Building a World Class Team: 1985
|Team USA Ryder Cup Update, July 21, 2014:|
Mike Benzie, PGA.com
The third major of the year created some key movement in the 2014 U.S. Ryder Cup points as the team begins to take a more definite shape.
Rickie Fowler's tie for second in the Open Championship earned him more than 1,500 points as he vaulted to the No. 3 spot behind Bubba Watson and Jimmy Walker.
Jim Furyk also moved up two spots with nearly 1,000 points. Both eclipsed PGA President Ted Bishop's "magic number" of 4,637, a number he estimates as a lock for the Ryder Cup Team automatic qualification. There are nine automatic spots going to the top points leaders.
U.S. Captain Tom Watson will fill out the team with three Captain's Picks.
Meanwhile, questions remain on whether Tiger Woods can make the team - either automatically or by a Captain's Pick. He earned just 46 points after making the cut this weekend and moved two spots to No. 70. Despite his struggles after his return from back surgery, Woods is confident about his play and said Sunday he'd pick himself for the team. Captain Watson has said all along if Woods is healthy and playing well, he'd make the team.
Phil Mickelson moved one spot with about 150 points and now sits at No. 11 ahead of Brendon Todd.
Here's a look at the current top 12 (remember, the top nine after the PGA Championship in August automatically qualify, while U.S. Captain Tom Watson will fill out the team with three captain's picks):
1. Bubba Watson
With Woods and Mickelson on the outside looking in, these 2014 Captain's Picks will be interesting and much discussed. Like 1985 European Captain Tony Jacklin, Watson will have to use his picks wisely and built a team capable of handling a partisan crowd, as Jacklin's counterpart Lee Trevino was faced with as they crafted their world-class teams.
Watson will also hope for a more positive result.