With qualification over, it all boils down to a phone call.
The top 10 players for the U.S. and International Presidents Cup teams qualified automatically on Monday, leaving two spots open on each roster. Those will be filled Wednesday by captains Steve Stricker and Nick Price, with the 12-man squads facing off later this month at Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, N.J.
Here’s a look at some of the most compelling candidates the two captains will have to choose from, starting with Stricker’s American options.
Charley Hoffman: OWGR No. 22, finished 11th in qualification. While Hoffman would be another rookie on Stricker’s squad, it would seem unusually cruel to leave him off the team after he was edged by Kevin Chappell for the final spot by less than a point. Seven top-10 finishes this season.
Brian Harman: OWGR No. 28, finished 12th in qualification. Harman could make for an intriguing pairing with fellow Georgia alum Kevin Kisner. He edged Dustin Johnson to win the Wells Fargo Championship and was a runner-up at the U.S. Open.
Jason Dufner: OWGR No. 32, finished 13th in qualification. Duf brings some match play experience to the table, having played in the 2012 Ryder Cup and 2013 Presidents Cup. He won the Memorial in June but hasn’t cracked the top 10 since.
Gary Woodland: OWGR No. 42, finished 14th in qualification. Woodland would offer plenty of firepower off the tee for a best-ball match, and he boasts three top-25 finishes over his last five starts including a fourth-place result at the RBC Canadian Open.
Phil Mickelson: OWGR No. 29, finished 15th in qualification. Mickelson hasn’t missed U.S. team competition since 1993, and his T-6 finish at TPC Boston may have been just enough to ensure that streak continues another year.
Here’s a look at the choice Price faces on the International side, where Canada’s Adam Hadwin clinched the 10th and final automatic qualifying spot on Monday:
Emiliano Grillo: OWGR No. 54. Last year’s Rookie of the Year on the PGA Tour advanced to the BMW Championship, and that may have given the Argentine a leg up on the rest of the contenders. Grillo struggled this summer but has top-30 finishes in each of the first two playoff events.
Hideto Tanihara: OWGR No. 55. Tanihara plays primarily in Japan, although he did tie for third at the BMW PGA Championship and finished fourth at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. Hasn’t played since a T-67 finish at the PGA Championship.
Yuta Ikeda: OWGR No. 63. Like Tanihara, Ikeda plays primarily in Asia and won an event in Japan two weeks ago. But he missed the cut in all four majors this year, failing to capitalize on chances to earn valuable world ranking points.
Haotong Li: OWGR No. 67. Li burst onto the scene with his third-place finish at The Open, a result that booked his ticket to the 2018 Masters. His inclusion on the team could prove to be a boost for golf’s popularity in his native China.
Byeong-Hun An: OWGR No. 71. An nearly won the Waste Management Phoenix Open, but he has largely struggled since June. Prior wins at the U.S. Amateur (2009) and BMW PGA Championship (2015) prove that he can hang with the best on the global stage.
Anirban Lahiri: OWGR No. 75. Lahiri would love a shot at redemption after missing a critical putt during his singles match at the 2015 Presidents Cup in Korea. He represented India at last year’s Olympics and was a runner-up to Dufner at the Memorial.