(Image via Twitter)
(via Ryder Cup) Three of the eight Ryder Cup USA Team automatic qualifying positions have been clinched with just two events remaining for players to earn points in advance of the 2018 Ryder Cup at Le Golf National in Paris in September.
Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson and Patrick Reed – the top three golfers in the standings, respectively, led by Koepka’s 8,981.472 points – officially clinched spots on the team following the RBC Canadian Open. The WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and PGA Championship at Bellerive are the two final tournaments for players to earn Ryder Cup USA points.
If the Ryder Cup USA automatic qualifiers were determined today, Justin Thomas, Bubba Watson, Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler and Webb Simpson would also earn auto-bids as the players currently ranked No. 4 through No. 8 in the standings.
As the PGA season begins to wind down, we start to edge closer and closer to one of golf’s most prestigious events: the Ryder Cup. Now I don’t know about you duffers out there, but I am PUMPED for this year’s cup: the USA is defending champs, it is the first ever Ryder Cup in France, and both teams are looking absolutely STACKED. While I do have a lot of soft spots for European players, I am a full-blown USA fan during the Ryder Cup, and keep my hatred of Ian Poulter high.
Now as said above, Reed, DJ, and Koepka are already locked in for team USA. Along with these three, players in positions 4-8 also have an automatic bid for the team. The rest of the top 15 reads as followed:
For the rest of the top 8 players, I don’t really see a huge issue. I’m not Bubba’s biggest fan, and Webb Simpson is kind of bland on the course, but both have been fantastic this year and deserve their spots. As you can imagine, I really, REALLY hope the Rocket Scientist in 9th place stays there.
As for the Captain’s picks, I think Phil and most likely Tiger will be pretty locked in for two of them. Now I wrote last week about Tiger not being great in the Ryder Cup, but if he keeps playing the way he has been, he’ll be impossible not to pick. And though Tony Finau is sitting at 14th, he has been fantastic in big-pressure tournaments this year, and I think he will be in there as well.
Which brings us to the last Captain’s pick. Many will see Bryson Dechambeau in the 9th spot and say, “he deserves it!! He needs to be in there!” To that, I say ABSOLUTELY NOT. He showed this weekend that he can’t handle pressure, and the guy is not well liked in many circles. Meanwhile, you have Xander Schauffele, who has been great the past two years, sitting at number 11. He has looked great this year, finishing second at the Players and the British, and tied for 6th at the US Open. I think the 24-year-old out of San Diego State would be a fantastic pick for Jim Furyk to make, and I hope he finds the sense to do it!