It’s all go for January after the R&A and USGA published their finalised Rules of Golf. So what’s coming in? Steve Carroll outlines the changes.
US Ryder Cup wild-card picks are Bradley, Mahan and Simpson
US captain Tom Watson has named Keegan Bradley, Hunter Mahan and Webb Simpson as his three wildcard picks for the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles this month.
Since Watson captained the United States to victory in 1993 at The Belfry, the Americans have lost seven of the nine encounters and the eight-time Major winner’s Ryder Cup experience is desperately needed.
It is something that has been portrayed in his selection of wild-cards too, by offering his wild cards to three players who have all tasted Ryder Cup action before. Mahan has played twice before, while Bradley and Simpson made their debuts two years ago in the dramatic defeat at Medinah.
Mahan has an excellent matchplay pedigree, having won the WGC Accenture Matchplay Championship in Arizona two years ago, before reaching the final when defending his title 12 months later. He was also part of the winning American Ryder Cup team in Kentucky in 2008, before losing at Celtic Manor two years later..
Simpson’s form has improved in recent weeks with four top-10 finishes from his last 10 starts. Simpson said: "Captain Watson gave me a call early this morning. Fortunately I was up, we had a good conversation and he told me I was a pick. I was elated. It was one of the greatest calls I have ever received."
Bradley was equally thrilled and said: "The captain called me and I was pretty emotional. I have made no secret of how important this team is to me and how badly I want to go back and win the Ryder Cup. This is a redemption year for a lot of the guys who were on the team last time." Bradley is without a win in over two years but enjoyed a 75% success rate at the 2012 match in Illinois.
The Ryder Cup is set for Gleneagles, Scotland, from 26-28 September.