Ryder Cup postponed until 2021 due to COVID-19
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Team USA Ryder Cup captain Steve Stricker admitted he said sorry to world No.19 Patrick Reed ‘many times’ after leaving the three-time US player out of his 2021 squad.
In a press conference on Wednesday, Stricker revealed his six wildcard picks to complete his 12-man squad to take on the Europeans in two weeks’ time, however Reed was not one of the men included.
As a result, Jordan Spieth, Xander Schauffele, Tony Finau, Harris English, Daniel Berger and Scottie Scheffler were the six players to earn a spot instead of the 2018 Masters champion, who was eyeing a fourth straight Ryder Cup appearance.
When informing the 31-year-old he was not selected, the captain revealed he apologised ‘many times’ after delivering the disappointing news.
Stricker said: “I apologised many times to him and just wanted to make sure that he knew it was a very difficult decision.”
Despite playing in last week’s FedEx Cup finale at the Tour Championship, Reed had been out of action for four weeks prior, after first picking up an ankle injury before being admitted to hospital with pneumonia towards the end of last month.
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As a result, the American skipper said the nine-time PGA Tour winner’s recent health problems were a key factor in leaving him out of his 12-man Ryder Cup team.
He commented: “That was a very, very difficult call. Kind of lost sleep over that one. He’s a tremendous competitor. He brings a lot to match-play golf.
“His record here at the Ryder Cup is pretty darned good. It was a very difficult call. It wasn’t an easy one. It was just the uncertainty of his health and really the lack of play that led to our decision down the stretch.”
Stricker’s wildcard selections will join up with the six already qualified via the US Ryder Cup standings, after Collin Morikawa, Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas and Patrick all secured their spot at Whistling Straits automatically following August’s BMW Championship.
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Despite Team USA’s squad now being confirmed, ‘Captain America’ Reed could still find himself representing his nation in Wisconsin, with the already qualified Koepka currently suffering from a wrist injury sustained at the Tour Championship last week.
The American captain did address his team’s fitness concerns during his wildcard press conference, adding: “There’s going to be some extra names in the envelope but the 12 guys are the 12 guys at this point.
“We’re going to try to remain and be as safe as possible leading up to the Ryder Cup and throughout that week, so we don’t have to replace anybody. That’s our goal.”
Their opponents Team Europe will confirm their complete playing quota following this week’s BMW PGA Championship, after Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Tommy Fleetwood, Paul Casey and Viktor Hovland were the first five Europeans to have their places confirmed.
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