With a tight race in the U.S. Presidents Cup standings entering the homestretch, the man currently in possession of the 10th and final automatic qualifying spot will apparently miss the start of the FedEx Cup playoffs next week.
One of the hottest golfers this summer, Zach Johnson is in the field this week at the Wyndham Championship, having recorded top-10 finishes in each of his last four starts. According to a report from the Des Moines Register, though, Johnson will miss The Barclays next week at Liberty National to serve as the best man in his brother Gabe's wedding.
Currently 23rd in the FedEx Cup standings, Johnson is assured of spots in each of the subsequent two playoff events. The decision could have ramifications for the Presidents Cup, though, as the former Masters champion currently holds a slim lead over Dustin Johnson for the 10th spot in the American standings, clinging to an advantage of less than 10,000 points with two points accrued per dollar earned through the Deutsche Bank Championship.
Like Johnson, Steve Stricker, currently ninth in the Presidents Cup standings, will miss next week's event, opting to return to action for the second playoff event at TPC Boston. Unlike Johnson, though, Stricker is not in the field this week at Sedgefield.
With the first 10 spots on the American squad finalized Sept. 2 following the final round in Boston, the absences of Johnson and Stricker next week could create an opening for the players immediately behind them in the points race. Both Dustin Johnson (11th) and Webb Simpson (12th) remain well within earshot of 10th place, while Jim Furyk moved up to 13th in the overall standings with his runner-up performance at last week's PGA Championship.
Once the 10 automatic qualifiers are finalized, Fred Couples will add two captain's picks on Sept. 4 to round out his 12-man team. The Presidents Cup will take place Oct. 3-6 at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio.