With this week's PGA Championship being the last chance to earn double the Ryder Cup points at a major, it became one of the most important toward deciding the final roster.
Jimmy Walker won the week, not only by bringing home the Wanamaker trophy but also by vaulting from 29th to fourth on the points list. At this point it's hard to imagine he didn't secure a spot on the team with the win.
The other beneficiaries of a good week at Baltusrol were Brooks Koepka and Daniel Summerhays. Koepka had dropped out of the top eight after being sidelined by an ankle injury for the past month, but a T4 finish moved him back up to the fifth slot. Summerhays finished solo third at the PGA Championship, jumping up from 43rd to 20th and opening the window for automatic qualification if he can post a few more solid finishes.
The top five on the roster now look fairly safe, but there still remains a very tight race in the points between spots six and 15 with just a few tournaments to play. In addition to deciding the last three qualifying spots, four captain's pick spots are also up for grabs for players who can finish strong this season.
Since the 2016 Ryder Cup at Hazeltine in Chaska, Minn., will be played in an Olympic year (with golf included in the Games for the first time since 1904), there have been some adjustments made to the qualifying calendar for Ryder Cup USA.
Here are the key qualifying dates:
- Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016: The top eight will be finalized at the conclusion of The Barclays, which is scheduled to finish on this date, as opposed to the traditional closing of points at the conclusion of the PGA Championship, which will be played in July instead of August in 2016 due to the Olympics. It also affords players an additional two weeks from past years to earn a spot on points.
- Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016: Love will select three of his four Captain's Picks at the conclusion of the BMW Championship, scheduled to end on this day.
- Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016: Love will make his fourth and final Captain's Pick at the conclusion of the Tour Championship, scheduled to end on this day.