The 11 Most Obscure Americans In Ryder Cup History


The 11 Most Obscure Americans In Ryder Cup History

September 03, 2014

Jeff Overton (2010)

The only U.S. team member of the modern era without a PGA Tour win, Overton did have four runner-up finishes when he qualified for the 2010 squad. He left his mark on the event with his fiery "Boom, Baby!" reaction after holing a shot on the eighth hole at Celtic Manor in a Friday four-ball. Overton played fairly well, going 2-2 in his matches, but the U.S. fell to Europe by a point.

Boo Weekley (2008)

OK, so you might remember him doing the "Happy Gilmour" bull ride dance down the fairway" during the 2008 Ryder Cup at Valhalla. Weekley qualified for the team only because of Tiger Woods being injured, but he went 2-0-1 in helping the U.S. score an unlikely win.

J.B. Holmes (2008)

If Weekley only made the 2008 squad because of an injury, Holmes, 18th in the Ryder Cup standings at the time, was only at Valhalla because Paul Azinger let the players make three of the captain's picks. In what Azinger dubbed the "redneck" pod, Kenny Perry, Jim Furyk and Weekley chose Holmes. Due to his Kentucky ties, Holmes seemed like a good fit and he was, matching Weekley with a 2-0-1 record during the Americans' resounding victory. Davis Love was hoping for a similar outcome when he made Holmes a pick on this year's squad. Holmes is certainly not obscure anymore, but he's probably still the most surprising two-time Team USA member.

Brett Wetterich (2006)

The long-hitting Wetterich made more than $5 million on the course from 2006 through 2007, including winning his only PGA Tour title at the 2006 Byron Nelson. But he made the team despite being ranked only 68th in the world ranking, and his PGA Tour earnings for the rest of his career are less than $2 million.

Vaughn Taylor (2006)

At this point in his career, Taylor had two PGA Tour wins, but both came in the Reno-Tahoe Open, an opposite-field event to the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational (He added a surprising third at Pebble Beach in 2016). Captain Tom Lehman only used him once the first two days, but Taylor and partner Chad Campbell managed a halve against the formidable pairing of Colin Montgomerie and Lee Westwood in a Saturday foursomes match. He got crushed by Henrik Stenson in singles on Sunday and the U.S. matched its most lopsided defeat ever.

J.J. Henry (2006)

Despite just three career PGA Tour titles, Henry has made more than $15 million in earnings. However, he has never finished in the top 25 of a major championship in 20 attempts. You probably won't remember what he did at the K Club because he didn't win or lose any of his three matches. Not surprisingly, this 2006 U.S. team with three surprising members (Wetterich, Taylor and Henry were all ranked No. 60 or below in the OWGR) got drubbed by Europe, 18.5-9.5.

Chris Riley (2004)

You might remember him as the guy who reportedly was too "drained" to play with Tiger Woods on Saturday afternoon after the pair beat Ian Poulter and Darren Clarke in a four-ball match in the morning. Riley was the 10th and last qualifier for the 2004 squad and his lone PGA Tour win came at the 2002 Reno-Tahoe Open.

Ken Green (1989)

Green has the most PGA Tour titles of anyone on this list (5), but he never won after making the team at 31 and only had one career top-10 finish at a major. In his lone Ryder Cup appearance, he went 2-2 -- a fitting record for an event that ended in a tie and with Europe retaining the cup it won in 1987.

Dan Pohl (1987)

From 1986-1988 Pohl was one of the top players on the PGA Tour, but he never came close to qualifying for another Ryder Cup. His lone two tour titles came in 1986.

Mark Hayes (1979)

Hayes had three career PGA Tour wins, including the 1977 Players, but he was two and a half years removed from that final tour title by the time he made the 1979 squad as a last-minute alternate for Tom Watson, who left to be with his wife, Linda, for the birth of their first child. Hayes went 1-2, but the U.S. cruised to a 17-11 victory.

Jerry McGee (1977)

McGee won all four of his PGA Tour titles between 1975 and 1979 before retiring from the tour in 1981 due to shoulder troubles. McGee went 1-1 during the Americans' win, and he remains very connected to the game as the father-in-law of Annika Sorenstam.

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