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Ryder Cup 2014: The Teams Are Set


With today's announcement of the captains' picks, the teams are finalized, and the buildup to golf's most pressure-packed event can begin in earnest. After a miracle comeback at the Ryder Cup Matches at Medinah in 2012, Europe is the prohibitive favorite to retain the Cup on home turf, as Tom Watson takes a shorthanded American team to Scotland for the most pressure-packed event in golf. Can a U.S. team led by crafty veteran Phil Mickelson and young gun Rickie Fowler upset a European powerhouse led by four-time major champion Rory McIlroy and Ryder Cup maestro Sergio Garcia?

Today, European captain Paul McGinley put the finishing touches on his team with the selection of Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood and Scot Stephen Gallacher, a Ryder Cup rookie who will delight the partisans at Gleneagles. Tom Watson countered with Keegan Bradley, who had a successful pairing with Phil Mickelson in 2012 at Medinah, along with Barclays winner Hunter Mahan and 2012 U.S. Open winner Webb Simpson. So, at last, here are the respective 12-man teams making the trip to Scotland:

Team USA

Tom Watson, Captain

Raymond Floyd and Andy North, Vice Captains

Keegan Bradley*

Ryder Cup Record: 3-1-0

Rickie Fowler

Ryder Cup Record: 0-1-2

Jim Furyk

Ryder Cup Record: 9-17-4

Zach Johnson

Ryder Cup Record: 6-4-1

Matt Kuchar

Ryder Cup Record: 3-2-2

Hunter Mahan*

Ryder Cup Record: 3-2-3

Phil Mickelson

Ryder Cup Record: 14-18-6

Patrick Reed

Ryder Cup Record: First appearance

Webb Simpson

Ryder Cup Record: 2-2

Jordan Spieth

Ryder Cup Record: First appearance

Jimmy Walker

Ryder Cup Record: First appearance

Bubba Watson

Ryder Cup Record: 3-5

Team Europe

Paul McGinley, Captain

Des Smyth and Sam Torrance, Vice Captains

Thomas Bjorn

Ryder Cup Record: 3-2-1

Jamie Donaldson

Ryder Cup Record: First appearance

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Victor Dubuisson

Ryder Cup Record: First appearance

Stephen Gallacher*

Ryder Cup Record: First appearance

Sergio Garcia

Ryder Cup Record: 16-8-4

Martin Kaymer

Ryder Cup Record: 3-2

Graeme McDowell

Ryder Cup Record: 5-5-2

Rory McIlroy

Ryder Cup Record: 4-3-2

Ian Poulter*

Ryder Cup Record: 12-3

Justin Rose

Ryder Cup Record: 6-3

Henrik Stenson

Ryder Cup Record: 2-3-2

Lee Westwood*

Ryder Cup Record: 18-13-6

*Captain's Pick

Missing in Action

The U.S. team, already an underdog, faces even longer odds with the absence of some key players:

• Tiger Woods

Ryder Cup Record: 13-17-3

Tiger's balky back is his latest physical impediment and caused him to shut it down for the year following a missed cut at the PGA Championship. Despite his lackluster Ryder Cup record, his experience and aura will be missed. Said one PGA Tour pro: "You can’t tell me at least half the European side would not be a little afraid if it came down to a singles match against Tiger on Sunday."

• Dustin Johnson

Ryder Cup Record: 3-3

Johnson is in golf exile, either self-imposed or Tour-imposed, while he deals with "personal challenges." The eight-time winner on Tour was a bright spot for a disappointing U.S. team in 2012, winning his singles match and posting a match record of 3-0. "As one of the longest hitters in the game with an undefeated record of 3-0 at Medinah in 2012, he has clearly been an asset for the United States team," said U.S. captain Tom Watson.

• Jason Dufner

Ryder Cup Record: 3-1

Like Johnson, Dufner was a stalwart for the 2012 U.S. team, posting a 3-1 record and winning his singles match against Peter Hanson amid a U.S. collapse. Dufner couldn't defend his 2013 PGA Championship title due to an arthritic condition in his neck.