Phil Mickelson and Tony Finau
Tony Finau was named as Furyk’s final captain’s pick on Monday, and what better way to introduce him to the Ryder Cup than pairing him with veteran Phil Mickelson? Finau is making his Ryder Cup debut in Paris, while Mickelson is appearing in his 12th straight for the American team.
The choice of the 28-year-old Finau to round out the team was an easy one for Furyk. He has 11 top 10s on the PGA Tour this season, tied with Dustin Johnson for most on tour, including the first three major championships this year. He also has three runner-up finishes. That brings Finau to East Lake for the Tour Championship in third place in the FedEx Cup standings with a shot to capture the trophy despite not winning this year. Furyk says that resume was hard to overlook when making his final selection.
“He has an unbelievable body of work this year,” Furyk said in a statement after making the pick. “All those top 10 finishes, the play in big championships and the majors, and then his current form, a second, a fourth and an eighth in the playoffs. He checked a lot of boxes and made it impossible not to pick him.”
Mickelson, meanwhile, earned his first PGA Tour win in nearly five years at the WGC-Mexico Championship in March. He hasn’t finished in the top 10 in a tournament since, however.
The pairing of Finau and Mickelson compliment each other in terms of playing style. Finau is among the longest hitters on the PGA Tour, ranking third in driving distance this year. Mickelson is one of the best putters, fourth in strokes gained: putting. His play around the greens remains unparalleled. The weakness of this group will come in finding the fairway: Finau is 176th in driving accuracy, while Mickelson is 192nd.
Combining Finau’s long drives with Mickelson’s short game touch, however, this group will be hard to beat in Paris.