The U.S. Ryder Cup apparatus has reached a point where youth and inexperience are not only preferred, but for the health and the future of the matches, they’re required.
Never has there been a better time to sweep out the veterans who have populated the U.S. team for the last dozen mostly losing years and replace them with the young players who are taking over the game and will lead the Ryder Cup effort going forward.
Six rookies are on captain Steve Stricker’s team going to Whistling Straits in Wisconsin in two weeks and that couldn’t be better news for the Americans. Eight of the 12 players are in their 20s with Dustin Johnson the oldest at 37 and Collin Morikawa the youngest at 24.
In terms of experience, there’s not a ton. It will be the fifth Ryder Cup for Johnson and Jordan Spieth and the third for Brooks Koepka. Justin Thomas, Bryson DeChambeau and Tony Finau were rookies in 2018 in Paris. Thomas was 4-1-0 and Finau 2-1-0 in the 17½-10½ thumping by Europe. In fact, of the six players with previous Ryder Cup experience, four have winning records.
Stricker wasn’t hesitant in the least to choose untested players. Three of his six picks are first-timers. The last time the U.S. team had six rookies was 2008 in an American victory at Valhalla. From 2008 to the present, U.S. rookies are a combined 40-29-17.
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