U.S. Ryder Cup captain Zach Johnson has filled out his roster for this year's competition, choosing Justin Thomas, Rickie Fowler and Brooks Koepka among his wild-card picks for the 12-man squad.
Johnson also tabbed Jordan Spieth, Collin Morikawa and Sam Burns to round out the U.S. team that will take on their European counterparts Sept. 29-Oct. 1 in Italy.
Of the players who made it, Thomas may be the most controversial pick. He ranked 15th in the Ryder Cup standings, hasn't won on the PGA Tour in 15 months and failed to finish among the top 70 in the FedEx Cup playoffs.
“His passion for the Ryder Cup is very evident,” Johnson said of Thomas during a press conference discussing his selections. “In my mind, he was born for this and you just don’t leave JT at home.”
Meanwhile, Cameron Young (No. 9 in the Ryder Cup standings) and Keegan Bradley (No. 11 and a two-time winner on tour this season) did not make the U.S. team.
The captain's picks will join the six automatic qualifiers – reigning Masters champ Scottie Scheffler, U.S. Open winner Wyndham Clark and British Open champion Brian Harman, along with Patrick Cantlay, Max Homa and Xander Schauffele – at Marco Simone outside Rome next month.
The Americans haven't won on European soil since 1993 at The Belfry in England.
Europe's roster will be finalized after this week's European Masters in Switzerland.