SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France – European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn was careful all week at Le Golf National to remain as humble as possible.
On Sunday as his team celebrated its 17 ½-10 ½ victory he let his guard down, however slightly, when asked about the performance of his captain’s picks.
“I’m not very good at adding up but I’m sure if I put these numbers together, they make the difference in the score,” said Bjorn, whose picks produced 9 ½ of his team’s total. “I think I got it right, they have been fantastic. I couldn’t have dreamt of what they brought on the golf course.”
Bjorn’s picks were Ian Poulter (2-2-0), Paul Casey (1-1-1), Henrik Stenson (3-0-0) and Sergio Garcia (3-1-0). By comparison, U.S. captain Jim Furyk’s picks were not nearly as productive.
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The U.S. captain’s picks of Tiger Woods (0-4-0), Phil Mickelson (0-2-0), Bryson DeChambeau (0-3-0) and Tony Finau (2-1-0) produced just two points, both coming from the rookie Finau.
It’s the lowest total produced by U.S. picks since captain’s were allowed to make selections in 1989. The closest total to this year’s class was in 2014, when there were only three picks (Keegan Bradley, Hunter Mahan and Webb Simpson) and they combined for 2 ½ points.