Bubba Watson, who is the seventh-ranked player in the world, will have to wait for the possibility of a final pick that will be made after the final round of the Tour Championship.
Love, who is getting a second shot as captain after a losing effort in 2012, hinted that these three players were at the top of his list over the last two weeks following the eight automatic qualifiers being decided.
"There were questions as late as last night,'' said Love, who consulted his vice captains Steve Stricker, Tom Lehman, Jim Furyk and Tiger Woods. "We went through a lot of scenarios. We talked about a lot of great players. It was a very, very tough decision. We kept coming back to three for now.''
All three have Ryder Cup experience and will join a veteran team of automatic qualifiers that has just one rookie, Brooks Koepka. Love announced his picks Monday morning at Hazeltine National in Chaska, Minn., site of the Ryder Cup Sept. 30-Oct. 2.
The U.S. has lost eight of the last 10 Ryder Cups and three in a row.
The eight automatic qualifiers for the team were determined following The Barclays on Aug. 28: Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Phil Mickelson, Patrick Reed, Jimmy Walker, Brooks Koepka, Brandt Snedeker and Zach Johnson.
Love has another at-large pick on Sept. 25, giving players one last chance to impress him at the season-ending PGA Tour event. The Ryder Cup begins the following Friday.
Kuchar even joked that Woods could be the last pick.
"This may be hearsay, but I've heard that Tiger Woods could even get that last captain's pick,'' Kuchar said. "That would be legen-dary.''
Laughter filled the room. Woods has not played in more than a year following multiple back surgeries. He just announced last week that he is hoping to return for the Safeway Open next month, a fact that Kuchar noted.
Watson is the real odd man out for now, despite being ranked seventh in the world and having finished ninth in the final Ryder Cup points standings with the top 8 making the team. Hurting Watson has been his lack of form, with no top-10s on the PGA Tour since March. He is also 3-8 in his Ryder Cup appearances including 0-3 in singles. He's also 0-4-1 in singles including the Presidents Cup.
Holmes was 10th in points and had two top-5s in majors this year. Although he had a poor five-tournament stretch after that, he tied for fourth on Sunday at the BMW Championship to qualify for the Tour Championship.
Fowler was 11th in points and has played in two Ryder Cups. He has the distinction of playing the most matches without a victory, going 0-3-5. But he's ranked ninth in the world, is a strong iron player and a popular teammates.
Kuchar was 12th in the points and has played in three previous Ryder Cups. Ranked 17th in the world, his tie for fourth at the BMW Championship, his eighth top 10 finish going back to the Players Championship. He also took the bronze medal at the Olympic Golf Tournament following a final-round 63.
Mickelson, who will play in his 11th Ryder Cup, suggested Sunday following the final round of the BMW Championship that at least a few of the picks were already decided.
"We know who is going to be playing with who, when they're going to be playing, what matches,'' said Mickelson, who also said the reason for having one last pick was a contingency plan "just in case somebody gets really hot.''
As it turned out, Love took three of the next four on the points list. Others who might still be considered in addition to Watson are Ryan Moore, Justin Thomas and Daniel Berger, all playing in the Tour Championship.
Mickelson, 46, played a big role in this process. He was outspoken after the final day of the 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles, where the U.S. lost for the third straight time. Although not by name, he was critical of captain Tom Watson and the PGA of America's process which did not promote any continuity or player input.
His controversial comments sparked a change that led to a Ryder Cup Task Force comprised of former captains, players and PGA of America executives. They chose Love to captain the team for a second time, changed some of the qualifying criteria and when the captain's picks would be made, and sought more player input.
"We still have to play great golf to win,'' Mickelson said. "We're still playing an incredibly talented team that has great players and shoots great scores. The difference is we're being put in a position to succeed. Because we're going in there with a proper game plan and given every opportunity to play our best golf.''