Martin Kaymer will make his fourth appearance in the Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National Golf Club later this week.
His Miracle at Medinah-clinching putt rather massages a good (.55%) but far from scintillating Ryder Cup record. On debut in 2010 he won 2.5 points from 3 matches on the first two days before being rumbled 6&4 by Dustin Johnson. At Medinah he lost a fourball contest with Justin Rose and wasn't seen again until the final day, when he played poorly (he was in a form dip at the time), but valiantly scraped that vital point against Steve Stricker. Two years ago he eked half a point from two foursome outings with Thomas Bjorn before defeating Bubba Watson 4&2. He's 20-17 in all match play singles with a standout result this year being an 8&6 drubbing at the hands of Zach Johnson in this year's WGC World Match Play. Hasn't won since claiming the 2014 US Open, even when holding a 6-shot 54-hole lead in the 2015 Abu Dhabi Golf Championship. Finished T6 at the 2009 PGA Championship hosted by Hazeltine.
Rory McIlroy makes his way to Hazeltine National Golf Club as a golfer at the height of his game and ready to impose himself on the 2016 Ryder Cup.
This will be the Northern Irishman's fourth appearance and he has come a long way from the early controversy, pre-2010 debut, of suggesting it was a mere exhibition. He is 3-2-1 in foursomes, 2-0-1 in singles, and surprisingly just 1-2-2 in fourballs, for an overall record of .57% 6-4-4 which is solid rather than spectacular. But if ever a man enters the match on the crest of a wave it must be McIlroy this week: he not only triumphed in last week's Tour Championship, his second victory in the FedEx Cup play-offs after claiming the Deutsche Bank Championship, but also picked up the end-of-season pot of loot and will have seen the reaction of his team-mates at the airport, cheering wildly as his winning putt dropped in the hole. He'll also be buoyed by his improved putting stats, which seem to have been boosted by work with Phil Kenyon in recent weeks and the move away from Nike equipment. Was T3 in the Hazeltine-hosted 2009 PGA Championship, ranking second for Ball-striking.
Thomas Pieters will draw on his college experience when he debuts in the Ryder Cup this week at Hazeltine National Golf Club.
There is precious little match play golf to judge the Belgian on, but a defeat of team-mate Chris Wood, a halved match with Adam Scott and defeat by Bill Haas in this year's WGC World Match Play reads better than his pro head-to-head debut when trumped by David Drysdale in last year's Paul Lawrie Match Play. What we do know is that his captain Darren Clarke was swayed into picking Pieters based on his length from the tee, his promise and his audacious play in the weeks leading up to the wildcard selection, most pertinently the way he finished with three straight birdies to win the Made in Denmark tournament. His experience of playing in America is limited as a professional (T76 in the Arnold Palmer Invitational, T86 in the PGA Championship, T28 in the WGC World Match Play; all this year) but he enjoyed a smart college career at the University of Illinois, taking down Jordan Spieth and Patrick Cantlay to win the NCAA Division I Golf Championship.
World No. 2 Dustin Johnson seeks his first taste of Ryder Cup team success as he preps for the 41st edition, held at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota.
DJ displays a very strong individual Ryder Cup record, when you consider he's been a part of two losing teams (2010, 2012). Johnson is 4-3-0 in his matches, including a perfect 2-0-0 in singles. The 32-year-old just capped off the 2015-16 season that featured 15 top 10s, including three wins, one being his first major championship victory. With his lone weakness being accuracy off the tee, it's important that Davis Love III pairs him with someone that is good out of the thick stuff, at least in the alternate-shot foursomes format. Brandt Snedeker, Jimmy Walker, and Rickie Fowler all fit that bill as they rank top 50 in proximity from the rough. Expect Johnson to be used early and often this week for the Americans, making him a very good candidate to be top point scorer for the U.S. side.
Matt Kuchar received one of four captain's pick for the American squad at the 2016 Ryder Cup and he'll look to make Davis Love III proud as he takes on Hazeltine National Golf Club this week in Chaska, Minnesota.
Kuchar is making his fourth appearance at the biennial event (2010, 2012, 2014) but he's yet to taste victory. Diving into his personal record, he is 4-5-2 with the four-balls format being his highlight at 2-1-2. On paper, Kuchar can be paired with anyone since he doesn't have any glaring weaknesses, ranking top 50 in all strokes gained sub-categories. His chipper personality is hard to not get along with, as well. As the 2013 WGC-Match Play champion we know he can handle the head-to-head format, but he's just 1-2-0 in Ryder Cup singles heading into the week.
Brandt Snedeker looks to improve upon his undesirable Ryder Cup record as he takes his talents to Hazeltine National Golf Club for the 41st running of the event.
The Vandy product is 1-2-0 in his Ryder Cup career, playing only the 2012 edition at Medinah. Paired up with Jim Furyk, the duo split foursome matches with the heavy-hitters Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell before Snedeker would go on to lose his singles match to Paul Lawrie on Sunday. Furyk is not on the team this time so perhaps they'll pair him with Ryan Moore who brings a similar fairways-and-greens style ala Furyk, or they could pair him with fellow Southerner J.B. Holmes for the Kentucky-Tennessee connection. With Snedeker ranking seventh on TOUR in proximity from the rough, Holmes may actually be an ideal alternate shot partner.
Sergio Garcia, who owns the sixth best percentage rate of all-time European players, will tee it up in the Ryder Cup for the eighth time at Hazeltine National Golf Club this week.
The 36-year-old keeps the Spanish flame burning in this event, the one which has blazed so brightly since lit by Ballesteros and fanned by Olazabal. His overall record of 18-9-5 adds up to an excellent .64%. Delve deeper and you see he has a superb foursomes record (9-2-2), a fine fourball logbook (6-3-3) but is surprisingly weak in the singles (3-4-0). Will he be reunited with Lee Westwood in alternate shot? It would be no surprise since they are undefeated in foursomes with three wins and two halves (both players are on the brink of becoming Europe's winningest foursome performers in history). He's not extended himself in 2016, but scheduled with this match, the majors and the Olympics in mind. He won the Byron Nelson Championship, finished T5 in the U.S. Open and Open Championship, T8 in the Olympics, but lasted only two weeks in the FedEx Cup play-offs.
Ryder Cup rookie Matthew Fitzpatrick will tee it up at Hazeltine National Golf Club, in the 41st edition of the match.
The 22-year-old winner of the 2013 U.S. Amateur Championship took a little time getting to grips with pro golf but then surged onto his first Ryder Cup team with two victories in the qualifying period, the 2015 British Masters and this year's Nordea Masters. He did suffer a lapse in form through the heart of the summer, that second win apart, but has righted those concerns somewhat with three top 20 finishes in his last four stroke play starts. He holds a 5-4 record in individual match play, which includes heavy defeats by Patrick Reed (4&3) and Phil Mickelson (5&4) in this year's WGC World Match Play. Teamed up with Lee Westwood to clinch a 5&4 foursomes win in the EurAsia Cup in January, whilst he lost 3&1 in fourballs with Danny Willett. A dead-eye putter as an amateur, it is his tee-to-green game which has prospered in the pro ranks (10th for GIR in the season's ranking, 7th last year). His slight frame and low key demeanour masks a tough cookie.