Ryder Cup: Mahan, Bradley, Simpson handed US wildcards

Hunter Mahan and Keegan Bradley and Webb Simpson
Hunter Mahan and Keegan Bradley and Webb Simpson are the three US wildcards for Gleneagles
2014 Ryder Cup, Gleneagles
Dates: 26-28 September Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live, highlights on BBC Two and live text commentaries on the BBC Sport website each day via desktop, mobile, tablet and app.

US captain Tom Watson has named Keegan Bradley, Hunter Mahan and Webb Simpson as his three wildcard picks for the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles this month.

The trio join Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler, Jim Furyk, Jimmy Walker, Phil Mickelson, Matt Kuchar, Jordan Spieth, Patrick Reed and Zach Johnson.

European captain Paul McGinley earlier named Ian Poulter, Stephen Gallacher and Lee Westwood as his three picks.

The Ryder Cup is set for Gleneagles, Scotland, from 26-28 September.

Europe have won seven of the last nine editions of the biennial matchplay competition.

USA wildcards
KEEGAN BRADLEY, Age 28: Rank: 23 Ryder Cups: 1 (P4 W3 L1 H0) The 2011 US PGA champion formed a formidable partnership with Phil Mickelson at Medinah, winning three matches before losing to Rory McIlroy in the singles.
HUNTER MAHAN, Age: 32 Rank: 20 Ryder Cups: 2 (P8 W3 L2 H3)The winner of the opening FedEx Cup play-off event in the US will make his third appearance. Lost the decisive match to Graeme McDowell in 2010, missed out on 2012.
WEBB SIMPSON, Age 29: Rank: 32 Ryder Cups: 1 (P4 W2 L2 H0)The 2012 US Open champion won two matches with Bubba Watson at Medinah, but lost two against Ian Poulter

Bradley, 28, made his debut at Medinah two years ago when he partnered Phil Mickelson to three wins out of three before losing to Rory McIlroy in the singles.

Ryder Cup 2014: US captain Tom Watson explains wildcard picks

"He is the epitome of someone who wanted to get on the team," said Watson, who captained the US to their last win on European soil at The Belfry in 1993. "He has struggled with it, he wanted to make the team so badly.

"He hits it a long way and has the ability to go low. There are a lot of pluses to Keegan but the main one is his unbridled passion for the Ryder Cup."

Bradley, the 2011 US PGA champion, said the Americans were gunning for "redemption" after they squandered a 10-6 lead going into the singles at Medinah.

"I've made no secret of how important this team is to me and how badly I want to go back and win the Ryder Cup," he said. "I think this is a redemption year for a lot of guys who were on the team in 2012."

United States - the nine automatic qualifiers
NameAgeRankRyder Cups*
Bubba Watson3592 (P8 W3 L5 H0)
Rickie Fowler25111 (P3 W0 L1 H2)
Jim Furyk4478 (P30 W9 L17 H4)
Jimmy Walker35190
Phil Mickelson44109 (P38 W14 L18 H6)
Matt Kuchar3682 (P7 W3 L2 H2)
Jordan Spieth21140
Patrick Reed24270
Zach Johnson38153 (P11 W6 L4 H1)
*(Played, Won, Lost, Halved)

Mahan, who lost to Graeme McDowell in the decisive match in 2010, will make his third Ryder Cup appearance after impressing with victory in August's Barclays event, the first of the four PGA Tour end-of-season play-offs.

"Hunter has had a wonderful stretch of golf recently," said Watson. "If you look at the statistics as I have been for a long time, he led greens in regulation in three of the last four events he played."

The 32-year-old Mahan, who missed out in Chicago two years ago, said he was desperate to make amends for his loss at Celtic Manor, which reduced him to tears in the news conference afterwards.

"Redemption is going to be a strong word for all the players," he said. "We are extremely motivated, we have a lot to prove. We can't wait to get over to Scotland and get ready for battle."

Simpson, 29, the 2012 US Open champion, won two matches with Bubba Watson on his Ryder Cup debut in 2012. He and Watson lost their Saturday morning foursomes to Ian Poulter and Justin Rose and he also lost his singles match to Poulter on the Sunday.

"After struggling with a couple of different players, who was going to be the best for the team, I had a revelation this morning," said the 64-year-old Watson.

"I looked at the last time the Ryder Cup was played and I see Webb Simpson 5&4, Webb Simpson 5&4 and I said 'that's got to be the guy'."

Watson's preparations were disrupted when Dustin Johnson announced he was taking a break from golf because of "personal challenges".

Former world number one Tiger Woods also ruled himself out of contention for a wildcard because of a persistent back problem, while former US PGA champion Jason Dufner has struggled with a neck injury.

Full Ryder Cup coverage details on the BBC


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