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Fred Couples, an assistant captain for the U.S. Ryder Cup team, predicted on his radio show last month that Cam Young “will be in Italy” this fall representing the U.S. against the Europeans. Well, Young’s name wasn’t called by Zach Johnson when he announced his six captain’s picks on Tuesday, which puts Couples in a not-so-great spot.
Johnson selected Jordan Spieth, Sam Burns, Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas, Collin Morikawa, and Rickie Fowler with his six captain’s picks. While Couples correctly predicted that Spieth and Homa, who automatically qualified for the team, would be headed to Rome, his boldest prediction of Young didn’t become a reality.
Speaking with the media after announcing his captain’s picks, Johnson explained that informing Young that he wasn’t going to be a part of the team was the hardest phone call he had to make. He also defended Couples’ prediction.
“I say that; it did keep me up at night having to make those phone calls, specifically Cam. Phenomenal player, better person. He was nothing but class,” Johnson said.
“Yeah, I know what was said, but I think that was a while back. It was kind of in jest. It is what it is,” Johnson said when asked about Couples’ prediction. “All of those phone calls were extremely difficult. Fortunately, the ones receiving them were beyond classy.”
Couples is human, therefore he’s wrong sometimes, but it’s not too often you see a person inside the team room share a prediction so boldly and not see it come to light. Credit to Couples for taking the leap tho, most others in his position wouldn’t step out on a limb like that.
Young certainly built a strong case to make the U.S. team having finished ninth in the points standings. Spieth and Koepka were the lone two captain’s picks to finish ahead of him in the season-long standings.
Follow Mark Harris on X @ItIsMarkHarris