Watson leaps into top five with Northern Trust win
Bubba Watson's victory at the Northern Trust Open allowed him to make a major move in this week's U.S. Ryder Cup standings. Watson went from 13th to fifth with his second victory at Riviera in the past three seasons.
By virtue of his strong finish in L.A., Dustin Johnson swapped places with Brandt Snedeker. Johnson moved into second place, pushing Snedeker back to third. Jordan Spieth -- despite missing the cut at Riviera -- remains the points leader by a wide margin.
With Watson leaping into the top five, Brooks Koepka slid out of the top eight qualifiers, although he's less than 50 points behind No. 8 Patrick Reed. J.B. Holmes moved into the top 10, replacing Kevin Kisner.
Jason Kokrak finished one stroke behind Watson at the Northern Trust, which allowed him to take a giant leap in the points. He started the week 85th, and made up 62 positions to sit 23rd at this point in the season.
Here's a look at the top 12 following the 2016 Northern Trust 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 6,646.464
2. Dustin Johnson 3,110.782
3. Brandt Snedeker 2,820.162
4. Zach Johnson 2,630.80
5. Bubba Watson 2,465.07
6. Rickie Fowler 2,446.882
7. Phil Mickelson 2,390.797
8. Patrick Reed 1,612.234
9. Brooks Koepka 1,561.191
10. J.B. Holmes 1,520.451
11. Kevin Kisner 1,487.825
12. Jason Dufner 1,466.408
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.