As if there wasn’t sufficient on the road within the remaining two weeks of the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup playoffs, a handful of gamers are nonetheless combating for spots on the U.S. Ryder Cup crew that can compete in opposition to Europe exterior Rome in late September. Because the Ryder Cup included all of Europe as a crew in 1979, the U.S. has received 9 and misplaced 11, together with a 3-7 report for the reason that flip of the century.
The highest six gamers within the U.S. crew factors standings after this week’s BMW Championship at Olympia Fields, Illinois, will mechanically qualify for the crew as effectively. Patrick Cantlay, Brian Harman, Brooks Koepka and Max Homa at present spherical out the highest six.
Whereas some gamers, like Xander Schauffele and Jordan Spieth, appear to be in higher place than others, there’s nonetheless loads that may shake out over the following two weeks. U.S. crew captain Zach Johnson will make six captain’s picks after the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Membership in Atlanta on Aug. 27.
“We now have a lot at stake these subsequent two weeks, whether or not it is cash, whether or not it is Ryder Cup,” Keegan Bradley stated. “There’s a lot to play for, and that is actually thrilling.”
Here is the place the highest contenders stand heading into the BMW Championship:
Scottie Scheffler (first in factors with 25,857.74)
The place he stands: Scheffler has already certified for Workforce USA. He posted a 2-0-1 report as a Ryder Cup rookie within the Individuals’ 19-9 rout of the Europeans at Whistling Straits, Wisconsin, in September 2021.
Scheffler defeated Jon Rahm, 4 and three, in a singles match on Sunday when it seemed like no one might take down the Spanish golfer. That efficiency was a springboard for Scheffler, who received 4 instances the following season, together with his first main championship on the 2022 Masters.
Wyndham Clark (second in factors with 13,406.92)
The place he stands: Clark, who was ranked 313th on the earth after back-to-back missed cuts in Might 2022, is now eleventh within the Official World Golf Rating after selecting up his first two PGA Tour victories on the Wells Fargo Championship and U.S. Open at Los Angeles Nation Membership.
The 29-year-old competed within the 2014 Palmer Cup. It is going to be his first worldwide crew occasion as knowledgeable.
Locks to make the crew
Patrick Cantlay (third in factors with 10,614.75)
The place he stands: Cantlay climbed three spots within the U.S. crew factors standings after falling to Lucas Glover in a playoff finally week’s FedEx St. Jude Championship in Memphis, Tennessee, the primary FedEx Cup playoff occasion.
Cantlay was implausible at Whistling Straits as a Ryder Cup rookie, going 3-0-1 in his matches and incomes 3½ factors, which tied for second most on the crew. Cantlay and good buddy Xander Schauffele defeated Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter, 5 and three, of their opening match. Cantlay beat Eire’s Shane Lowry, 4 and a couple of, in a Sunday’s single match.
Brian Harman (fourth in factors with 10,310.54)
The place he stands: Undoubtedly, Harman threw a wrench in Johnson’s plans when he unexpectedly received The Open at Royal Liverpool Golf Membership in July and vaulted into the highest 5 in Ryder Cup factors. He had three runner-ups and 6 top-10s earlier than he turned Champion Golfer of the Yr.
Harman was an excellent match-play competitor as an newbie, representing the U.S. within the 2005 and 2009 Walker Cups and 2006 and 2007 Palmer Cups. He was the youngest participant to ever compete within the Walker Cup as an 18-year-old. It could be his first worldwide crew occasion as knowledgeable. If Harman’s putter is as sizzling because it was for 4 days in Hoylake, England, he’ll be simply advantageous at Marco Simone.
Brooks Koepka (fifth in factors with 9,421.15)
The place he stands: Koepka all however secured his spot on the crew when he captured his fifth main championship victory and third Wanamaker Trophy on the PGA Championship in Rochester, New York, in Might. He additionally picked up a LIV Golf League victory in Orlando, Florida, in Might and tied for second on the Masters the following week. That needs to be greater than sufficient good work to make the crew.
Koepka is without doubt one of the six automated qualifiers proper now. He might fall exterior the highest six if two gamers comparatively near him within the standings, say Schauffele and Jordan Spieth, completed 1-2 within the BMW Championship. All issues thought-about, it appears Johnson must use one among his six captain’s decisions on Koepka.
Max Homa (sixth in factors with 8,848.76)
The place he stands: Homa appeared like a lock to make the crew after his scorching stretch from late January to late March, by which he received the Farmers Insurance coverage Open, was solo second on the Genesis Invitational and tied for sixth at The Gamers.
However then Homa’s struggles within the majors continued, as he tied for forty third on the Masters, fifty fifth on the PGA Championship and missed the lower on the U.S. Open in his hometown. He has righted the ship these days, nevertheless, with three straight top-15 finishes, together with a tie for tenth at The Open.
Homa went 4-0 in his worldwide crew debut as a professional on the 2022 Presidents Cup. He rallied to defeat red-hot Tom Kim of South Korea in Sunday singles.
Xander Schauffele (seventh in factors with 8,830.27)
The place he stands: It hasn’t been Schauffele’s most dominant season on the PGA Tour, however it has actually been one among his most constant. He has 16 top-25 finishes and hasn’t missed a lower in 20 begins on tour. He completed within the high 20 of every of the 4 majors, together with a tie for tenth on the Masters and U.S. Open.
Schauffele was superb in his previous two crew occasions. He went 3-1 at each the 2021 Ryder Cup and 2022 Presidents Cup. Plus, somebody goes to need to attempt to velocity up Cantlay in Rome.
Jordan Spieth (eighth in factors with 8,066.33)
The place he stands: Like Schauffele, Spieth does not have a victory this season and has simply two since claiming his third main on the 2017 Open Championship. He has been pretty good this season with 10 high 25s and 7 high 10s in 20 begins, together with a tie for sixth on the FedEx St. Jude Championship.
At 30 years previous, Spieth can be one of many veterans on this squad. He’s a four-time competitor in each the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup and has been part of six profitable squads. He was the highest factors getter at Quail Hole with a 5-0-0 report.
On the bubble
Cameron Young (ninth in factors with 7,795.31)
The place he stands: It has been a so-so season for the second-year PGA Tour professional, who remains to be trying to find his first victory on tour. He was runner-up on the WGC-Dell Applied sciences Match Play, which goes to hold weight with Johnson. He additionally tied for seventh on the Masters and eighth at The Open.
The 26-year-old former Wake Forest star is without doubt one of the longest hitters off the tee, averaging 317.1 yards, which ranks third on tour. He is an bettering iron participant, however his placing (166th in strokes gained: placing) could possibly be a legal responsibility. He was 1-2-1 in his Presidents Cup debut final yr.
Collin Morikawa (tenth in factors with 7,503.48)
The place he stands: The 2-time main championship winner hasn’t picked up a PGA Tour victory in additional than two years. His final victory got here on the 2021 Open Championship at Royal St. George’s Golf Membership in Sandwich, England.
Nonetheless, Morikawa has been superb within the majors over the previous three seasons, ending within the high 10 in six of the previous 11. He tied for tenth on the Masters and 14th on the U.S. Open. Morikawa ranks within the high 10 in strokes gained: complete, greens in regulation and driving accuracy.
Morikawa fashioned a formidable pairing with Dustin Johnson at Whistling Straits, as they mixed to win every of their three matches collectively. Morikawa tied his singles match with Norway’s Viktor Hovland. Johnson, who’s competing within the LIV Golf League, is fortieth in factors and possibly will not be thought-about for this yr’s crew.
Rickie Fowler (thirteenth in factors with 6,936.49)
The place he stands: Fowler all however secured a spot on the crew when he captured the Rocket Mortgage Basic in a playoff in early July, which was his first victory in additional than 4 years. After altering his swing and his crew, it was proof that Fowler is again among the many finest gamers on the earth.
Fowler has eight different high 10s and 16 high 25s in 23 begins this season. He was runner-up on the Zozo Championship and tied for fifth on the U.S. Open. It could be his fifth look within the Ryder Cup; he went 3-7-5 within the earlier 4.
Keegan Bradley (eleventh in factors with 7,486.47)
The place he stands: Bradley has most likely performed effectively sufficient to make the crew, after claiming his first PGA Tour victory in additional than 4 years on the Zozo Championship in October after which one other one on the Vacationers Championship in June. He may need to play effectively the following two weeks to make it, although.
“I take into consideration the Ryder Cup each second I am awake mainly,” Bradley stated Tuesday. “My greatest factor proper now’s attempting not to consider it whereas I am taking part in as a result of it is essential to me.”
The 37-year-old’s Ryder Cup expertise stretches all the way in which again to 2012, when he went 3-1 as a rookie at Medinah Nation Membership in Illinois. He was one of many brilliant spots for a U.S. crew that squandered a four-point lead on the ultimate day. The Europeans grabbed 8 ½ factors in singles matches to stun the Individuals, 14 ½ to 13 ½ within the “Miracle at Medinah.”
Two years later, Bradley went 1-2 in Europe’s 16 ½-11 ½ victory at Gleneagles Resort in Scotland.
“I really feel like I might deliver some expertise to the crew,” Bradley stated. “I’d personally love to only be on a crew with this youthful group. All of the groups that I have been on, they’re all gone. They’re all Senior Tour or performed taking part in.
“I discover that this youthful core of fellows to be actually a cool group as a result of they appear to essentially pull for one another, and it will be actually enjoyable. This might be a very completely different expertise, and each match I’ve ever performed, whether or not it is Ryder Cup or Presidents Cup, I’ve performed with Phil [Mickelson], so it will be fascinating to have one other accomplice, see what that is like, and I would like to play with Zach.”
Sam Burns (twelfth in factors with 7,002.70)
The place he stands: Burns, the Twenty second-ranked participant on the earth, received the WGC-Dell Applied sciences Match Play in Austin, Texas, in late March. He took down Cantlay, Scheffler and Younger to say a victory.
However Burns hasn’t performed a lot since then with only one top-10 end, a tie for sixth on the Charles Schwab Problem. He did not have an awesome debut on the President Cup with an 0-3-2 report. Burns and Scheffler are superb associates, however they went 0-2-1 of their matches collectively at Quail Hole.
Justin Thomas (14th in factors with 6,539.20)
The place he stands: Thomas’ historical past in crew occasions suggests he needs to be on the crew. However his kind this season — solely three top-10 finishes in 20 begins and 6 missed cuts, together with 5 in his previous eight begins — suggests he should not be picked. JT did not qualify for the FedEx Cup playoffs.
There isn’t any query Thomas has been the most effective match-play performers in current historical past. He is 6-2-1 in two earlier Ryder Cup appearances and went 4-1-0 in the latest Presidents Cup. His partnership with Spieth, one among his good associates, has been one of many Individuals’ most dependable pairings.
However as my ESPN colleague Michael Collins likes to say, “Is that this a enterprise journey or a buddy journey?” Thomas and Spieth have been a part of the PGA of America Ryder Cup Committee since February 2022. His presence within the locker room and on the course can be helpful for the U.S.
Thomas admitted that he pressed an excessive amount of as a result of he wished to make the crew so badly. Would JT be urgent much more at Marco Simone as a result of he would wish to show that he deserves to be there? Both manner, it’ll be a controversial resolution.
Lucas Glover (sixteenth in factors with 6,112.61)
The place he stands: In only a few brief weeks, the participant who could not make something on the greens is seemingly sinking all the things. From September 2022 by June, Glover missed 11 cuts in his first 20 begins. His finest end was a tie for twentieth on the RBC Canadian Open. He did not even qualify for any of the 4 majors.
Glover, 43, switched to an extended putter earlier than the Rocket Mortgage Basic and all the things modified. He tied for fourth in Detroit, sixth on the John Deere Basic and was solo fifth within the Barbasol Championship. After lacking the lower on the 3M Open, he received the Wyndham Championship to sneak into the FedEx Cup playoffs.
Final week, he received the primary leg of the FedEx Cup playoffs on the FedEx St. Jude Championship, taking down Cantlay in a playoff. He climbed to fourth in FedEx Cup factors and is assured of taking part in the season-ending Tour Championship. If Glover wins one of many subsequent two playoff occasions, he’ll greater than seemingly be an automated qualifier. If he performs effectively in each, he’ll have a heck of an argument to be included with a captain’s choose.
That is the dilemma for Johnson and his vice captains: Go along with the man with the new putter or another person who had a extra constant season from begin to end? Glover has by no means performed within the Ryder Cup and desperately desires the prospect. Based on Justin Ray of Twenty First Group, Glover can be the primary participant since Spain’s Jose Maria Canizares in 1989 to make the Ryder Cup with out competing in any of the majors.
“I simply really feel like representing your nation as an athlete is the very best honor,” Glover stated Wednesday. “I performed Canon Cup as a junior, performed the Walker Cup as an newbie, and I simply suppose it is the best factor, and particularly being in a person sport, to be on a crew representing your nation, I believe it is the very best honor we are able to have.”
Tony Finau (twenty first in factors with 4,667.75)
The place he stands: Finau seemed like he was effectively on his technique to making the U.S. crew when he received 4 instances in a few ninth-month stretch from July 2022 to late April. Some will argue that every of these victories got here in opposition to lesser fields, though Cantlay and Younger misplaced to him by 5 strokes within the 2022 Rocket Mortgage Basic.
Finau’s downside is he hasn’t performed a lot of something since profitable the Mexico Open on April 30. He has only one top-20 end since then, a tie for seventh on the 3M Open. He tied for 72nd on the PGA Championship, thirty second on the U.S. Open and missed the lower at The Open. He most likely wants a win within the subsequent two weeks to make the Ryder Cup crew.
Whereas there is perhaps a number of gamers on the bubble who might make an argument with a win within the final two FedEx Cup playoff occasions — No. 15 Denny McCarthy, No. 17 Kurt Kitayama, No. 19 Harris English and No. 20 Russell Henley — none of them are at present believed to be below severe consideration for the crew.
Bryson DeChambeau (53rd in factors with 1,825.631 )
The place he stands: As a result of gamers don’t obtain Ryder Cup factors for LIV Golf League outcomes, DeChambeau has fallen exterior the highest 50 in factors and possibly will not get a lot consideration.
DeChambeau may need no less than caught Johnson’s consideration when he carded a 12-under 58 within the remaining spherical to win the LIV Golf League match at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, on Aug. 6. It was DeChambeau’s first victory on the second-year circuit.
“I am taking part in very well,” DeChambeau stated after profitable by six pictures. “I’ve acquired some gear that is performing fairly properly off the motive force, and that is a lethal mixture with my placing. So clearly I putted effectively, drove it effectively, wedged it fairly effectively. You could not have written it up higher than this, but when I do get a name, that may be superior. If not, I will be rooting them on over in Rome.”
DeChambeau had good leads to two of the majors, tying for fourth on the PGA Championship and twentieth on the U.S. Open. He hasn’t performed sufficient to deserve a captain’s choose.
Plus, whether or not Johnson or the PGA of America wish to admit it or not, they’re most likely not going to select a participant who sued the PGA Tour. Leaving for the LIV Golf League is one factor, taking authorized motion in opposition to your former circuit is one other matter. His presence would trigger too many issues off the course for the Individuals.