Mahan, Fowler won't be automatic Ryder Cup qualifiers

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KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. – If Hunter Mahan and Rickie Fowler are to play on this year’s U.S. Ryder Cup team, they’re going to need some help.

Both players will miss the cut at the PGA Championship after poor performances Friday in the high winds at Kiawah Island.

Ninth on the Ryder Cup points list – the top eight after Sunday’s final round automatically qualify for the team – Mahan did himself no favors at the PGA, shooting 72-80 to finish at 8-over 152, well above the projected cut line.   

“I had no control of the golf ball and had no idea where it was going. That’s a problem in the wind,” Mahan said. “It’s tough, it’s a tough golf course and with the wind coming up there’s not an easy shot.”

Mahan won twice this season and seemed a lock to make the team, but he has posted only one top-10 finish since his victory at the Houston Open in early April.

Fowler, meanwhile, who was a captain’s pick for the 2010 Ryder Cup, was 12th in points entering this week. The 23-year-old called a penalty on himself after his ball moved on the green during his opening-round 74. He shot 80 Friday to finish at 10-over 154, and was T-134 when he finished his round.

“I’ve been swinging really well the last few months, but we haven’t been playing the easiest of golf courses,” Fowler said. “I felt like my short game saved me the last few days, but I need to tighten up my putting a little bit.”

Since a stellar June – when he captured Quail Hollow for his first career PGA Tour victory, and finished in the top 5 at both The Players and Colonial – Fowler has failed to crack the top 30 in a PGA Tour event.

U.S. Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III hinted earlier in the week that Steve Stricker and Jim Furyk – veterans of nine combined Ryder Cups – would likely be captain’s picks if they didn’t qualify on points. That would leave players such as Mahan, Fowler, Dustin Johnson and Brandt Snedeker to vie for the final two positions.