ST. LOUIS – Webb Simpson’s challengers are dwindling.
Hanging on to the eighth and final automatic spot heading into the final week of U.S. Ryder Cup qualifying, Simpson survived the 36-hole cut but his closest pursuers weren’t so fortunate.
Bryson DeChambeau, Phil Mickelson, Matt Kuchar and Kyle Stanley all missed the cut, meaning they’ll need to rely on a captain’s pick to be in Paris for next month's matches.
Simpson, who is tied for 19th, six shots back, entered the PGA leading DeChambeau by 49 points.
His biggest threat now is Kevin Kisner, who was 15th entering the PGA but sits in second place through two rounds at Bellerive. To leapfrog Simpson in the standings, Kisner needed to out-earn him by $644,667 – or the equivalent of a third-place finish ($714,000) or better, depending on how Simpson finishes this week.
The only other player with a realistic shot to jump ahead of Simpson is No. 11 Xander Schauffele, who heads into the final two rounds in a tie for 25th, seven shots off the lead. Tony Finau, ranked 13th in the standings, made the cut on the number.
DeChambeau’s early exit was the most surprising. Safely inside the number as he played his final few holes Saturday morning at Bellerive, the 24-year-old bogeyed three of his last six holes – including a 4-foot par miss on the final green.