Published: Sat, August 11, 2018
Sports | By Juana Wells

Thomas takes US Ryder Cup spot, four more at stake at PGA

Thomas takes US Ryder Cup spot, four more at stake at PGA

Bjorn, who beat Woods at the 2001 Dubai Desert Classic just before Woods won the Masters to hold all four major titles, said he doesn't fear players being awestruck by Woods, even though Scotland's Russell Knox called Tiger a "mythical creature" at last month's British Open.

Keegan Bradley, Jason Dufner, Jimmy Walker and Justin Thomas have all won the year's final major since 2011.

Jim Furyk says he's narrowed the field for his four captain's choices to round out the American Ryder Cup team, but the competition is still open and Tiger Woods is still in the mix.

World-class players, " Bjorn gushed about the current top eight on the US points list, which includes Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas, Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson, Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler and Webb Simpson.

(Furyk made the adjustment from every player getting double major points to just the victor, hoping to protect the statistical integrity of players who won other events during the season). Furyk will make three of his picks on September 4, following the second FedEx Cup playoff event, the Dell Technologies Championship. He knew then, I think, that he was on the mend.

If he fails to do that, he would either be seriously under-golfed come the Ryder Cup, if picked, or forced to play in some second-tier events in Europe - an unsatisfactory solution, either way.

Bjorn, however, wants to see improved play by 23rd-ranked Garcia before making his picks. 'You look at the world rankings right now, the top 20 players are dominated by Europeans and Americans. Matt Kuchar, who has made eight consecutive USA teams, is 12th in the standings and in need of some good showings in the weeks ahead to be part of the team that will travel to the 42nd Ryder Cup Sept. 28-30 at Le Golf National outside Paris.

Furyk had to rely on a pick in 2012, and he wasn't so fortunate in 2016, when he finished 15th in the points and went to Hazeltine as a vice captain.

"I think he's got a good case, " said Love, who will assistant Furyk this year along with Woods and Stricker. "I don't know, because I haven't been on a team ... but to represent your country, and rally together with the boys, it's just a really cool camaraderie from what I've seen".

"It's no secret, we're trying to provide the best 12 players we can". He and Furyk share the same management company, which has provided Furyk a window into an intelligent young player who turns 25 next month.

"I love the golf course", Furyk said. "We have our hands full".

Various captains decided that it was best to pair Woods with experienced players. "As I said last week, I'm trending".

Simpson could be in trouble should he slip from the top eight, having gone 2-3 with one halved in Ryder Cup play, and was benched in 2014 at Gleneagles.

"They're going to have a really strong team - in theory, possibly the strongest team Europe's ever fielded, " Furyk said.

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