These 7 U.S. Ryder Cup hopefuls look to get hot during the FedEx playoffs
Jim Furyk has eight players on his roster and will fill out the remaining four spots in the coming three weeks. He’ll name three captain’s selections Sept. 4, following the Dell Technologies Championship outside Boston, and one last choice on Sept. 10 after the BMW Championship near Philadelphia.
The top four not on the team in points following the PGA Championship were, in order, Bryson DeChambeau, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, and Xander Schauffele.
Here are the players beyond the top 12 who could possibly work their way onto the team with a couple of hot weeks in the FedEx Cup Playoffs:
Age: 40; Experience: Four Ryder Cups (6-7-2)
Final Ryder Cup points: 13th
Stat corner: T-36 in strokes gained: putting, 48th on Tour in scoring average.
Skinny: Kuchar has been a part of the last four U.S. Ryder Cup teams (and every U.S. team from 2010-on) and wants to keep his string going. His play has been steady, but not up to his usual standards. Twenty-two starts, and his best finish is T-8 in Houston. He needs a big playoff run.
Age: 34; Experience: (Rookie)
Final Ryder Cup points: 14th
Stat corner: Ranks ninth in strokes gained: putting and 41st in driving accuracy.
Skinny: He’s a tough player in match play given that he’s such a clutch putter, and he gained some experience on a winning Presidents Cup side last fall. His ball-striking has not been all that sharp this season (164th, strokes gained: tee to green). Kisner’s 5-1-1 mark in this year’s WGC Match Play Championship included victories over Dustin Johnson, Matt Kuchar, Ian Poulter and Alex Noren.
Age: 28; Experience: (Rookie)
Final Ryder Cup points: 15th
Stat corner: Ranks third in driving distance (316.1 yards), 12th in scoring, T-14th in birdies.
Skinny: Finau has plenty of power and makes lots of birdies – making 10, in fact, alongside Captain Furyk in the second round of the PGA. He seems to really enjoy the big stage, and he’s very confident in himself. Finau was the only player to record top-10 finishes in each of the season’s first three major championships.
Age: 31; Experience: (Rookie)
Final Ryder Cup points: 17th
Stat corner: Ranks 11th in strokes gained: putting, 31st in driving accuracy, and 36th in scoring average.
Skinny: Harman is a gritty competitor with solid match-play experience who has been close now to making a couple of U.S. teams as a pro. He defeated Rory McIlroy in the WGC-Match Play earlier this season and lost to eventual champion Bubba Watson. Harman played alongside Furyk at Bellerive on Sunday. Downside: His T-6 at Travelers is his lone top-10 in stroke-play competition since Mexico in March.
Age: 34; Experience: (Rookie)
Final Ryder Cup points: 19th
Stat corner: Is second in strokes gained: off the tee, eighth in driving distance (314.3) and fifth in greens in regulation (71.21 percent).
Skinny: Captain Furyk said he wants hot players, and Woodland stayed near the top of the leaderboard the entire week at Bellerive, tying for sixth. The putter has held him back, but he feels more comfortable after getting help from Phil Kenyon at the Open Championship. Woodland jokes that he’s attended uniform fittings for the last seven U.S. Ryder/Presidents Cup teams. Is this the year he breaks through?
Age: 42; Experience: Five Ryder Cups (8-7-2)
Final Ryder Cup points: 20th
Stat corner: Ranks 25th in strokes gained: total, 16th in scoring average, and T-50th in strokes gained: putting.
Skinny: Another player who likely will have to really heat up in the playoffs, but has the experience of playing in a Ryder Cup on the road. He’s a good team guy who has earned plenty of respect from his peers, and though he has only two top 10s in 2017-18, he’s in good form: Johnson has finished in the top 20 in each of his last six starts.
Age: 37; Experience: Two Ryder Cups (4-2-0)
Final Ryder Cup points: 37
Stat corner: Ranks 24th in strokes gained: putting and 25th strokes gained: around the green.
Skinny: OK, so he’s been injured and pretty much out of the picture for most of the season. But if you want somebody with a hot hand, well, who’s any hotter than Snedeker, who just shot 59 at the Wyndham Championship? This summer, he’s been T-6 in Memphis, T-3 at Greenbrier, and T-8 at the Canadian Open. And then a 59. There certainly are some promising signs.