The picks are in, and Brooks Koepka and Justin Thomas are part of the United States' defense of the Ryder Cup next month in Rome.
Koepka, Sam Burns, Rickie Fowler, Collin Morikawa, Jordan Spieth and Thomas were named as the six captain's picks Tuesday, when Johnson finalized the 2023 U.S. Ryder Cup team roster of 12 looking to snap a 30-year drought on foreign soil.
"A lot of time, lot of energy has gone into this process," first-time captain Zach Johnson said Tuesday morning in Frisco, Texas. "I'm very confident in these six. That confidence comes from simply surrounding myself with great people."
Johnson's six picks join the six players who earned automatic bids — based on the ranking points system — and five vice captains at Marco Simone Golf & Country in Rome, Sept. 29-Oct. 1. The U.S. attempts to win the Ryder Cup for the first time on European soil since 1993.
Patrick Cantlay, Brian Harman, Max Homa, Xander Schauffele, Wyndham Clark and points leader Scottie Scheffler are the six players to automatically qualify for the 2023 Ryder Cup team based on ranking points. Harman, Homa and Clark are Ryder Cup rookies, as is captain's pick Burns.
"To say I'm excited about these gents would be an understatement," Johnson said, touting the experience and versatility available for power pairings in Rome.
Three of four major winners in 2023 are on Johnson's roster. Harman won The Open, Clark won the U.S. Open and Koepka claimed the PGA Championship.
Thomas, 30, is a Ryder Cup veteran but struggled to fall out of the FedEx Cup playoffs by finishing outside the top 70.
Thomas missed five cuts in his last eight starts. He had a horrendous showing at the majors this season that included two rounds over 80. He missed the playoffs for the first time since 2014.
Koepka's only qualifying points toward the Ryder Cup were earned at the major championships because the PGA of America did not count LIV Golf events toward their rankings. Koepka rocketed to No. 2 in the standings when he won the PGA Championship in May, but he then tied for 17th at the U.S. Open and 64th at The Open Championship. Schauffele and Homa moved past Koepka for automatic bids at the BMW Championship, when Koepka was idle.
Johnson, 47, played 22 PGA Tour events this season and gained direct insight into the chemistry he hopes to create.
—Field Level Media