Strong Takes

This major champ says not picking Justin Thomas for the Ryder Cup would be 'the worst call ever'

August 23, 2023

Keyur Khamar

Whether Justin Thomas deserves one of Zach Johnson's captain's picks remains the biggest question ahead of next month's Ryder Cup in Rome. But according to a fellow major champ and three-time Presidents Cup vice captain, the decision to take Thomas to Italy with the team should be a no-brainer.

Enter Geoff Ogilvy with the strongest take yet in this debate. The 2006 U.S. Open champ and International Team leader is a huge fan of Thomas, particularly when it comes to match play.

“If they don’t take him, it’s the worst call ever,” Ogilvy told Golfweek on Tuesday. “He’s the best head-to-head match player in the world.”

That's a pretty bold claim, but Ogilvy has certainly witnessed JT's prowess in person as a captain for the past three Presidents Cups. Thomas has compiled a stellar 10-3-2 record in those three events, helping Team USA win each time.

“JT would be my first pick. I’ve been inside the ropes at enough Presidents Cups there’s just no chance you don’t take Justin,” Ogilvy continued. “He does something to the team. He goes out front and leads and fist pumps and makes everyone behind him believe.”

The 30-year-old Thomas is a 15-time PGA Tour winner with two majors, but has been mired in a slump that kept him from qualifying for the FedEx Cup Playoffs.

Six players (Scottie Scheffler, Wyndham Clark, Brian Harman, Patrick Cantlay, Max Homa and Xander Schauffele) have already automatically qualified for the American team. Captain Johnson will make his six captain's picks to round out the squad following this week's Tour Championship.