Philadelphia - Tony Finau, a long-driving American golfer of
Tongan and Samoan heritage, was named to the final vacant spot on the US Ryder
Cup team on Monday by US captain Jim Furyk.
The 28-year-old from Utah completes the 12-man American line-up
that will defend the trophy against Europe in the biennial team golf showdown
on September 28-30 at Le Golf National in France.
Finau, who won his only US PGA title at the 2016 Puerto Rico
Open, had three top-10 major finishes this season - sharing 10th at the
Masters, taking fifth at the US Open and sharing ninth at the British Open.
"We were looking for guys who had a great body of work
all year. He had 11 top 10s. Played good in big moments. He had three top 10s
in majors," Furyk said.
Finau boosted his chances by joining a group that played at
Le Golf National earlier this year.
"I liked what I saw," Furyk said of Finau's play
on the French host layout. "He had a lot of support from our vice
captains. Ultimately, I thought he was our best pick."
The Americans, who haven't won in Europe since 1993, figure
to add power and endurance with Finau, who filmed a message of reaction from a
plane as he left Monday's final round of the PGA BMW Championship for a charity
event in Utah.
"I'm so excited to be on the Ryder Cup team,"
Finau said. "I can't wait to get to Paris."
Finau played alongside Furyk for the first two rounds at
last month's PGA Championship. The third man in that group was Xander
Schauffele, who was seen as Finau's most likely rival for Furyk's final pick.
Schauffele made a run at the BMW title but came up short,
settling for a share of third after a 63-64 (13-under-par) start. Finau shared
eighth after a closing 65.
Tiger Woods, a 14-time major champion back on form after
spinal fusion surgery, was named a captain's pick last week along with
left-hander Phil Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau.
Eight other US players made the roster after last month's
PGA Championship after a two-year qualifying period - Dustin Johnson, Brooks
Koepka, Patrick Reed, Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, Webb Simpson, Rickie Fowler
and Bubba Watson.
Reed is the reigning Masters champion while Koepka won his
second consecutive US Open title in June and followed by taking the PGA last
month for his third major crown.