Ryder Cup standings: Who’s in and who’s out on Team USA?

August 6, 2018

This week’s PGA Championship is the final major of the year and also marks another important cutoff: The event is the final chance to accrue Ryder Cup automatic qualifying points. Jim Furyk, this year’s team captain, will announce the list of eight automatic qualifiers on Monday, Aug. 13 following the conclusion of play at Bellerive. Four captain’s picks will be selected in September; three after the Dell Technologies Championship (Sept. 3) and one more following the BMW Championship (Sept. 9).

The U.S. team picture gained little clarity coming out of the WGC-Bridgestone. Winner Justin Thomas was already a lock to make the team, while Dustin Johnson moved into the No. 1 overall spot with a T3 finish. The biggest move of the week came from runner-up Kyle Stanley, who jumped from 19th to 14th. Tiger Woods missed out on an opportunity to score valuable points with a pair of weekend 73s and remains in 20th. With one week remaining, who’s in, who’s out, and who needs a little bit of help to secure their place on the squad?

 

Who’s in

Four players on the U.S. side can book their tickets to France based on points alone; that would be World No. 1 Dustin Johnson (No. 1 in Ryder Cup standings), U.S. Open champ Brooks Koepka (No. 2), reigning player of the year Justin Thomas (No. 3) and Masters winner Patrick Reed (No. 4).

 

Who’s basically in

Three more players should feel comfortable scouring Yelp for the finest wineries in the countryside surrounding Le Golf National. It would take a perfect storm of events to unseat No. 5 Bubba Watson, who has three wins this season, while Jordan Spieth (No. 6) and Rickie Fowler (No. 7) are locks to be captain’s picks even if they slip outside the top eight.

 

Also in: the elder statesmen

Phil Mickelson (No. 10) and Tiger Woods (No. 20) are expected to be locks as well, though neither is currently inside the top eight. But Mickelson is fewer than 160 points behind No. 8 Webb Simpson. Woods, in addition to being arguably the greatest player of all time, missed the opportunity to accrue points in 2017, which he missed after undergoing surgery. Despite Furyk’s insistence that Woods will be treated like “any other player,” you can wager these two are headed to France.

 

Technically in… for now

That would be bubble boy Webb Simpson, who sits at No. 8 with 4,365 points. Given the number of points up for grabs this week, his 49-point cushion over No. 9 is anything but safe. Which leads us to…

 

On the outside looking in

That would be No. 9 Bryson DeChambeau (49 points out), No. 11 Xander Schauffele (513.5 points out), No. 12 Matt Kuchar (521.5 points out), No. 13 Tony Finau (902 points out), and No. 14 Kyle Stanley (930 points out). Each can make the case for a captain’s pick but would rather take Furyk’s preference out of the equation. Team stalwart Matt Kuchar seems most likely as a captain’s lock, and that’s ignoring other options like multi-time Ryder Cupper Zach Johnson (No. 19). Assuring a spot in France means playing well this week.

 

Points available

The PGA Championship winner will earn roughly 4,000 Ryder Cup points, which means that nearly any Tour player in the field could lock up a team spot with a victory. Consider that Chad Campbell (No. 104) is currently less than 4,000 points from the top eight. The winner earns two points per $1,000 earned at Bellerive, while the rest of the field picks up 1.5 points per $1,000 earned. What all that means is there is plenty of room for Ryder Cup drama this weekend in St. Louis.

U.S. Ryder Cup Rankings

1. DUSTIN JOHNSON 9,435.287

2. BROOKS KOEPKA 9,338.472

3. JUSTIN THOMAS 8,427.053

4. PATRICK REED 7,821.880

5. BUBBA WATSON 5,584.137

6. JORDAN SPIETH 5,199.806

7. RICKIE FOWLER 4,724.491

8. WEBB SIMPSON 4,365.058

9. Bryson DeChambeau 4,316.108

10. Phil Mickelson 4,207.953

11. Xander Schauffele 3,851.453

12. Matt Kuchar 3,843.696

13. Tony Finau 3,462.099

14. Kyle Stanley 3,434.166

15. Kevin Kisner 3,398.501

16. Brian Harman 3,292.657

17. Kevin Na 3,126.023

18. Aaron Wise 2,619.942

19. Zach Johnson 2,476.146

20. Tiger Woods 2,414.794

You can find complete U.S. Team standings as well as the European team landscape HERE.