After Fowler’s collapse, I can’t wait to see the final Ryder Cup team

Published 5:44 pm Tuesday, August 30, 2016

I’ve been saying all golf season that Rickie Fowler was going to have his day on the course.

It was the U.S. Open first, and then I was so sure he would take the British Open. But when it looked like he actually was going to snag a win this weekend at The Barclays… Well, he posted a +3 on the final four holes and slipped to seventh place. Ouch.

I should’ve paid attention to that little statistic that he has never won a tournament while entering the final round with a lead. It was painful watching his score go up as Patrick Reed and others continued to make their shots. Eventually, on that ugly No. 16, the kid double-bogeyed and pretty much sealed the deal for Reed. At that point, it was Reed’s to lose and Fowler would need a miracle to sneak back up and force a playoff, at most.

Email newsletter signup

What’s more disappointing is Fowler was just two strokes short of automatically qualifying for the Ryder Cup in September.

Now he is at U.S. Captain Davis Love III’s mercy on whether or not he joins the U.S. team. Two-thirds of the roster is made up of eight automatic qualifiers: Reed, Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Phil Mickelson, Jimmy Walker, Brooks Koepka, Zach Johnson and Brandt Snedeker.

Not a bad lineup. Love’s challenge will be picking the last four players to round out the team. So how does he do it? Does he pickup 9-12 from the FedEx Cup leaderboard? Or does he have a slightly more meticulous approach, picking the players that mesh well with the other eight, the ones that round out the team a little more thoroughly?

I’m positive Love has his own list in his head, with his own system of qualification. I wouldn’t be shocked if he pulled out a surprise player or two. It might be Fowler, or some of the other big names like Bubba Watson or Matt Kuchar.

Love told ESPN that anybody in the top 100 is on his radar, because anybody could get hot the next two weeks and move himself to the Tour Championship and be in the running for the FedEx Cup. A fair assessment, but I hope he considers the players he trusts, whether they win any of the tournaments this next month or not.

Three players will be picked after the BMW Championship in a few weeks and the final will be picked after the Tour Championship in Atlanta.