The Ryder Cup has often served as a major platform for many young golfers to showcase their skills on the international stage. The competition is easily one of the most-watched golfing tournaments and performing exceptionally is a dream for many rookies.
This year captain Zach Johnson has decided to select four rookies in his team who can make a lasting impact. Wyndham Clark, Brian Harman, Max Homa and Sam Burns are the four debutants lining up for team USA. These four names have multiple PGA Tour victories amongst them and can be beneficial for their team.
Interestingly, rookies have played an important role in the Ryder Cup several times in its history. Many key players now were once rookies who wanted to make a name for themselves. For example, Scottie Scheffler who is currently first in the PGA Tour rankings made his Cup debut in 2021. The class of 2021 had six rookies who won the event with a remarkable score of 19-9.
On the other hand, the story at Le National in 2018 was completely different. Team USA lost out to the in-form team Europe and they went with two rookies at the time. Tony Finau and Bryson DeChambeau failed to make a lasting impact as Finau garnered two points and DeChambeau struggled with a 0-3-0 record.
However, the rookies were impressive at the 2014 Ryder Cup despite team USA losing Gleneagles. Jordan Spieth was a breath of fresh air along with Patrick Reed and Jimmy Walker who made their debut that year. Spieth and Reed developed an impressive partnership and won at fourballs cementing their place in future events. Aditionally, they were the ones who kept team USA in the hunt when everything seemed lost.
Interestingly, 34-year-old Rickie Fowler had an exceptional start to his Ryder Cup career. He appeared as a rookie in the 2010 event when he was just 21 years old. Fowler stole the show on the last day despite team USA losing the event. Fowler was also the first PGA Tour rookie to make the cut for team USA.
Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele had an inspiring rookie campaign at the 2021 Ryder Cup
The 2021 Ryder Cup at Whistling Straights will go down in history for many reasons, one of which was the great performance by rookies' Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele. Both of them were part of the new rookie class including Scottie Scheffler, Collin Morikawa, Harris English, and Daniel Berger.
However, it was the partnership of Cantlay and Schauffele that was sensational and dealt a heavy blow to team Europe. They went 2-0 in foursomes showing their potential partnership for the future.
Their captain Steve Stricker was impressed with their performance and applauded them whilie speaking about their chemistry.
“(Cantlay and Schauffele) just enjoy being around each other, and that’s half the battle when you try to pair guys up."
Steve Stricker stated via rydercup.com:
“Each of their games complements the other one. That’s another thing when you put guys together, especially in foursomes, that you want their games to complement each other. Theirs do.”