Ryder Cup points update: Dustin Johnson swaps places with Bubba Watson after Shell Houston Open
There were minor swaps to the top of this week's U.S. Ryder Cup points standings as the top 14 maintained their positions, but that wasn't the case for the winner of the Shell Houston Open.
With his victory at the Golf Club of Houston – his first on the PGA Tour – Jim Herman jumped from 88th to 15th, placing himself between Ryan Moore and Matt Kuchar. Less than 1,000 points separate eighth-place Patrick Reed from Kevin Na in 19th heading into the year's first major at Augusta National Golf Club.
Dustin Johnson finished two strokes behind Herman in third, which allowed him to leapfrog Bubba Watson for second place. However, D.J. remains well behind points leader Jordan Spieth, the defending Masters champion.
With two points for every $1,000 earned in a major, a top finish at the Masters could help those outside the top eight make a big move.
Here's a look at the top 12 following the 2016 Shell Houston Open (remember, the top eight qualify on points, while U.S. Captain Davis Love III will round out the team with his four Captain's Picks):
1. Jordan Spieth 7,112.840
2. Dustin Johnson 3,983.182
3. Bubba Watson 3,557.578
4. Zach Johnson 3,097.302
5. Rickie Fowler 3,089.357
6. Brandt Snedeker 3,001.907
7. Phil Mickelson 2,974.297
8. Patrick Reed 1,866.221
9. Brooks Koepka 1,982.007
10. Bill Haas 1,948.745
11. Jason Dufner 1,740.483
12. Kevin Kisner 1,653.964
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 the U.S. Ryder Cup team.
You can read about the entire qualifying process here, but these 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.