Awkward! Cam Young snubbed from U.S. Ryder Cup team despite Fred Couples’ assurance
It hasn’t been the best sophomore season for Cameron Young, but he knew he was in the running for one of Zach Johnson’s six U.S. Ryder Cup captain’s selections.
After winning the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year award in 2022, Young finished second at the WGC-Match Play and notched top-10s at both the Masters and Open Championship this year. That put him in ninth in the U.S. Ryder Cup standings, just a few spots out of an automatic berth.
Heck, U.S. team vice captain Fred Couples even said a month ago that Young would be on the team.
“Cam Young will be in Italy,” Couples told his co-host George Downing during a segment on his The Fred Couples Show on SiriusXM PGA Tour radio in late July. The pair were running down a list of potential Ryder Cup hopefuls and their prospects of making the team.
At that time, Scottie Scheffler, Wyndham Clark, Brian Harman, Brooks Koepka, Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay were in the automatic qualifying spots, but Couples said Young, Max Homa and Jordan Spieth would all safely make the team too.
Fast forward a month and Couples was only two for three.
With Homa bumping Koepka out of an automatic qualifying spot after the BMW Championship, Johnson announced his captain’s picks Tuesday, giving both Koepka and Spieth their spots, while also tabbing Sam Burns, Rickie Fowler, Collin Morikawa and Justin Thomas.
Young was left, awkwardly, out in the cold.
Johnson was asked specifically about Couples’ comments in regards to Young at the captain’s picks selection press conference Tuesday.
“All of my phone calls were difficult. That goes without saying. It’s part of what I was warned about when it came to those and my vice-captains that have sat in this seat before,” Johnson said. “It did keep me up at night having to make those phone calls, specifically Cam. Phenomenal player, better person. He was nothing but class.
“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.”
Young was the highest-ranked player in the U.S. Ryder Cup standings who did not make the team.
Despite his success in majors, finishing in the top 10 four times in the last seven, Young also went into a significant slump through the late spring and summer in 2023. From the RBC Heritage in April to the Travelers Championship in late June, Young finished better than T51 just one time in seven starts, including missing cuts at the PGA Championship and Memorial Tournament. His season ended at the BMW Championship after a 42nd-place finish in the FedEx Cup.
However, he rebounded with a top-10 at the John Deere Classic before playing in the final group on Sunday at the Open Championship in finishing in a tie for eighth.