Fred Couples added Jordan Spieth and Webb Simpson as his captain’s picks for the U.S. team that will play in the Presidents Cup next month.
The selections were announced Wednesday for the biennial matches against an International team on Oct. 3-6 at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio.
Spieth and Simpson join the 10 players who qualified on points: Tiger Woods, Brandt Snedeker, Phil Mickelson, Matt Kuchar, Jason Dufner, Keegan Bradley, Steve Stricker, Bill Haas, Hunter Mahan and Zach Johnson. All 10 U.S. qualifiers have experience in the Ryder Cup or Presidents Cup.
Others presumed to have been in the running for the captain’s spots were Steve Stricker, Jim Furyk, Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler and Dustin Johnson.
The 20-year-old Spieth came out of nowhere to make the team. He won the John Deere Classic in July at age 19 and also has eight top-10 finishes this year, including a tie for fourth in the Deutsche Bank Championship when he finished with three birdies and an eagle on the
final four holes for a 62.
Couples said he texted Furyk on Tuesday night because “I just couldn’t handle” calling him with the news.
“The two guys I wanted dearly to be on the team were Steve Stricker and Jim Furyk,” Couples said, according to CBSSports.com.
The International team will be composed of Brendon de Jonge, Marc Leishman, Adam Scott, Jason Day, Charl Schwartzel, Ernie Els, Louis Oosthuizen, Branden Grace, Richard Sterne, Hideki Matsuyama, Graham DeLaet and Angel Cabrera.
Since the event began in 1994, the U.S. team has a 7-1-1 record. Its only loss came in 1998 at Royal Melbourne.