Sept 3 (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 less suspense than usual, with the names all but picking themselves for the team to face Europe in France this month.
It is inconceivable that 14-times major champion Woods, arguably the greatest player ever, 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, though he did not win either, showed that he is still a player for the big occasion at the age of 42.
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 will need to be replaced in that position once he is named a player.
DeChambeau 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 has 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.
If the captain needed any more convincing, DeChambeau has provided it at this week’s Dell Technologies Championship, where he started the final round on Monday one stroke off the lead.
Furthermore, DeChambeau and Woods have struck up a rapport that suggests they would be good partners in Paris.
DeChambeau, a physics major, brings a scientific approach to a game that is basically a series of physics equations.
Mickelson, meanwhile, has played a record 11 consecutive Ryder Cups, and has 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 him (Furyk) to take me,” Mickelson said on Monday after shooting 63 in the final round of the Dell Technologies Championship.
“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.
Though the 48-year-old has a middling 18-20-7 Ryder Cup record, he would still have a good chance in Paris of becoming the most successful American player of all-time ion 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.
Kevin Kisner, Xander Schauffele and Tony Finau are among the frontrunners for that spot, 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)