Building a World Class Team: 1963
|Team USA Ryder Cup Update, June 2, 2014:|
Masters champion Bubba Watson finished alone in third at the Memorial, but there was no place for him to move to -- that's the luxury of owning the top spot. So, no, he didn't move up -- he couldn't -- but he did increase his lead over current No. 2, Jimmy Walker, by some 1,700+ points. To put that in perspective, if Watson had only that 1,700+ total for points that separates him from Walker, he'd still be in the top 25 of the standings, ahead of others such as Hunter Mahan, Bill Haas, Billy Horschel and Brandt Snedeker.
Impressive stuff from Bubba, no doubt.
The biggest top-20 mover this week was Kevin Na, who jumped 10 spots from No. 24 to No. 14 after a runner-up finish at the Memorial. Na came up on the short end of a playoff with Hideki Matsuyama, but should take plenty of confidence away from Muirfield Village for a couple of reasons:
1. Na fired a Sunday-best 8-under 64 -- two shots better than Jason Allred's 66, which was next best. Na's early number put pressure on the leaders and he would wait around two hours before the playoff began. Sure, he would have preferred to win, but it could be argued that Na had no business being in a playoff anyway -- his 64 put fear in the leaders and they struggled down the stretch.
2. With his high finish, Na jumped 30 spots from No. 70 to No. 40 in the Official World Golf Ranking. That guarantees him a spot in the field at Pinehurst for the U.S. Open next week, which is huge for Ryder Cup purposes seeing as points are worth double at the majors in 2014.
The only other top-20 mover of note following the Memorial was Chris Kirk. Kirk tied for fourth after a final-round 68 to move up three spots from No. 12 to No. 9 and, in so doing, knocked Phil Mickelson out of the top 9 and down to No. 10.
It's the first time this year that Mickelson has been outside of the top 9.