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Watch list: Reed on Ryder Cup radar; ZJ moves up

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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 way-too-early 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. 

AMERICANS

The current top 12: 

1. Jimmy Walker, 2,417

2. Phil Mickelson, 2,353

3. Jason Dufner, 2,261

4. Zach Johnson, 2,196

5. Dustin Johnson, 2,012

6. Harris English, 1,927

7. Webb Simpson, 1,815

8. Chris Kirk, 1,793

9. Ryan Moore, 1,778

10. Brian Stuard, 1,175

11. Patrick Reed, 1,154

12. Matt Kuchar, 951

Notes:

• Reed jumped from 81st to 11th after his victory at the Humana Challenge, his second win in his last nine starts. To make this team, however, Reed will need to continue this good form. After winning at the Wyndham in August, he failed to record another top 10 before his record-smashing performance at PGA West.

• Zach Johnson inched closer to the top of the points list after another solid week in the desert. The T-3 finish at the Humana was his 11th top 10 in his last 14 starts, and he moved from No. 6 to No. 4.

• Other big risers after the Humana include Ryan Palmer (65th to 17th) and – is this 1999? – Justin Leonard, who jumped from 38th to 22nd.

• Brian Stuard, currently No. 10, has four top-15 finishes in his last three starts, including three consecutive finishes of sixth or better.

Tiger Woods is No. 23 on the list, but he returns this week at the Farmers Insurance Open.


EUROPEANS

European Points List (top 4 earn spots):

1. Thomas Bjorn, 1,620,888

2. Victor Dubuisson, 1,595,151

3. Ian Poulter, 1,541,652

4. Jamie Donaldson, 1,449,825

5. Henrik Stenson, 1,440,939

6. Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, 1,134,264

7. Joost Luiten, 1,117,669

8. David Howell, 795,908

World Points List (top 5):

1. Henrik Stenson, 240

2. Thomas Bjorn, 128

3. Sergio Garcia, 114

4. Ian Poulter, 108

5. Victor Dubuisson, 101

6. Rory McIlroy, 94

7. Jamie Donaldson, 85

8. Justin Rose, 78

9. Joost Luiten, 77

10. Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, 72

Notes:

• Bjorn ascended to the top of the European Points List after continuing his stellar play in Abu Dhabi, finishing T-10. In his last 10 starts, he has two wins and four other top 10s.

• Rory McIlroy moved from No. 8 to No. 6 in the World Points List after his T-2 finish in the desert. In his last eight starts, he has seven finishes of 11th or better.

Graeme McDowell is outside the top 15 on both lists.