterans playing well enough throughout the summer to warrant spots on the team. Woods was already going to be in Paris as a vice-captain, while Mickelson (18-20-7 in Ryder Cup play) has now officially made his 12th consecutive Ryder Cup team.
However, Woods will relinquish his vice-captain duties to focus on playing, with Furyk naming David Duval, Zach Johnson and Matt Kuchar as additional vice-captains Tuesday.
Woods, 42, has as a 13-17-3 record in seven previous Ryder Cup appearances as a player, and is 4-1-2 in singles. It will be his first Ryder Cup since 2012.
"He has been instrumental, not only in helping the captains before me, but me as well," Furyk said. "As far as strategy, as far as planning, as far as pairings ... and I'm going to continue to use that knowledge and that strategy.
"But I also want to make sure ... Tiger gets very focused on that, and I want to free him up. I want to allow him to be able to practice, to prepare and work with his partner or partners in that preparation. So that when he needs to step out it gives him a little bit of freedom and it gives me another set of eyes over there."
The final captain's pick spot is widely considered a choice between Tony Finau and reigning PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Xander Schauffele, with Finau believed to have the advantage with one event remaining.
The eight automatic qualifiers were Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson, Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler and Webb Simpson.
Thomas and DeChambeau are the only current Ryder Cup rookies on the team.
"It's been a treat to be around the Ryder Cup team, and to be able to have this honor is incredible," said DeChambeau, who has three victories in his past 10 worldwide starts. He had just stepped out of the shower when he received a text on Tuesday informing to give Furyk a call.
"That was a tremendous honor. There are some moments in life that are just too good to be true, and that was one of them. But it was true. It was an honor that I will never forget, that will be locked away in my memory for a long time.
The U.S. team won the most recent Ryder Cup in 2016 at Hazeltine in Chaska, Minn., but has not won the event on foreign soil in 25 years.