Johnson closing in on Ryder Cup pick


PARAMUS, N.J. – With all of golf's attention focused on the Tiger Revival, Zach Johnson is quietly playing his way onto the U.S. Ryder Cup team. A tie for third at the PGA Championship vaulted Johnson from 20th to 11th in the standings, which wasn't enough to earn him an automatic berth, but another strong performance this week would almost guarantee him one of Corey Pavin's four captain's picks.

Back-to-back 69s have Johnson in at four under, three off the current lead. He has just two top-10s all year – a win the Colonial in addition to the PGA. As one of very few Americans who played well in the 2006 matches at the K Club, Johnson's value to Pavin is obvious. He is one of the PGA Tour's best putters, a major champion who often gets overlooked despite seven career victories, including the 2007 Masters.

He must already be on Pavin's short list, anyway, but a high finish at the Barclays would basically lock up a spot.