Xander Schauffele in action at Valhalla
Xander Schauffele is playing the Scottish Open this week Image Credit: PGA of America

PGA Championship winner Xander Schauffele has labelled Keegan Bradley’s appointment as Captain of Ryder Cup Team USA ‘surprising’, but is backing the American to do a ‘great job’ as the U.S. look to avenge their loss in Rome last year.

Tiger Woods was long assumed to be the front-runner for the job, but multiple US reports Monday said he had opted out of contention, leaving the door open for Bradley.

The former PGA Championship winner has only featured in two editions of the Ryder Cup and was infamously left out of the team last year, which was captured by Netflix cameras for the ‘Full Swing’ series.

"Yeah, it's surprising," said Schauffele ahead of the Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club.

"You typically expect someone that's a little bit older to get selected as a captain. I think a lot of people were banking on Tiger to do it.

"He obviously has a lot on his plate. Keegan expressed his love for the Ryder Cup publicly, which we all saw.

"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."

After being left out of the team last year despite arguably playing better golf than several of the players chosen by then Captain Zach Johnson, Schauffele has backed Bradley to bring intensity and passion to the role at Bethpage Black next September.

"He is so laidback off the course," added Schauffele.

"If you get him in like a dinner setting, he loves sports and he'll talk about sports all night long.

"He's a very passionate individual. On the course he's intense, that's just how he competes and how he is.

"As a captain, he's going to have a mixed bag and he's not going to be afraid to hold a speech with the guys and get everyone going."