The 14-time main champion who fell so dramatically from grace and this time final yr may barely stroll got here so near pulling off considered one of sport’s all-time biggest comebacks, but in the end couldn’t catch the superior Brooks Koepka at bellerive.
That meant that he was unable to win a spot among the many eight automated qualifiers for captain Jim Furyk’s group for the largest occasion in golf, which is held at Le Golf Nationwide outdoors Paris from September 28-30.
Tiger Woods was sensible on the USPGA Championship however has not certified for the Ryder Cup
The eight who’ve certified robotically by their constant wonderful play over the past yr and extra are: Koepka, Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed, Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler, Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson.
However there’s hope that Woods will but play within the occasion. Furyk has 4 wildcard picks nonetheless to make, and these are normally handed out to reward these gamers within the strongest type who’ve missed out on automated qualification.
THE US RYDER CUP TEAM SO FAR…
Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed, Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler, Bubba Watson, Webb Simpson.
Plus 4 wildcard picks.
Captain: Jim Furyk
Vice-captains: Davis Love III, Steve Stricker, Tiger Woods
And there’s nonetheless all to play for, with the PGA Tour coming to a climax within the big-money FedEx Cup play-offs the place all of the American recreation’s large weapons can be combating for prestigious titles, huge sums of money and people priceless wildcard picks.
Furyk will title three of his wildcards after the Dell Applied sciences Championship on September 3, the second of the 4 FedEx Cup play-off occasions. His ultimate wildcard can be introduced after the BMW Championship, the third play-off occasion, per week later.
Regardless of Woods’s at instances staggering play at each The Open final month and on the USPGA, his choice is not any certainty. This yr there are a variety of Ryder Cups stalwarts and rising stars – plus two real superstars – who haven’t certified for the group. Plus, Le Golf Nationwide is a troublesome, slender course that can swimsuit those that hit straight off the tee – which stays Woods’s obvious weak point regardless of the brilliance of the remainder of his recreation.
These are the principle six contenders competing for these 4 wildcard picks, so as of the place they completed within the automated qualifying desk:
Simply edged out of a rookie Ryder Cup look by the super-consistent Webb Simpson’s newest top-20 on the USPGA. Often known as the ‘mad scientist’ of golf as a result of his revolutionary method to golf – together with utilizing a compass on the course, and a set of irons which all have precisely the identical shaft size – however he’s additionally a serial winner on the age of simply 24. His most spectacular efficiency to this point was at Jack Nicklaus’s prestigious Memorial Event in June, the place all the massive weapons had been taking part in, and he has the form of aggressive fireplace that burns brightest on the Ryder Cup.
Kind has slumped since his second of insanity on the US Open in June, the place he putted a shifting ball. However Mickelson is an virtually sure wildcard decide. His ardour for the Ryder Cup has seen him assist lead a whole overhaul of the US method to the occasion, from calling out captain Tom Watson’s failings in public to instigating the ‘pod’ system that sees American gamers buddy up and forge relationships. Additionally gained large in March on the WGC occasion in Mexico and nonetheless world No 22 aged 48.
The favorite for a wildcard now as his harm comeback edges in the direction of jaw-dropping. However there are nonetheless large causes to not decide him: his wild driving is a catastrophe ready to occur at Le Golf Nationwide, his Ryder Cup file is infamously poor (13 wins, 17 losses, Three halves, together with ugly foursomes and fourballs data), and he was not part of the successful group at Hazeltine in 2016 the place the US lastly confirmed some group spirit after many depressing years. That mentioned, a lot of the group now love the ‘new’, friendlier Tiger, who has already been named considered one of Furyk’s vice-captains.
One other 24-year-old who’s rising quickly in the direction of the sport’s elite. Got here so near claiming his first main at Carnoustie earlier than simply falling brief, whereas he impressed once more in ending sixth on the US Open, following up his second place 12 months beforehand. Le Golf Nationwide is normally arrange as a decent, penal course – similar to US Opens, which performs into his arms. Schauffele additionally claimed a giant win on the TOUR Championship final summer season, exhibiting he has killer intuition.
There’s in all probability not a extra common member of the US group than Kuchar, so it might be an enormous shock if he misses out. His table-tennis expertise are legendary and the gamers’ shared love of some team-room ping-pong is credited with being key to creating their group spirit. Kuchar, 40, additionally has 4 Ryder Cups to his title and travels effectively: his final two Opens have resulted in second and ninth locations. Lastly, his constant, straight hitting is nice for Le Golf Nationwide and foursomes.
The Ryder Cup all the time throws up a breakout star, and Finau may effectively be it this yr. He’s immediately recognisable – a hulking determine of Tongan and Samoan heritage whose Nike attire lends him extra of the looks of a basketball participant than a golfer. Finau is a colossal hitter, and straight too, who performs effectively on the hardest programs – he had top-10s on the Masters, US Open and The Open this yr – which implies one other tick for Le Golf Nationwide. He can even dissipate a course (he made 10 birdies in spherical two on the USPGA) making him a harmful fourball participant.
Solely a handful of gamers within the historical past of the sport have gained The Masters at Augusta Nationwide and The Open at St Andrews, together with the all the time underrated Johnson. He’s additionally working into type properly with top-20s in his final six begins, together with at lat three majors. His dynamite wedge play and super-consistent driver performs effectively within the difficult foursomes format and at 42 he has baggage of expertise, together with 4 Ryder Cup matches, the place he has a very good file of eight wins, six losses and two halves.
With such numerous spectacular candidates vying for wildcards, it seems like many gamers with robust instances can be squeezed out, together with previous main champions and Ryder Cuppers.
They embrace: Kevin Kisner, Gary Woodland, Kyle Stanley, Brian Harman, Kevin Na, Jimmy Walker, Charley Hoffman, Ryan Moore, JB Holmes, Billy Horschel, Jason Dufner, Brandt Snedeker, Stewart Cink and Keegan Bradley.
P.S. HERE’S HOW THE EUROPEAN TEAM IS SHAPING UP…
Francesco Molinari, Justin Rose, Tyrrell Hatton, Tommy Fleetwood, Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy, Alex Noren, Ian Poulter.
Plus 4 wildcard picks.
Captain: Thomas Bjorn
Vice-captains: Padraig Harrington, Robert Karlsson, Lee Westwood, Luke Donald, Graeme McDowell