Denny McCarthy & Others Shake Up Rankings After Hovland Win at Jack's Place
After Viktor Hovland finished T-2 at the PGA Championship two weeks ago, he was disappointed, yet bullish about his performance.
"It sucks right now, but it is really cool to see that things are going in the right direction," he said Sunday at Oak Hill.
Indeed they were. Fourteen days later, the 25-year-old Norwegian emerged victorious at Jack Nicklaus' Memorial Tournament by besting Denny McCarthy in a playoff to earn his fourth PGA Tour victory — and a coveted handshake from the Golden Bear.
You just got to stay within yourself and keep fighting and sometimes it works out like it did this week.
"Obviously, I would have liked to have finished off a few more tournaments," Hovland said afterward. "PGA was a great step in the right direction. ... You got to keep learning from (falling short) instead of thinking, 'Okay, here we go again and I'm just not going to win this week.' You just got to stay within yourself and keep fighting and sometimes it works out like it did this week."
For most of the afternoon, McCarthy was in the driver's seat to win at the 1987 Ryder Cup venue. However, Hovland sank a 30-foot birdie putt on No. 17 — the hole's lone birdie of the day — and McCarthy bogeyed his 72nd hole to fall into a playoff with Hovland. The former Oklahoma State star then won with a par on the first extra hole.
"I'm heartbroken right now," said McCarthy, who was seeking his first Tour win in 157 starts. "It really sucks. I thought this was going to be the week ... I haven’t been quite this close to the door to knock it down."
The 30-year-old's mindset afterward, however, was similar to Hovland's just a few weeks ago.
"I know a lot of good golf is very close by," McCarthy said.
With nearly three months left in the Tour season, McCarthy can take consolation in the fact that he rose from 22nd to 14th in the U.S. Ryder Cup standings with his best-ever Tour finish.
And a bevy of Americans who also fell short of the win at Muirfield Village improved their chances of teeing it up later this year in Rome, Italy, at the Ryder Cup.
Scottie Scheffler recorded his third consecutive top-3 and increased his strong lead in the U.S. standings. Though the world No. 1 finished at 6 under, one stroke back from getting into the playoff, he had a historic week. His 20.74 strokes gained: tee-to-green ranks as the second-best such performance in an event since the Tour began tracking that data two decades ago. Scheffler, though, lost 8.5 shots to the field in strokes gained: putting, but he was still somewhat content with his week.
"I'm pretty worn out at the moment," he said. "I was just proud of how I showed up this weekend and fought. I hit it so good and I gave myself a chance. Maybe a few more putts go in, it's a little different story."
Two spots below Scheffler on the leaderboard were Jordan Spieth and Andrew Putnam, who tied for fifth. Spieth recorded his sixth top-10 of the season and moved from 7th to 5th in the U.S. Ryder Cup standings, inside the top-6 automatic qualifying threshold. Putnam, meanwhile, went from 52nd to 34th.
Wyndham Clark, who notched his maiden Tour title in May at the Wells Fargo Championship, placed T-12 at Muirfield Village for his fifth top-15 finish since March. His recent form has him knocking on the door of a Ryder Cup nod, as he moved from 13th to 10th with his performance at Jack's Place.
But whoever the 12 Team USA members end up being, they will likely be facing a European squad in Rome that boasts Hovland, who is currently third on the world points list.
U.S. Team Captain Zach Johnson first announced the 2023 qualifying structure last year. Points in 2023 are awarded as follows:
- 1 point per $1,000 earned at regular PGA Tour events beginning January 1, including the Zurich Classic and WGC events, through the BMW Championship (August 20)
- 2 points per $1,000 earned for winner of the Masters, PGA Championship, U.S. Open and The Open
- 1.5 points per $1,000 earned for all others that make the cut at the Masters, PGA Championship, U.S. Open and The Open
- No points available at PGA Tour opposite-field events
Points qualification will conclude immediately after the second FedEx Cup Play-Off event (BMW Championship) on August 20, 2023, with the top six eligible players on the points list securing spots on the U.S. Team.
The six remaining slots on the U.S. Team will be Captain’s Selections and will be announced by Johnson following the 2023 Tour Championship.
For a full list of the Top 100 in the U.S. Ryder Cup standings, click here.