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The US team for this month’s Ryder Cup is complete – and, to the surprise of many, Patrick Reed is NOT in the line-up.
Reed, 31, did not receive one of captain Steve Stricker’s six picks for the COVID-delayed match at Whistling Straits, despite having become something of a talismanic figure for the US since he made his debut in the match at Gleneagles in 2014.
Stricker’s picks instead went to Jordan Spieth, Tony Finau and rookies Xander Schauffele, Harris English, Daniel Berger and Scottie Scheffler.
Reed was recently hospitalised with pneumonia and Stricker explained that weighed heavily in his decision-making.
“That was a very, very difficult call,” said the American skipper. “I kind of lost sleep over that one. He’s a tremendous competitor. He brings a lot to matchplay golf. His record here at the Ryder Cup is pretty darn good. So it was a very difficult call. But I think it was just the uncertainty of his health and really the lack of play that led to our decision.
“I just knew that it was going to be hard, but he took like a true champion and I apologised many times to him. I just wanted to make sure he knew that it was a very difficult decision.”
Stricker added that he and his vice-captains have also debated what to do in the event that automatic qualifier Brooks Koepka is unable to take his place in the side.
The four-time major champion is an injury doubt for the contest after being forced to withdraw from the Tour Championship last weekend with a wrist injury.
Koepka seemingly struck a buried tree root in the act of hitting a wedge shot during the third round at Esst Lake, immediately letting go of the club and recoiling in pain. He tried to play on but walked in on the 13th. Afterwards, he insisted that his withdrawal was purely precautionary but Stricker admitted that he does have some concerns over his fitness.
“As far as Brooks goes, we’ve talked about if we have to replace him, but were not there yet,” he said. “We’re focused on moving forward with these 12 guys and we’ll deal with that situation if it were to happen.”
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