Ryder Cup points update: Zach Johnson up to fourth after Arnold Palmer Invitational
Zach Johnson's impressive 68-68 scores on the weekend propelled him to a fifth-place finish at the Arnold Palmer Invitational on Sunday – and helped him move into fourth place on this week's U.S. Ryder Cup points list.
Johnson had arrived at Bay Hill in seventh place in the race for the U.S. team that will attempt to reclaim the golden chalice at Hazeltine in September. He climbed over Phil Mickelson (was sixth, now seventh), Brandt Snedeker (was fifth, now sixth) and Rickie Fowler (was fourth, now fifth) to claim the fourth spot heading into this week's Dell Match Play.
The top three of Jordan Spieth, Bubba Watson and Dustin Johnson stayed the same, as did the rest of the top 20.
The biggest moves, in terms of total spots gained for the week, came from Kevin Chappell and Troy Merritt. Chappell's solo second at Bay Hill vaulted him from 88th place all the way up to 23rd, while Merritt's tie for third launched him from 56th place up to 32nd. And Jamie Lovemark rose from 34th up to 28th place by tying for sixth at Bay Hill.
Here's a look at the top 12 following the 2016 Arnold Palmer Invitational (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 6,837.080
2. Bubba Watson 3,483.078
3. Dustin Johnson 3,230.782
4. Zach Johnson 2,945.302
5. Rickie Fowler 2,856.357
6. Brandt Snedeker 2,849.907
7. Phil Mickelson 2,759.637
8. Patrick Reed 1,866.221
9. Bill Haas 1,796.745
10. Brooks Koepka 1,692.007
11. Jason Dufner 1,677.483
12. Kevin Kisner 1,590.964
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.