(Reuters) – Ryan Moore was named the final member of the United States Ryder Cup team on Sunday, a consolation prize after he lost a playoff two hours earlier at the Tour Championship.
Moore’s clutch putting under pressure at the PGA Tour’s season-ending event at East Lake did enough to impress captain Davis Love, who rounded out his team with his fourth and final wildcard pick for next week’s contest against Europe in Chaska, Minnesota.
Moore was one of a string of players, also including Bubba Watson, Justin Thomas and Daniel Berger, who arrived at the Tour Championship in the running for the final berth on the American team.
Nobody did more to impress Love than Moore, who sank a clutch 10-foot putt at the first playoff hole to stave off defeat, before finally succumbing to Rory McIlroy three holes later.
“Ryan fits so well with what we have in place,” Love said in a statement. “He’s an easy-going, thoughtful guy, but don’t be fooled, Ryan’s a great matchplay player with an incredible match-play record.
“He has guts and determination, and everyone saw that today. We are thrilled to have him with us.”
Although he will be making his Ryder Cup debut at Hazeltine, Moore is no stranger to representing his country, as he has played in the Walker Cup, Palmer Cup and the World Amateur Team Championship during his career.
Thirteen days ago, Love selected Rickie Fowler, JB Holmes and Matt Kuchar as his first three captain’s picks.
The eight automatic U.S. qualifiers, confirmed after last month’s Barclays tournament, are: U.S. Open champion Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Phil Mickelson, Patrick Reed, PGA Championship winner Jimmy Walker, Brooks Koepka, Brandt Snedeker and Zach Johnson.
The U.S. will bid to end a dominant run by the Europeans, who have won three consecutive Ryder Cups and eight of the last 10, when the three-day competition starts on Friday at Hazeltine National.
The selection of Moore means twice Masters champion Watson, the world number seven, will be absent from Hazeltine.
Watson, Thomas and Berger accepted an invitation last Sunday and Monday to visit Hazeltine.
Moore was also invited, but declined, saying he wanted to focus on the Tour Championship, a decision that Love appears to have respected.
(Reporting by Andrew Both; Editing by Frank Pingue)