January 16, 2019

Tony Finau named final US Ryder Cup wild-card pick

13 September 2018, 05:50 | Pamela Mathis

In bloom Justin Rose takes a one-stroke lead into today’s final roundBILL STREICHER

In bloom Justin Rose takes a one-stroke lead into today’s final round

Jim Furyk selected Tony Finau with his fourth and final captain's pick on Monday to round out the 2018 U.S. Ryder Cup team.

Finau had been considered a hot favorite based on his strong recent form.

"He has an unbelievable body of work this year", Jim Furyk, the USA captain, said.

But he may opt to delay that announcement until the conclusion of the BMW Championship, with the likes of Schauffele, Tony Finau and Kevin Kisner thought to be the most likely candidates for the 12th and final spot. "He checked a lot of boxes and made it impossible not to go for him".

America, who triumphed 17-11 in Hazeltine two years ago, head into the biennial competition bidding to win on European soil for the first time since way back in 1993, having failed to win on any of their last five visits, while 1993 was also the year that the States last successfully defended the coveted trophy following a 15-13 victory at The Belfry. "I'm in a position where I feel like a win is the only way I'd even be in consideration", Schauffele said.

"I'm so excited to be on the Ryder Cup team, and I can not wait to get to Paris", said Finau.

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More recently, he has posted top-10 finishes in all three FedEx Cup Playoff events and is in line for a huge bonus if he plays well in the Tour Championship. Played good in big moments. Furyk had known about Finau's prodigious length -Finau ranks third on the PGA Tour in driving distance, at 316.3 yards - but the captain walked away having watched a player who has plenty of game beyond his length.

Furyk chose Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau with his first three picks on September 4.

The eight Americans who qualified on their own were Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Rickie Fowler, Bubba Watson, Webb Simpson and Patrick Reed.

Finau's stand-out performances in high-pressure and high-profile tournaments will put him in great stead for the pressure pit that is the Ryder Cup.

Regardless of which player is chosen for the final spot, the USA should have a strong team heading into Paris.

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