Former University of Kentucky golfer J.B. Holmes is headed back to the Ryder Cup.
Holmes, a graduate of Taylor County High School, was among three players chosen by U.S. Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III on Monday, joining Rickie Fowler and Matt Kuchar.
Holmes, 34, has played in the Ryder Cup once previously. He posted a 2-0-1 record in 2008 when the U.S. hosted the event at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville.
“Some of my greatest memories in golf were at the Ryder Cup at Valhalla,” Holmes said. “So just really excited to get back in the Ryder Cup format and get out there and play.”
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Valhalla was also the last time the Americans won the event, which is held every two years.
“These three guys were really who we all wanted,” Love told USA Today. “We’re really confident in them. … This is a tough decision. There were many great choices. I know this is the 11 we want today. We have another tough decision coming up in two weeks.”
The 2016 Ryder Cup is scheduled for Sept. 30-Oct. 2 at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minn. It pits the top golfers in the U.S. against the best from Europe.
Eight of the 12 players who will represent the United States were determined by the Ryder Cup points standings. Those spots went to Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Phil Mickelson, Patrick Reed, Jimmy Walker, Brooks Koepka, Brandt Snedeker and Zach Johnson. Holmes stands 10th in Ryder Cup points.
Love, as the captain, gets to choose the remaining four. He will announce his final captain’s pick on Sept. 25, after the Tour Championship.
Holmes is also in contention for the Tour Championship. His tie for fourth place at the BMW Championship on Sunday moved him into the top 30 of the FedEx Cup points standings.
Holmes’ Ryder Cup selection was buoyed by him finishing third in this year’s British Open and tying for fourth earlier this year in the Masters.
“He’s so steady. … He’s got a lot of experience,” Love told USA Today. “He’s consistent and he’s been on a winning Ryder Cup team before in the past.”
▪ Left off the initial round of Ryder Cup captain’s picks was Bubba Watson, currently ranked No. 7 in the world. He won at Riviera, but hasn’t won a singles match in three Ryder Cups.
Jim Furyk, a vice captain, was also passed over despite finishing tied for fifth and shooting 58 at the Travelers Championship. He did not make it to the BMW Championship, but he lost four months of the season to wrist surgery and only started playing in May.
Other candidates include second-year pros Daniel Berger and former St. Xavier High School star Justin Thomas. Berger won at Memphis and Thomas won the CIMB Classic in Malaysia last fall, but the task force decided not to start counting points until 2016.
“We’re a sports team and we have to draft the right player for the right position,” Love said. “There’s going to be a lot of stats and a lot of things to look at. But making our pairings, fitting into the team, doing all the little things you’re asked to do, these three guys fill incredible roles and a lot of different roles.”
Sept. 30-Oct. 2 at Hazeltine National G.C. in Chaska, Minn.