6 Big Names Missing From The US Ryder Cup Team

Some of the biggest names to miss out on the chance to play for Team USA at Marco Simone

Images of the Ryder Cup, Keegan Bradley, Cameron Young, Bryson DeChambeau and Tony Finau
Several big names have missed out on a place in the US Ryder Cup team
(Image credit: Getty Images)

After months of speculation, USA Ryder Cup captain Zach Johnson has named his captain's picks for the match at Marco Simone to complete his 12-man team. 

While the likes of LIV Golf player Brooks Koepka, a resurgent Rickie Fowler, and Justin Thomas, who has an enviable Ryder Cup record, are among the six wildcards, plenty of other high-profile players have missed out.

Here are the biggest names who won't be representing Team USA in the Ryder Cup.

Keegan Bradley

Keegan Bradley takes a shot in the Tour Championship at East Lake

Keegan Bradley had hoped to make his first appearance for nine years

(Image credit: Getty Images)

On his chances of being one of Johnson’s wildcards, Bradley recently declared “I think about it every second I’m awake,” but despite his desire to play at Marco Simone, it’s not to be for the 37-year-old and he misses out on a third appearance.

Bradley has an overall record of 4-3-0 in the match from successive appearances in 2012 and 2014, and he certainly gave himself a fighting chance of adding to that in 2023, particularly after his win in the Travelers Championship in June.

However, he fell five places short of an automatic qualifying position, and, with a wealth of options at Johnson's disposal, Bradley is one of the unlucky players to miss out this time round.

Lucas Glover

Lucas Glover takes a shot at the Tour Championship at East Lake

Lucas Glover has failed to make his maiden Ryder Cup team

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Glover’s late bid for a maiden Ryder Cup appearance at the age of 43 failed after he wasn’t named among Johnson’s captain’s picks. 

With little chance of qualifying automatically after a mediocre season, Glover's form took off with back-to-back wins in the St. Jude FedEx Championship and BMW Championship.

Glover probably needed to demonstrate similar heroics in the PGA Tour’s season-closing Tour Championship to make a genuinely compelling case for Johnson to select him, but a T18 wasn’t quite enough.

Cameron Young

Cameron Young in the BMW Championship at Olympia Fields

Cameron Young will have to wait for a maiden Ryder Cup appearance

(Image credit: Getty Images)

During his press conference revealing his captain’s picks, Zach Johnson admitted it had been particularly difficult calling Cameron Young to tell him he hadn’t made the team. It’s easy to see why.

The 2022 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year enjoyed an excellent season, including a T8 in The Open. He also finished T2 in the WGC-Match Play, suggesting he’s well suited to the format.

Even more galling for Young will be the fact he finished ahead of Collin Morikawa, Sam Burns, Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas in the race to qualify automatically, and yet the four were chosen ahead of him.

At the age of 26, there is still plenty of time for Young to become a regular on the USA Ryder Cup team, but he’ll need to wait at least another two years for a debut.

Tony Finau

Tony Finau at the 2021 Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits

Tony Finau won't make a third Ryder Cup appearance at Marco Simone

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Despite featuring in the two most recent matches, there’s no room for Finau this year. His exclusion from it has probably not come as a shock to the player, particularly after he admitted he was "on the outside looking in” before July’s 3M Open. He achieved a T7 in that tournament, but the three FedEx Cup Playoffs that followed weren’t quite as successful.

Finau eventually finished tied for 17th in the Tour Championship, and that wasn’t enough for Johnson to select him for the match for a chance to add to his overall record of 3-3-0.

Bryson DeChambeau

Bryson DeChambeau at the 2021 Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits

Bryson DeChambeau misses out on a third appearance in the match

(Image credit: Getty Images)

While fellow LIV Golf player Brooks Koepka one of Zach Johnson’s six wildcards after just missing out on automatic qualification, there’s no room on the team for any others from the circuit, including DeChambeau.

DeChambeau had appeared in the previous two editions, but his Ryder Cup career didn’t get off to a good start with three defeats in three at Le Golf National in France. Three years later at Whistling Straits it was a different story as DeChambeau won two and halved one of his matches as the USA regained the trophy.

Any thoughts that DeChambeau would be a fixture in the match for years to come were tempered with his LIV Golf move, and, despite top-10 finishes in two of his four Major appearances in 2023, he didn’t move up the points list enough to qualify automatically.

While DeChambeau took his good form into LIV tournaments, too, notably with a 58 on his way to victory at The Greenbrier, it wasn’t enough to persuade Johnson to offer him a third successive appearance.

Dustin Johnson

Dustin Johnson at the LIV Golf Greenbrier tournament

Dustin Johnson's patchy form could have contributed to his absence from the team

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Like DeChambeau, fellow LIV Golf player Johnson didn’t have a near-miss for automatic qualification to help persuade the captain to select him, finishing 34 places beneath Xander Schauffele in the final position.

Unfortunately, for the 39-year-old, he also couldn’t point to some excellent recent form in his effort to make the team, with a T10 in the US Open at Los Angeles Country Club his only real bright spot in Majors in 2023.

Still, Johnson has vast experience in the match, with five appearances and an overall record of 12-9-0, including winning all five of his matches two years ago, so he couldn’t have been easy to overlook.

Other Notables To Miss Out:

Kurt Kitayama with the trophy after his win in the Arnold Palmer Invitational

Kurt Kitayama is one of several players to miss out on the US Ryder Cup team

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Other players who surely weren’t far away from Johnson’s thoughts include Denny McCarthy, who finished 14th in the points list, Arnold Palmer Invitational winner Kurt Kitayama and World No.35 Sahith Theegala.

Meanwhile, another who would surely have been in contention for automatic qualifying were it not for a back injury is Will Zalatoris.

Johnson has revealed that he called everyone from around 22nd to 25th on the points list to inform them of his decision, which hints at the huge number of players at his disposal.

In the end, though, the calibre of players who have failed to make the team perhaps says most about how difficult a task narrowing down the captain’s picks will have been for Johnson.

Now it’s up to those who he has put faith in – along with the automatic qualifiers – to prove he made the right calls.

Mike Hall
News Writer

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.