Ryder Cup vice-captain Fred Couples says the USA team themselves had something to do with an apparent U-turn on the possible selection of Cam Young and also the exclusion of Keegan Bradley.
Saying “the team has spoken”, Couples explained the players had a say on who made the team and added that Justin Thomas was a “no brainer” despite the stats not being in his favour.
Couples now infamously stated “Cam Young will be in Italy” when seemingly revealing some of Zach Johnson’s picks on his Sirius XFM radio show, which caused even more of a stir when Young didn’t make it.
Johnson even had to explain the comments himself at his Ryder Cup news conference while revealing his six picks.
“I know what was said, but I think that was a while back,” Johnson said of the Couples comments. “It was kind of in jest. It is what it is.”
On his same radio show, Couples suggested that the players already on the team had their say, which may have even overruled what the captain and vice-captains were thinking.
“I’ve got 50 texts today, why two or three guys aren’t on the team. And I don’t have an answer for that. The only answer I have is, this is the team, and the team has spoken,” he said on his Fred Couples Show on SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio.
“And if the team likes another guy a little bit better than that guy who didn’t win six tournaments and do all this, then, then no one has a problem with any of it. “
The selection of Thomas made the most headlines, but although the analytics would not have led to him being picked, Couples said he was for them the strongest of the picks.
“I think the JT thing is the strongest pick,” Couples said of Thomas. “That was a no-brainer. The analytics would say no, the way he plays golf, said yes.”
Thomas player Paris the right way
Couples added that along with Thomas’ strong Ryder Cup record, the way he played Le Golf National in Paris gave him a big edge.
Jim Furk’s side were hammered by Europe in Paris but Thomas went 4-1 as the only American who approached the set-up in the right way – which is what Couples thinks he’ll also do in Rome.
“One of the things, according to Jim Furyk, we didn’t play the course in Paris the way it should’ve been…