Jordan Spieth was chosen by U.S. captain Fred Couples, making him the first PGA Tour rookie to be named to the U.S. team in golf’s Presidents Cup.
Couples also chose 2012 U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson to complete his 12-man roster for the biennial event. Australian Marc Leishman and Zimbabwean Brendon de Jonge were added by captain Nick Price to his team of international non-Europeans.
While Spieth ranked 22nd on the points list, he has six top-10 tournament finishes this year and won the John Deere Classic in July to become the youngest PGA Tour winner since 1931. He shot 7-under par 64 in the final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship to finish fourth, two days before Couples selected him.
“I feel like he is one of our top players, even though he is only 20,” Couples said. “I’m excited to have a young kid on the team. Everybody I talked to on the team wanted Spieth. He definitely deserves it.”
Spieth, Leishman and de Jonge will each be making their first appearance in the event. It’s the second time three rookies were added as captain’s picks.
Simpson, 28, was set to gain an automatic berth before Zach Johnson knocked him to the 11th spot with a putt on the final hole of Monday’s Deutsche Bank Championship.
“All along, I was going to take No. 11,” Couples said. “And with Webb being in the top 10 for two years only to get pushed out with one putt - there was no way I could leave him off.”
The U.S. team also includes automatic qualifiers Tiger Woods, Brandt Snedeker, Phil Mickelson, Matt Kuchar, Jason Dufner, Keegan Bradley, Steve Stricker, Bill Haas, Hunter Mahan and Johnson.
Leishman and de Jonge join fellow International team rookies Louis Oosthuizen, Branden Grace and Richard Sterne of South Africa, Hideki Matsuyama (Japan) and Graham DeLaet (Canada). Other International players include Australians Adam Scott and Jason Day, South Africans Charl Schwartzel and Ernie Els and Angel Cabrera of Argentina.
The Presidents Cup is scheduled for Oct. 3-6 at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio. The U.S. holds a 7-1-1 lead in the event, which debuted in 1994.