Matt Kuchar makes big jump in latest Ryder Cup USA standings
With the first major championship of 2017 -- the Masters -- also came the first opportunity for U.S.-born players to collect some massive points toward the 2018 Ryder Cup.
One point was available for every $1,000 earned at the Masters to put toward a player's standing in the Ryder Cup USA points ranking.
While Ryder Cup Europe stalwarts Sergio Garcia and Justin Rose providing an epic finish to the season-opening major -- and Garcia prevailing in a playoff for his first major win -- there was quite a shake up in the U.S. standings.
In all, five players who weren't previously among the top 12 jumped up to those positions based on their respective performances at Augusta National.
Dustin Johnson, the No. 1-ranked player in the world, maintained his top spot in the standings by a considerable margin despite having to withdraw from the Masters one minute before his first round tee time due to injury.
Matt Kuchar, who aced the par-3 16th hole in the final round, jumped from No. 15 to No. 2 thanks to a T4 in the Masters. That's Kuchar's second-best major finish in his career.
Kevin Chappell was the week's biggest mover, soaring up from No. 25 to No. 4. A final-round, 4-under 68 gave Chappell a T7 at the Masters.
Ryan Moore, the man who clinched the decisive point at the 2016 Ryder Cup as the USA's fourth and final Captain's Pick, gained 13 spots from No. 18 to No. 5 with a T9 at Augusta National.
Rickie Fowler (No. 26 to No. 10) and Russell Henley (No. 31 to No. 11) were the only other players to play their way into the top 12.
The next point-getting opportunity for 2017 comes in one month at the Players Championship.
The points process for the American team will conclude on August 12, 2018, following the 100th PGA Championship at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis, with the top eight players on the points list securing spots on the U.S. Team.
Here is the current top 12 (and ties):
1. Dustin Johnson, 1660.00
2. Matt Kuchar, 566.667
3. Bill Haas, 427.188
4. Kevin Chappell, 411.500
5. Ryan Moore, 382.813
6. Phil Mickelson, 360.433
7. Brooks Koepka, 339.950
8. Jordan Spieth, 335.825
9. Justin Thomas, 293.600
10. Rickie Fowler, 285.763
11. Russell Henley, 233.200
12. Brandt Snedeker, 230.587
The four remaining slots on the U.S. Team will be Captain's Selections. Three selections will be announced by Captain Furyk following the Dell Technologies Championship scheduled to be completed on September 3, 2018, and the final selection will be announced after the BMW Championship, which is slated to be completed on September 9, 2018.
Here's a look at the point-getting events and how the 12-player team will be picked:
2017 Major Championships:
- 1 Point per $1,000 earned (The Masters; U.S. Open; Open Championship; PGA Championship)
2017 WGC Events and The Players Championship:
- 1 point per $2,000 earned (WGC-Mexico Championship; WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play Championship; The Players Championship; WGC-Bridgestone Invitational; WGC-HSBC Champions)
2018 Regular PGA Tour events:
- 1 point per $1,000 earned (Beginning January 1, 2018, through the PGA Championship, August 12, 2018; includes the Zurich Classic of New Orleans team event and WGC events)
2018 Opposite Field PGA TOUR events will NOT receive points
2018 Major Championships:
- 2 Points per $1,000 earned for the Winner; 1.5 Points per $1,000 earned for all others to make the cut (The Masters; U.S. Open; Open Championship; PGA Championship)