Bradley, Mahan and Simpson named as U.S. wildcards

Tue Sep 2, 2014 9:05pm EDT
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By Larry Fine

NEW YORK (Reuters) - United States captain Tom Watson, helped by a late "revelation", opted for experience and form in choosing Keegan Bradley, Hunter Mahan and Webb Simpson as his wildcard picks for this month's Ryder Cup against Europe.

Watson announced Bradley, Mahan and Simpson, all of them former Ryder Cup players, as his three selections during a glitzy news conference at Studio 8H, the home of 'Saturday Night Live', at Rockefeller Plaza.

The trio join automatic choices Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler, Jim Furyk, Jimmy Walker, Phil Mickelson, Matt Kuchar, Jordan Spieth, Patrick Reed and Zach Johnson on the 12-man American team.

"There were several people in the mix for my three picks," Watson said after the announcement. "Experience was a big factor. All three (wildcard) players have either an even record or a winning record playing in the Ryder Cup.

"A lot of players are starting to play well from the American side and that's a good thing. We are going to need it.

"The Europeans, on paper, have been touted as being the favorites and we are the underdogs but I have a fundamental belief in my team."

The Americans will take on Paul McGinley's European team, the holders, in the 40th edition of the biennial competition from Sept. 26-28 at Gleneagles in Scotland.

Bradley, 28, has won three times on the PGA Tour, including a first major crown at the 2011 PGA Championship, and was undefeated in Ryder Cup team play as a rookie after being paired with Mickelson at Medinah two years ago.   Continued...

Ryder Cup team U.S. captain Tom Watson smiles as he announces that Hunter Mahan (on screen) will be one of his three picks to add to this year's Ryder Cup squad during an event in New York September 2, 2014.REUTERS/Lucas Jackson