Zach Johnson called it a “pretty easy” decision to name Justin Thomas to the United States Ryder Cup team ahead of the 2023 international event at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in Rome.

Johnson, who finalized the 12-man roster Tuesday morning, tabbed Thomas one of his six captain’s picks. There was some outside debate whether or not Thomas deserved to be on the roster given his disappointing PGA Tour season in which he failed to qualify for the FedEx Cup playoffs.

However, Johnson explained his decision rather clearly while speaking with reporters Tuesday.

“One of the most talented players on the PGA Tour, in my opinion,” Johnson said of Thomas, per Golf Channel. “He has, without question, been the heart and soul of Team USA, Ryder Cups. Our emotional leader, I would say, and I don’t think he would argue with that. He just leads by example. Overall a fantastic Ryder Cup record. His passion for the Ryder Cup is very evident. He would say it himself, he has said it himself, in my mind, he was born for this.

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“You just don’t leave JT at home.”

Thomas will join a group of six automatic qualifiers and five other captain’s picks on the United States roster. Sam Burns, Rickie Fowler, Brooks Koepka, Collin Morikawa and Jordan Speith joined Thomas as captain’s picks Tuesday while Scottie Scheffler, Wyndham Clark, Brian Harman, Patrick Cantlay, Max Homa and Xander Schauffele had previously qualified.

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Other players who were thought to be in consideration but not selected included Cameron Young, who finished ninth in the final Ryder Cup points standings; New England native Keegan Bradley, who won two PGA Tour events this season including the Travelers Championship; along with Lucas Glover and Tony Finau. Dustin Johnson, who went 5-0 two years ago at the Ryder Cup, and Bryson DeChambeau were also thought to be in consideration.

Koepka was the only LIV Golf League representative to be selected.

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Thomas received a call from Johnson on Monday night.

While the 2023 Tour season is why many believed Thomas was not deserving of a spot, Johnson and other Thomas supporters will point to his record in international events as a key reason he is deserving. Thomas is 6-2-1 in the Ryder Cup with a 16-5-3 overall record when combined with the Presidents Cup.

“Good partners definitely help with that, and as much as you want to bring good golf yourself to the table, a part of it is bringing the best out of your partner,” Thomas told reporters during a video conference, per Golf Channel. “I’ve been very fortunate to play with some friends of mine that I feel like I know well that I’m not only comfortable around, but I feel like I can do my best to bring the best out of them.”

Johnson added: “The overwhelming decision that is made is who do the guys want on the team.”

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Thomas’ relationships and performances in international competition made him wanted.

Featured image via Orlando Ramirez/USA TODAY Sports Images