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Who qualified for Ryder Cup 2021? Europe and USA teams in full including qualifiers and the captain’s picks

The i 9/26/2021 Tom Bennett

Qualification for the 2021 Ryder Cup is now over with the teams preparing to do battle at Whistling Straits.

The tournament is scheduled to begin on 24 September having been postponed for a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and the two 12-man teams will be eager to finally get going on the banks of Lake Michigan.

Below we take a look at how qualifying worked, who made the two teams automatically and who had to rely on captain’s picks:

Team Europe

Selection for the team was split into three sections as was the case in 2018: European Tour performance, World Tour performance, and the captain’s picks.

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The top four players on the European points list, known as the Race to Dubai, were automatically selected. Then the five leading players on the world points list (who have not already qualified via the Race to Dubai) brought the team total to nine.

Europe’s number of captain’s picks was reduced for 2021, with Padraig Harrington having three additional selections.

The qualification window closed at the PGA BMW Championship, which finished on 12 September.

Europe Ryder Cup team 2021

Automatic qualifiers:

  • 1. John Rahm
  • 2. Tommy Fleetwood
  • 3. Tyrrell Hatton
  • 4. Bernd Wiesberger
  • 5. Rory McIlroy
  • 6. Viktor Hovland
  • 7. Paul Casey
  • 8. Matt Fitzpatrick
  • 9. Lee Westwood

Captain’s picks:

  • 10. Sergio Garcia
  • 11. Shane Lowry
  • 12. Ian Poulter

Lowry was bumped out of the automatic qualification spots by Austrian Bernd Wiesberger at the BMW Championship but the Irishman was given the nod to make his first Ryder Cup appearance.

“We don’t think of him as a rookie, we think of him as a winner and an experienced player,” Harrington explained. “He’s well suited to the team environment, there are plenty of players who are looking to play with Shane.

Harrington explained Garcia’s leadership earned the 41-year-old Spaniard his place, saying: “He’s a talisman for the European team and he’s an amazing player.

“He’s a leader. It’s what he does for the team, he really leads out that team in the Ryder Cup. He’s very versatile and a player who gets out there and gets the job done. I’m relying on him to be a leader.”

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As for Poulter, Harrington admitted he couldn’t refuse the world No 48 another stab at the Ryder Cup considering his heroics down the years: Poulter has lost just six of the 22 matches he has taken part in at the Ryder Cup.

“He’s proved it [his place],” said the captain. “He’s undefeated in singles and brings an unbelievable passion in the team room. He brings an incredible passion to his matches – he lifts himself, his playing partner and his team. Yet can’t pick a player just on that – he’s played brilliant golf all year.

“I’m thrilled. Not only do I get a golfer like Ian Poulter who delivers but also I get him on form.”

Team USA

Dustin Johnson holding a baseball bat: Johnson has guaranteed himself a place on Team USA (Photo: Getty) © Provided by The i Johnson has guaranteed himself a place on Team USA (Photo: Getty)

The Americans went the opposite way from Europe in terms of captain’s picks, increasing the number from four to six.

The initial six positions in the team were chosen from the top six in the USA’s points list, which is taken from prize money in select events since 2019 (all majors and PGA Tour events in 2020 and 2021).

Steve Stricker then added six further picks to complete his team selection.

USA Ryder Cup team 2021

Automatic qualifiers:

  • 1. Collin Morikawa
  • 2. Dustin Johnson
  • 3. Bryson DeChambeau
  • 4. Brooks Koepka
  • 5. Justin Thomas
  • 6. Patrick Cantlay

Captain’s picks:

  • 7. Tony Finau
  • 8. Xander Schauffele
  • 9. Jordan Spieth
  • 10. Harris English
  • 11. Daniel Berger
  • 12. Scottie Scheffler
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“We were looking at the six players to perform here at Whistling Straits and we feel these six fit Whistling Straits to a tee,” Stricker said.

The biggest names to miss out are Patrick Reed, the highest-ranked American player not selected, and veteran Phil Mickelson, the surprise winner of this year’s PGA Championship, who will be a vice-captain after 12 consecutive appearances as a player.

Former Masters champion Reed has a 7-3-2 record in three Ryder Cups with a 3-0 singles record, but has struggled for form this year after suffering from a bout of double pneumonia.

“That was a very, very difficult call. Kinda lost sleep over that one,” Stricker added.

“He is a tremendous competitor, his record at the Ryder Cup is pretty darn good. But I think it was just the uncertainty of his health and really the lack of play that led to our decision down the stretch.”

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