(Reuters) – Tiger Woods, Bryson DeChambeau and Phil Mickelson are expected to be named on the United States Ryder Cup team when Jim Furyk announces three of his captain’s picks on Tuesday.
Furyk will reveal his selections in Philadelphia but there is little if any suspense, with the players picking themselves for the team to face Europe in France this month.
It is inconceivable that 14-times major champion Woods could be left out after the form he has displayed in his comeback this year from a potentially career-ending back injury.
Woods contended in the final two majors and while not winning either, showed he is still a player for the big occasion at the age of 42.
Despite that, Woods has a less than stellar record of 13-17-3 in seven Ryder Cup appearances. He approached the event with all the enthusiasm of a trip to the dentist in his younger days but has warmed to the team format in recent years.
He is already an assistant captain on Furyk’s team and would need to be replaced in that position if confirmed.
DeChambeau has also made himself virtually impossible to overlook after back-to-back wins at the FedExCup playoffs.
He narrowly failed to make the team automatically, finishing ninth in the standings after the PGA Championship last month, when the top eight locked up the spots.
However, he responded to the challenge in the best possible fashion, an emphatic win at last week’s Northern Trust all but daring Furyk to leave him out.
A follow-up victory at the Dell Technologies Championship on Monday was hardly necessary, but a nice bonus all the same, a result that lifted him to seventh in the world rankings, ahead of heavyweights such as Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth.
Furthermore, DeChambeau and Woods have struck up a rapport that suggests they would be good partners in Paris.
Mickelson has played a record 11 consecutive Ryder Cups and qualified automatically every time.
It is probably not too much to expect one captain’s pick in the twilight of his career.
“Hopefully it will make it … easy for (Furyk) to take me,” Mickelson said on Monday after shooting 63 to tie for 12th at the Dell.
“I’d love to go over there and give it a shot to win for the first time on European soil for quite some time.”
Mickelson has never been on a winning team in his five Cup appearances in Europe. The U.S. last won away from home in 1993.
The 48-year-old has a middling 18-20-7 Ryder Cup record but would still have a good chance in Paris of becoming the most successful American of all-time in the event.
With 21.5 points, he trails only Billy Casper (23.5) and Arnold Palmer (23).
Greater suspense is likely next Monday when Furyk makes one final pick to complete his 12-man team.
Tony Finau, Kevin Kisner and Xander Schauffele are the frontrunners, though a dominant performance by someone at this week’s BMW Championship may change the picture.
(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Ken Ferris)