Zach Johnson Reveals 'Extremely Difficult' Wildcard Phone Call To Cameron Young

The Team USA Ryder Cup captain says telling Young he wasn't one of his wildcards was the most difficult call he had to make

Cameron Young in the BMW Championship at Olympia Fields
Cameron Young wasn't among Zach Johnson's captain's picks
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Of all the big names to miss out on a place in the US Ryder Cup team, Cameron Young could justifiably feel as hard done by as anyone.

After all, the 2022 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year is 17th in the world rankings, while he has already demonstrated his credentials in match play events as part of the winning team in the 2022 Presidents Cup and a runner-up finish in March’s WGC-Match Play.

Not only that, but he finished ahead of Collin Morikawa, Sam Burns, Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas in the battle to qualify automatically. Although each player missed out via that route, the other four were captain’s picks while Young was omitted.

After revealing the six names that would complete his team for the match, captain Zach Johnson admitted telling the 26-year-old he would not be making his maiden Ryder Cup appearance at Marco Simone near Rome had been the most difficult phone call he made.

He explained: “All of my phone calls were difficult. That goes without saying. It's part of what I was warned about when it came to those and my vice captains that have sat in this seat before. I say that; it did keep me up at night having to make those phone calls, specifically Cam. Phenomenal player, better person. He was nothing but class.”

Those words will likely offer some consolation to Young in light of his omission, but his absence would be even more galling considering that only a month ago, one of Johnson’s vice captains, Fred Couples, stated Young would be in the team. Speaking on his own The Fred Couples Show on Sirius XFM PGA Tour Radio, Couples said: “Cam Young will be in Italy.”

That has failed to transpire, but Johnson addressed Couples’ comment, saying: “Yeah, I know what was said, but I think that was a while back. It was kind of in jest. It is what it is. All of those phone calls were extremely difficult. Fortunately the ones receiving them were beyond classy.”

There will be plenty of disappointed players following the announcement of Johnson’s wildcards. However, given his form and the comment from Couples that he would be heading to Italy, Young may well be hurting more than anyone.

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.