HILVERSUM, Netherlands -- European Ryder Cup player Martin Kaymer expressed surprised at the American selection of rookie Brandt Snedeker ahead of Rickie Fowler or Hunter Mahan for the event later this month.
U.S. captain Davis Love III chose Dustin Johnson, Steve Stricker, Jim Furyk and Snedeker as picks Tuesday to join the eight automatic qualifiers in his 12-man team for the Ryder Cup from Sept. 28-30 at Medinah outside Chicago.
"I expected Dustin and Stricker but also thought Rickie had a good chance because he made a really good impression in Wales two years ago," Kaymer said of Fowler's 2010 performance in earning a half point as the first PGA Tour rookie to be picked. "So I thought Rickie would be a strong chance of getting a pick, but then [Jim] Furyk is a good pick because of his experience and he's a guy who has been there many, many times.
"It was a tough decision between Snedeker, Hunter Mahan and Rickie Fowler. You could have put those three names in a hat and pick any one of them. It's tough to say who deserved it more as Snedeker will be a rookie, but then Rickie and Hunter have the experience of having played in 2010."
Kaymer is preparing for this week's KLM Open, at which he will be playing the opening two rounds with European captain Jose Maria Olazabal and Ryder Cup rookie Nicolas Colsaerts of Belgium.
The German, who won the 2010 PGA Championship and then 2½ out of possible four points in Wales, is chasing his first title this year.
"Of course the Ryder Cup will sure come up in conversation, but then the three us also will be focused on trying to capture the KLM Open," said Kaymer, who has 10 European Tour titles. " I can't remember the last time I played with Jose Maria, but now that I'm in the team I don't feel as though I will be under sort of pressure as such."
He was feeling anxiety when sitting out the final European qualifying event late last month. If Colsaerts had finished in the top two at the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles in Scotland then he would have unseated Kaymer for the 10th and final automatic position.
"There were two to three guys playing really well up to the Gleneagles event, with Nicolas having the best chance of making the team," Kaymer said. "He played really nicely in America, finishing seventh behind Sergio [Garcia] and then also at the Johnnie Walker.
"But I don't think I have ever looked at tournament leaderboards before without even playing. I was following what Nicolas was doing at Gleneagles almost every hole to see how he was performing. But in the end we both made it and we can be both happy."