Ryder watch list: DJ's absence creates shakeups

By Ryan LavnerAugust 4, 2014, 12:39 pm

This could be the most hotly contested Ryder Cup ever – and we’re talking about just making the team.

So, each Monday, GolfChannel.com will take a look at the players who are vying for one of the 12 spots on the team. Nine players make the squad via their respective points list, and both captain Tom Watson and Paul McGinley will have three wild-card picks apiece.

This is the final week of qualifying for the U.S. side. Points are double this week (for every $1,000 earned) at the PGA. (Click for full U.S. team standings)   

AMERICANS 

The current top 12: 

1. Bubba Watson, 6,892

2. Jim Furyk, 5,972

3. Jimmy Walker, 5,585

4. Rickie Fowler, 5,573

5. Matt Kuchar, 5,114

6. Jordan Spieth, 4,835

7. Patrick Reed, 3,609

8. Jason Dufner, 3,559

9. Zach Johnson, 3,532

10. Phil Mickelson, 3,350

11. Keegan Bradley, 3,324

12. Brendon Todd, 3,307

Notes: 

• Dustin Johnson would be No. 5 on the list, but he has already informed PGA officials that he will not compete in either this week’s PGA Championship or next month’s Ryder Cup. 

• DJ’s absence was Patrick Reed’s gain. With one more spot available, Reed took full advantage with a T-4 at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational to nearly lock up an automatic spot. It was his first non-victory top 10 of the season.

• Phil Mickelson’s closing 62 also gave him some much-needed momentum heading into the PGA. He is now 182 points behind Zach Johnson for the ninth and final automatic spot, but with double points this week another good performance might make Tom Watson’s job a whole lot easier.

• Keegan Bradley’s T-4 finish at Bridgestone moved the 2012 Ryder Cupper from No. 16 to No. 12 in points. After Bradley, the next three players on the list are Brendon Todd, Ryan Moore and Chris Kirk.

• Tiger Woods (No. 69, in Johnson's absence) reinjured his back Sunday at Firestone, and it is unclear whether he will even be fit enough to compete in the Ryder Cup, should he be selected as a wild-card pick.

EUROPEANS 

European Points List (top 4 qualify)

1. Rory McIlroy, 4,190,878

2. Victor Dubuisson, 2,683,488

3. Sergio Garcia, 2,505,997

4. Henrik Stenson, 2,459,793

5. Jamie Donaldson, 2,446,864

6. Thomas Bjorn, 2,423,825

7. Justin Rose, 2,075,500

8. Martin Kaymer, 2,004,167

9. Ian Poulter, 1,947,113

10. Graeme McDowell, 1,649,136 

World Points List (top 5)

1. Rory McIlroy, 434

2. Sergio Garcia, 363

3. Henrik Stenson, 352

4. Justin Rose, 278

5. Martin Kaymer, 247

6. Thomas Bjorn, 200

7. Victor Dubuisson, 190

8. Graeme McDowell, 166

9. Jamie Donaldson, 165

10. Luke Donald, 164

Notes: 

• Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia are 1-2 on the World Points List, after they went 1-2 at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. Their friendship and on-course chemistry is apparent, and we may be looking at a new European power team. 

• Graeme McDowell’s fifth consecutive top-10 finish put him in position to earn one of the automatic spots on the team. He is now No. 8 on the World Points List, but only one point ahead of Jamie Donaldson and two clear of Luke Donald.

• Among the players who would need a pick to make the team: Ian Poulter, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Stephen Gallacher, Lee Westwood and Jonas Blixt.

Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

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Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.