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Identifying America's best for the 2023 Ryder Cup team

A dozen pros — six of whom will qualify on points — will represent the United States this fall in Italy, but just who should be making the trip? Readers of The First Call offer their choices regardless of qualifying criteria

Ryder Cup
Xander Schauffele, left, Scottie Scheffler and Collin Morikawa during the Sunday singles matches at the Ryder Cup in 2021.

Question of the week [July 31 – August 6]: Imagine you're the 2023 United States Ryder Cup captain, which 12 players do you want making the trip to Italy in late September?

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Current U.S. Ryder Cup Team rankings

Scottie Scheffler 
Wyndham Clark
Max Homa
Patrick Cantlay 
Jordan Speith 
Brian Harman
Collin Morikawa
Cameron Young
Sam Burns
Keegan Bradley
Xander Schauffele 
Rickie Fowler

Big time pass on Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson. They are gone and forgotten in my book.

Terry Fraser
Huntsville, Alabama

The Ryder Cup always comes down to putting. Several of our guys that are slam dunks for the team are going to need help with the putter. I had a relatively easy 10-11 picks when looking at stats, then it got to be a toss up. Here are my 12 paired up:
1-2: Scottie Scheffler and Sam Burns
3-4: Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele 
5-6: Max Homa and Keegan Bradley
7-8: Jordan Speith and Rickie Fowler (sorry Justin Thomas)
9-10: Collin Morikawa and Denny McCarthy
11-12: Wyndham Clark and Tony Finau (or maybe Cam Young)

I’m a big Justin Thomas fan, but I just don’t think because you put him on the team he can find his game in a month. Finau and Young both have balky putters, but they’re both birdie machines. Scheffler and Morikawa really need help inside 6 feet, and Burns and McCarthy fill the bill, and they can play. We don’t need bombers for Italy. 

Barry Duckworth 
Knoxville, Tennessee 

First off, I'd exclude the traitors to the PGA Tour. They now represent the Saudis, not the United States. I'd also disinvite [PGA Tour commissioner] Jay Monahan. He's lost it. 

Then I would pick guys with experience, like Justin Thomas. I'd pick Billy Horschel and maybe, for the fun of it all, John Daly.

Larry Ashe
Chicago, Illinois

Scottie Scheffler, Wyndham Clark, Brian Harman, Brooks Koepka, Xander Schauffele, Patrick Cantlay, Max Homa, Jordan Spieth, Cameron Young, Collin Morikawa, Rickie Fowler, Denny McCarthy.

Reid Farrell
Toronto, Ontario

[QOTW: How would you rate 2023's majors?] The Open Championship, as I attended the first round in person. As soon as I walked into the gate, wearing my 2012 Ryder Cup fleece, a gentleman stopped me and reminded me of the "Miracle at Medinah."  A truly wonderful experience.

Mark Kazich
Darien, Illinois

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