[PHOTO Stan Badz]

After the announcement of Keegan Bradley being named the 2025 US Ryder Cup captain, players who are expected to be on the American team at Bethpage Black are naturally going to receive questions about the selection. Reigning PGA champion Xander Schauffele, who has played on the past two US squads and is currently third in the US team rankings, was one of the first to weigh in on Bradley’s appointment.

“Yeah, it’s surprising,” Schauffele said during his press conference ahead of this week’s Genesis Scottish Open. “You typically expect someone that’s a little bit older to get selected as a captain. I think a lot of people expected Tiger [Woods] to do it. He obviously has a lot on his plate. Keegan expressed his love for the Ryder Cup publicly, which we all saw.

Keegan Bradley is an ingenious pick for US Ryder Cup captain, or a rash act of desperation. We debate

“I haven’t talked to him or seen him yet but I’m sure he’s over the moon and is going to do a great job.”

To Schauffele’s point, Bradley will be 39 when the US takes on Europe on Long Island in September 2025, which will make him the youngest captain since Arnold Palmer in 1963. Palmer was 34 in the American side’s 23-9 rout that year at Atlanta Athletic Club, and he was a playing captain, going 3-0-1. He remains the most recent playing captain in Ryder Cup history.

Bradley, who was infamously snubbed from the 2023 US team, could very well make some history of his own and become the next playing captain, though if he is to do so on merit he has a hill to climb (Bradley is currently 23rd in the standings). Given the large task the captaincy itself has become, it’s unlikely it happens, but we’re sure Bradley has allowed the thought to enter his brain.

If Schauffele had one request for his future captain, though, it wouldn’t be for him to join the team as a playing captain or to pair him with his mate Patrick Cantlay every day or to put him out first in singles.

It would be less dressing up and going out.

“I feel like Keegan would understand sort of when we need to get up, when we need to practise and when you need to do this and hopefully dodge anything you don’t have to do and maybe that will help us,” Schauffele said. “Taking a bunch of photos all dressed up. There’s two or three dinners that we have to go to that are kind of mandatory-ish, and I think if we cut it down to one or two versus three that would be a really big deal.”

Naturally, some people on Golf Twitter are pointing to this quote as the reason the US team struggles to be a cohesive unit. Because Xander doesn’t feel like getting in a suit to go out to eat every night in the lead-up to the Ryder Cup. Yeah, that’s definitely why.

Have you ever been asked to be in a wedding party? At first, you are honoured. You feel special. Then, the big “day” arrives and suddenly the big “day” is 48-72 hours of exactly what Schauffele is saying – getting dressed up, having a million photos taken, going out to dinner. By the time the actual wedding reception arrives, you are completely shot.

If you look at it that way, Schauffele’s request makes a lot of sense. The modern-day tour pro has a very specific routine they like to stick to to fully “optimise” their potential. Dressing up in a suit to take a million photos and eat out every night is not part of that routine. Schauffele just wants to get a good sleep, wake up and practise for the actual competition, then go and chill out on the couch. It doesn’t get more relatable than that.

Unfortunately, all that stuff Schauffele wants to do is part of Ryder Cup week. If Bradley truly wants to shake things up, though, he’ll fight for the boys to not have to play dress-up for one out of the three nights Schauffele mentioned.