Rory McIlroy: Other U.S. Ryder Cuppers he’d rather face than JT

Rory McIlroy: Other U.S. Ryder Cuppers he’d rather face than JT
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For all the criticism that’s been aimed at Justin Thomas regarding Thomas’ inclusion on this year’s U.S. Ryder Cup team, Thomas doesn’t lack support.

Consider Rory McIlroy one of Thomas’ backers.

“I felt the conversation around [Thomas being selected as a captain’s pick] was completely unjustified,” McIlroy said recently on’s Subpar Podcast with Colt Knost and Drew Stoltz. “Because, in my opinion, being a European and knowing that I have to face some of these guys, honestly there are other guys on that team that I’d rather face than JT. So, to me it was a no-brainer. Even though he’s not had the best year and he’s struggled to perform, JT’s still one of the first guys that you put down on that tee sheet for the U.S.”

Thomas is 6-2-1, including 2-0 in singles, in two Ryder Cup appearances, but he’s slipped from inside the top 10 of the Official World Golf Ranking to No. 24 while posting no wins and only three top-10s this year.

Knost compared Thomas being tabbed as a pick to Ian Poulter’s selections in recent Cups, where reputation has superseded current form.

McIlroy had a different parallel.

“I think comparing JT to Ian Poulter does JT a little bit of a disservice in terms of their CVs and their careers and everything,” McIlroy said. “But to me, if you’re going to compare him to someone on the European team over the years, it’s probably Sergio, just in terms of that fire and that passion and obviously the resume that he has. … I totally expected [JT] to be on the team.”

“It’s a really, really strong U.S. team,” McIlroy added, “and if I were Zach, I’d be really happy with the guys that I’ve got.”

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