CARMEL, Ind. – Of all the Ryder Cup hopefuls, J.B. Holmes is making the strongest case so far at the BMW Championship.
Holmes was 8 under through 10 holes Friday before a rocky finish, including a bogey on the par-5 ninth hole (his last of the day). The result was a 7-under 65 that sent him into a tie for fourth, just four shot off the lead.
Holmes received a pick for the 2008 Ryder Cup in his native Kentucky, then responded by going 2-0-1 in a winning effort at Valhalla.
He’d require another pick to play on this year’s squad.
“If I had done enough, I would have made the team,” he said. “I want to be on the team, and all I can do is just play the best I can and hopefully I’ll get a pick.”
At the BMW, at least, he’s playing the best of the prospective Ryder Cuppers.
Likely selection Matt Kuchar made two double bogeys Friday, including on his 17th hole of the day, and was in a tie for sixth.
Bubba Watson’s bogey-free 67 put him in line for his first top-10 on Tour in six months.
“My whole goal this year was the Ryder Cup and the Olympics,” he said. “That’s all I cared about the whole year was making those two events. I didn’t care how I did it, as long as I made those events. And I got in the Olympics, so I’ve got one more to go, I guess.”
Watson won at Riviera but has been quiet over the past several months, decreasing the likelihood that he will receive one of the wildcard picks. His chances took another hit with the emergence of Holmes, who finished third at The Open to soar up the rankings and is now in good position in the final week before Davis Love III makes three of his four picks.
“I’ve got two more days to impress,” Watson said, “or, hopefully, he looks at the world rankings and sees I’m pretty decent.”
Watson is No. 7 in the world. Rickie Fowler is also in the top 10, at No. 9, but he’s off to another rough start at the BMW. Through two rounds, he is in a tie for 63rd and is beating only four players so far.
When asked if he’d done enough this year to warrant a pick, Fowler said: “Luckily, that’s not up to me. I put forth the effort. It’s not the golf I’d like to have played these last few weeks, but it’s something I don’t want to miss out on.
“It’s not fun being in a picking position. You try not to think about it, but it’s always there.”