Ryan Moore can thank Billy Horschel.
After Horschel’s hot run through the 2014 FedExCup after the USA’s captain’s selections had been made and the ensuing European beatdown at the 2014 Ryder Cup in Scotland, the much-discussed U.S. Task Force chose to move the selection of the final captain’s pick for the 2016 competition until after the Tour Championship.
NBC announced that Moore would be Davis Love III’s final captain’s selection during halftime of tonight’s Bears-Cowboys matchup on Sunday Night Football on NBC.
Many thought Bubba Watson might be the pick, despite a recent run of mediocre form. It would’ve been a defensible selection -- Bubba’s the third-highest ranked American in the OWGR and the seventh-best player in the world. There’s also no questioning his desire to play in national team events; he’s on record stating his only goals for 2016 were to make the Olympic and Ryder Cup teams.
But Bubba’s hardly been the hot American, and that selection would not have jived with the whole idea behind pushing back the final captain’s pick. Watson’s been mostly an afterthought in every tournament since the Cadillac Championship at Doral in March — and while there’s been no Billy Horschel-esque performance in the 2016 FedExCup, other Americans had better cases.
Moore was atop that list of names American golf fans were clamoring to see on the roster after a win at the John Deere Classic in August and a hot start to the FedExCup. His performance on Sunday at the Tour Championship probably pushed him over the edge with Love at the very last minute.
Tactically, Moore makes sense on the roster. He’s got a match-play pedigree from his Amateur days, a former winner of the US Public Links and the US Amateur in 2002. And in a format that rewards birdies & eagles and cares not about big numbers, Moore is a perfect fit.
Will say 1 more time— Justin Ray (@JustinRayGC) September 25, 2016
Ryan Moore's PGA Tour ranks since PGA Championship ended
Score to par: 1st
Rounds in 60s: 1st
Moore wasn’t the sexy, flashy pick — Bubba Watson is a name known by most golf agnostics, and he’s not a young gun like Justin Thomas or Daniel Berger. But there’s reason to believe he’ll be the most effective, and he wouldn’t have been on the roster at all had all the picks been made after the BMW Championship.