It's been a rough few months for Rickie Fowler, but he'll have the opportunity to make up for all of that in a few days later this month. On Monday, Fowler was one of three players picked by captain Davis Love III to represent the U.S. at the Ryder Cup. Joining Fowler on the squad in Hazeltine Sept. 30-Oct. 2 will be Matt Kuchar and J.B. Holmes.
Love will make one final captain's pick following next week's Tour Championship. That was one of the changes made by the new Ryder Cup task force following 2014 when Billy Horschel won the final two events of the FedEx Cup Playoffs after the American squad was finalized.
Fowler had his PGA Tour season abruptly ended on Sunday with a 59th-place finish at the BMW Championship, which dropped him just .57 points out of the 30th spot in the FedEx Cup standings and out of the field at the Tour Championship at East Lake. Fowler is 0-3-5 in two career Ryder Cup appearances, but seemed a lock to make the team based on his game (No. 9 in the Official World Golf Ranking) and his popularity among his peers.
"There were questions as late as last night," Love said. "We went through a lot of scenarios and talked about a lot of great players, It was a very tough decision."
This is the fourth consecutive Ryder Cup team for Kuchar. He has a 4-5-2 career record in the biennial event.
Holmes previously played on the U.S. team in 2008, the last time the Americans won. Europe has won three straight and six out of seven.
"I was very excited. It's been one of my main goals all year," Holmes said via satellite. "Some of my greatest memories in golf are from the Ryder Cup at Valhalla."
The biggest name not announced on Tuesday was Bubba Watson. The two-time Masters champion is No. 7 in the Official World Golf Ranking, but hasn't had a top 10 since March and only owns a 3-8 career Ryder Cup record.
Jim Furyk, a nine-time Ryder Cup player who recently shot the PGA Tour's first 58 at the Travelers Championship, was also left off the team for now. Furyk will be at Hazeltine as a vice captain along with Tiger Woods, Steve Stricker, and Tom Lehman. Other names being talked about for the last spot include Ryan Moore, Daniel Berger, Bill Haas and Kevin Na.
Eight players had previously qualified for the U.S. team on points. They are Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Jimmy Walker, Zach Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Brandt Snedeker and Patrick Reed.
The European Team going to Hazeltine was set two weeks ago with Darren Clarke's captain's picks of Lee Westwood, Martin Kaymer and Thomas Pieters. The rest of the team is Rory McIlroy, Henrik Stenson, Justin Rose, Sergio Garcia, Danny Willett, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Rafa Cabrera-Bello, Chris Wood, and Andy Sullivan.