Monday Scramble: Emotions run high at Match Play

By Ryan LavnerMarch 27, 2017, 4:00 pm

Dustin Johnson keeps rolling, Jon Rahm impresses, Jason Day withdraws, and the Match Play format debate rages on in this week's edition of the Monday Scramble:

There are a few ways to describe Johnson when he performs like this. Dominating. Intimidating. Electrifying.

And then there’s how Rahm described him Sunday night, after losing, 1 up, in the championship match of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play:

“He’s just a perfect, complete player.”

Awesome power works everywhere, of course, but Johnson’s wedge game and solid putting are why he has now won three tournaments in a row, why he has put a stranglehold on world No. 1.

DJ is a player without weakness, a superstar who, if on his game, requires his opponent to be nothing short of perfect to beat him.  

Now the clear-cut favorite for the Masters, can anybody stop him? 

1. Even on a Sunday without his best stuff, Johnson continued his weeklong romp at Austin Country Club.

Here are his final stats from the week:

  • 112 holes played
  • 105 holes led
  • 7 holes tied
  • 46 holes won
  • 23 holes lost

DJ saw the 17th and 18th holes only twice – both times on Sunday, when he went birdie-par to knock off Hideto Tanihara in the semis, then par-par to hold off a hard-charging Rahm in the finals. 

2. Only two players have won the WGC-Match Play without trailing in any match.

Those dominant performances came from two wildly different players.

Luke Donald relied on his precision and short game to accomplish the feat in 2011, when he led 81 of the 89 holes (91 percent) he played over six 18-hole matches at Dove Mountain.

Johnson bashed his way around Austin CC and led for 94 percent of the 112 holes he played. 

3. Six of DJ’s 15 career titles have come since June.

That haul includes some of the biggest prizes in the game: a U.S. Open trophy, victories at a FedEx Cup playoff event and Riviera, and  – gulp – three World Golf Championships.

He is the first player to sweep the four WGCs. 

4. Rahm continued his meteoric rise in the world rankings with a(nother) breakout performance at the Match Play.

His spectacular all-around game was no secret to those who have watched his game over the past four years. He was an 11-time winner at Arizona State, he recorded a pair of top-3 finishes in his first few starts as a pro, and he rallied to win at Torrey Pines earlier this year.

But over the past month, against elite fields, he has proven himself as one of the game’s best.

Rahm briefly led with three holes to play in Mexico, only to stumble late. Then came the Match Play, where he overpowered a series of opponents before taking the world No. 1 to the final hole.

Rahm looked like he was toast, 4 down with six to play, but that’s when he staged a furious rally. He pounded driver and flew the water on 13. He stiffed an approach on 15. He hit a bold shot through the trees on 16. And then he got up and down from a dodgy lie on 17.

It wasn’t quite enough, but Rahm should no longer be viewed as a rising star or a kid with a bright future.

He’s the 14th-ranked player in the world – ahead of Phil Mickelson and Bubba Watson and Brooks Koepka – and that’s only because his average points are weighed down by his 40-event divisor. Rahm has played only 19 counting events – based on that calculation and his average points, he’s really the second-ranked player in the world.

5. Sunday was the last day for players to qualify for the Masters via the top 50 in the world ranking.

Clutch performances in Austin by Hideto Tanihara and Ross Fisher secured those two invitations.

Tanihara, who began the week No. 60 in the world, finished fourth but did enough to move inside the top 50.

A trip to the quarterfinals was good enough for Fisher, who was No. 53 and is now set to play the Masters for the first time since 2012.  

The Masters field is at 94 players.

6. It was an unusual week for Rory McIlroy. He played well in two matches, going 7 under, but came away with a 0-1-1 record.

McIlroy would have beat just about anybody else in the opening round of pool play, but Soren Kjeldsen made four consecutive birdies to close – five straight approaches inside 10 feet – to put away the world No. 2.

An injury-hampered start to the season has added up to only 14 competitive rounds of golf heading into the Masters. McIlroy won’t add Houston to get more reps; he is playing Augusta early this week and then returning to South Florida to fine-tune his game.

McIlroy doesn’t think it’ll affect his performance at the year’s first major. In fact, he says his short game is as sharp as it’s ever been going into Augusta after the six weeks away because of his rib injury.

“Freshness could help, especially mentally,” he said. “Mentally going in there and not being drained.” 

7. The opposite might be true for Rahm. Unlike DJ, who withdrew on Monday afternoon, the young Spaniard is still expected to tee it up in the Shell Houston Open, less than a week after playing seven matches over five days on a difficult course to walk. That's a lot of energy expended, with a final test run at Houston and then a long, grueling week at Augusta.

Another reason why the timing of the Match Play just doesn't work.

8. Look, there's no arguing with the quality of winners in the new format – McIlroy, Jason Day, and DJ all ranked no worse than second in the world - and Austin Country Club is a home run as a match-play venue.

But another year of uninspiring round-robin matches has us thinking of more changes. 

Here's why: Supporters of the round-robin format pointed to last year’s results and that it still was basically one-and-done, that only three players lost a match in pool play and still advanced.

That argument doesn’t hold up as well after this year.

Six players lost a match and still moved on to the Round of 16. Five of those players needed a sudden-death playoff. Zach Johnson was the only player to win his group with two points (2-1 record).

Twenty-two players were mathematically eliminated after the first two days of pool play, and that's a problem. When a third of the field is going through the motions Friday, playing only for pride and a few FedEx Cup points, it dilutes the product.  

What we’ll continue to propose here is a stroke-play qualifier that leads into the knockout rounds.

It’d be similar to the format used by the U.S. and Western amateurs: 54 holes of stroke play, after which the field would be cut to the low 16, then single-elimination match play to determine a winner.

Why does this work?

It keeps everybody there until Friday, which was one of the major reasons the Tour (and its TV partners) abandoned the traditional format. It cuts down the number of also-rans, because their poor play doesn’t become a protect-the-field dilemma. And it keeps the schedule they’ve already established, with doubleheaders days on Saturday and Sunday.

Here’s guessing there wouldn’t be as many dropouts with a more traditional approach to the Match Play. It allows the players who are performing the best to play the weekend, while also keeping the integrity of survive-and-advance match play.

9. The Puerto Rico Open victory didn’t earn D.A. Points a spot in the Masters, but the two-year exemption, through 2019, might be even more valuable.

Since his career-best year in 2013, when he won his second of two PGA Tour titles in Houston, Points has fallen on hard times. Each of the past three years, he has finished outside the top 170 in FedEx Cup points. Last year, he needed to survive the Tour Finals.

Points didn’t have a top-30 finish in six starts this season, but it sure didn’t look like it Sunday. He made five birdies in a row to start the final round in Puerto Rico, then ran off four birdies in the last six holes to post a two-shot victory over a trio of players.

“I would like to thank my wife and kids for being so supportive during these last few years, while I have been sucking!” he tweeted. “They never gave up on me!”

10. A final-round 67 gave Bryson DeChambeau a career-best tie for second.

It’s his second encouraging performance in a row, after getting off the schneid and posting a top-30 finish in Tampa.

The mad scientist has had more than his share of growing pains this season, but it appears he’s finally heading into the right direction. Golf is more interesting with him in the mix. 

11. Some of the players who figure to be in the mix at the Masters will get one final tune-up in Houston.

Among the big names in the field, besides DJ and Rahm: Jordan Spieth, Henrik Stenson, Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson, Adam Scott and Justin Rose.

No player since Mickelson (2006) has won the week before the Masters and then again at Augusta. 

12. Speaking of majors ... an ideal way to prepare for the ANA Inspiration, this was not: Lydia Ko last week missed just her second cut in 91 career LPGA events.

It’s been a peculiar start to the year for the world No. 1. In five starts, she has three top-10s, but none of those were legitimate chances to win. She also has a T-46 and a missed cut.

Ariya Jutanugarn, meanwhile, is drawing closer to the top ranking … 

It was hard to watch Day’s news conference Wednesday at the Match Play, after he walked off the course after just six holes.

The concern originally was that Day had re-injured his balky back, but this was much more troubling – his mother, Dening, was scheduled for lung-cancer surgery after she was originally told that she had only 12 months to live. Day lost his father to stomach cancer when he was only 12.

Dening’s prognosis is better here in the States, and the surgery, according to Day's manager, went well and the doctors are optimistic about her recovery.

Much respect to J-Day for recognizing that family supersedes another golf tournament.

All the best to the entire Day family. 

This week's award winners ... 

Karma: Sam Saunders. After admirably performing all of his unofficial hosting duties two weeks ago at Bay Hill, Saunders shot 67-65 on the weekend in Puerto Rico to score a T-5 finish. It was his best finish on Tour since losing a playoff there in 2015. 

Games We’re Not Familiar With: Dustin Johnson and Jon Rahm. Blasting away on the par-5 12th hole Sunday, DJ smoked a 424-yard drive – and was still away. Rahm’s went 438. (Only DJ made birdie.) 

Bad Timing: Dude behind 18 green. There was a loud crash behind the 18th green while Rahm took back the club for his decisive chip shot on the final green. He chunked the shot, leaving the ball atop a steep slope and giving him virtually no chance to make birdie and force a playoff. 

What Could Have Been: Tyrrell Hatton. Locked in a three-man sudden-death playoff to advance to the Round of 16, Hatton’s ball moved on the first playoff hole. Instead of stopping to return the ball to its original position, he quickly discussed the situation with fellow competitor Rafa Cabrera Bello, then went ahead and finished out. Problem was, he played the ball from the new position, and that’s a two-shot penalty. His week was done. 

Hey, Remember Me?: Lucy Li. She was the adorable 11-year-old who qualified for the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open at Pinehurst. Well, Li, now 14, has qualified for another major, this week’s ANA Inspiration, after winning an AJGA event by four shots. 

Still Going Low ...: LPGA scores. With Mirim Lee's 20-under winning total at the Kia Classic, five of the six events this year have been won with at least a 19 under total.

Trash Talk of the Week: Gary Player. Gotta love this playful jab from the Black Knight as the ceremonial first tee shot at the Masters approaches: 

Nice Consolation: Bill Haas. It must be painful to head back out for another 18-hole match after losing in the semifinals, but Haas made the final tour worthwhile, knocking off Tanihara to bank the extra $133,000 ($678,000 total) and jump eight spots in the world ranking, to No. 39. 

Best Topped Drive: Sergio Garcia. With rain pelting Garcia and everybody else at Austin CC, the Spaniard’s hands slipped off the driver, resulting in the rare Tour player cold-top. (Yes, he lost the hole.)

Blown Fantasy Pick of the Week: Louis Oosthuizen. The South African’s 14 matches won since 2013 was the second-most in the field, behind only Day. He got off to a rousing start, thumping Ross Fisher, but with a 2-1 record he ended up losing to Fisher in a sudden-death tiebreaker, failing to qualify for the Round of 16. Sigh. 

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Monday Scramble: Flawless Francesco outlasts them all

By Will GrayJuly 23, 2018, 2:00 pm

Francesco Molinari outlasts the rest, Tiger Woods inches closer to an earth-shattering victory, Jordan Spieth lets a successful title defense slip away, Eddie Pepperell toasts his success and more in this week’s Open edition of Monday Scramble:

Forza Italia.

Amid a wild and windy afternoon at Carnoustie, where seemingly no less than a dozen players had a viable shot at the claret jug, it was a steady performance from Francesco Molinari that translated into breakthrough.

Molinari is no stranger to the big stage, and five years ago he played the final round alongside Phil Mickelson as Lefty stormed from behind to win at Muirfield. But this time, this day, it was his turn to shine as he put forth a ball-striking and scrambling clinic that yielded 16 pars and two birdies while the other leaders struggled around him.

It's the cap of an impressive heater for Molinari, who is now the first Italian to ever win a major. He outlasted Rory McIlroy at the BMW PGA Championship in May, won the Quicken Loans National by eight shots last month and now has finished first or second in five of his last six worldwide starts.

The soft-spoken veteran played the final two rounds without making a bogey, and he is a worthy champion. Expect the jug to receive a few refills of wine - and perhaps a little coffee - over the next year.

1. For about a 90-minute stretch Sunday, it seemed like Tiger Woods would finally find a way to silence the critics once and for all.

Playing alongside Molinari, Woods displayed the same tactical brilliance on the opening nine, carding two birdies while others struggled out of the gates and, at one point, taking the lead alone. But an errant approach and a poor flop shot led to a double bogey on No. 11, and his bid for the jug was diverted soon thereafter.

But man, what a ride it was through that opening stretch. For months the questions have lingered about exactly how and when Tiger might put all the pieces together, and after an early exit at Shinnecock it was easy to write him off. But his inner tactician shined for much of the week on a toasty layout, and he was steady in all facets over the weekend.

Just as Woods' five-win season in 2013 has been used as a recent example of just how high his ceiling reaches, so too this performance will be viewed like manna from heaven for Tiger apologists. He didn't quite pull it off, but there's every reason to expect that he can do so the next time around.

2. While he came up three shots short of catching Molinari, even Woods appeared to savor the final leg of a T-6 finish that serves as his best result in a major in five years and becomes the new high water mark for an already impressive season.

"It was a blast," Woods told reporters. "I was saying earlier that I need to try and keep it in perspective because, beginning of the year, if they'd have said you're playing the Open Championship, I would have said I'd be very lucky to do that."

3. A bit more on Molinari, the newest Champion Golfer of the Year who has turned into a weekend assassin over the last three months. 

Between his stirring victory at Wentworth, his rout at TPC Potomac and his comeback at Carnoustie, Molinari has now played six weekend rounds while making only a single bogey. One!

That includes 36 bogey-free holes over the last two days in Scotland, as Molinari methodically took apart the demanding links layout while turning in the only bogey-free scorecard out of the entire field on Sunday.

"To go the weekend bogey-free, it's unthinkable, to be honest," Molinari said. "But I felt really good this morning. When I came here, I felt ready for the challenge."

4 While many players would quiver at the thought of a final-round tee time alongside Woods with a major on the line, Molinari didn't blink. Perhaps because he's been in similar situations before.

In addition to his supporting role during Mickelson's win in 2013, Molinari has twice faced off with Woods in the Ryder Cup - including a 2012 singles' draw that remains Woods' most recent Ryder Cup match. So stepping to the tee Sunday, Molinari was fazed neither by his playing partner nor by the three co-leaders that sat three shots ahead of him.

"Clearly in my group, the attention wasn't really on me, let's put it that way," Molinari said. "If someone was expecting a charge, probably they weren't expecting it from me, but it's been the same the whole of my career."

5. How times change. Just a few weeks ago, Molinari opted to tee it up at the Quicken Loans National instead of the French Open at Ryder Cup venue Le Golf National. The reason? He was concerned about his FedExCup standing.

Molinari hadn't done much in the States this year, and he was 123rd in points with his 2019 status very much in limbo. Fast forward a few weeks - including two wins and a runner-up - and Molinari can safely book travel plans on both sides of the Atlantic for years to come.

6. It was a week of what might have been for Jordan Spieth.

Spieth started his stint in Scotland by handing back the claret jug in a ceremony he admitted was more bitter than sweet. But through 54 holes, he was the betting favorite as one of three co-leaders, equipped with a great chance to go back-to-back and end a victory drought that extended back to Royal Birkdale.

Amid a disappointing campaign, it was the first time he started the final round closer than four shots to the lead.

But Spieth apparently used up his magic last year in Southport, as he seemed out of sorts from the start and quickly faded. Spieth didn't make a birdie all day, and he found a gorse bush at an inopportune time en route to a double bogey on one of the easiest holes on the course.

It added up to a 76 and a tie for ninth, another disappointing finish in a year of mixed results. Now he'll have to wait another year for a potential reunion with the jug.

7. Of course, Spieth wasn't the only player who watched a share of the 54-hole lead slip away.

Kevin Kisner held at least a share of the lead after each of the first three days, but his bid for a maiden major went sideways in a bunker on the second hole Sunday. Xander Schauffele's bid lasted significantly longer, as he kept pace with Molinari until the 17th hole.

But in the end, it was a 3-over 74 and a share of second place for both men, who now find themselves firmly in the Ryder Cup mix heading into the homestretch of the selection process.

8. For the first time in his career, Rory McIlroy has a runner-up finish in a major championship. But good luck making sense of his week at Carnoustie years from now.

McIlroy was barely a factor over the weekend, having seemingly forfeited his shot at a second Open title during benign third-round conditions. But when his lengthy eagle putt fell on the 14th hole Sunday and sparked a celebration reminiscent of Hazeltine, hope was once again alive.

Ultimately, it was too little too late for the Ulsterman, who couldn't convert a lengthy birdie putt on the 72nd hole that could have putt pressure on the leaders behind him. He'll leave Scotland with a healthy check, but without the feeling that he ever got both feet planted in his quest for the claret jug.

"I just ran out of holes," McIlroy said.

9. If McIlroy's runner-up felt like somewhat of a disappointment, Justin Rose's T-2 finish was nothing short of found money.

Rose needed to birdie the difficult 18th on Friday simply to make the cut on the number, and he rebounded with a third-round 64. The Englishman added a Sunday 69 to lend credence to the notion that, despite only two top-10s in the tournament as a pro, Rose might still have an Open title in him after all.

"I just think having made the cut number, it's a great effort to be relevant on the leaderboard on Sunday," Rose said.

The weekend close continues a recent run of solid form for Rose, who won a few weeks back at Colonial and now has reached a career-best No. 2 in the world rankings.

So the Champion Golfer of the Year walks into a coffee shop...

Sadly, it seems we may not see these creative retirement plans come to fruition - at least not for a few years. But credit to Molinari for thinking outside the box, and credit to Wesley Bryan for a timely share.

This week's award winners ... 

Hair of the Dog: Eddie Pepperell. The 27-year-old Englishman admitted he was "a little hungover" during the final round, but he still put up the day's best score with a 4-under 67 that gave him a share of sixth and his first ever top-10 finish in a major. Drinks all around.

Paris Bound?: Webb Simpson. The Players champ tied for 12th to move past Bryson DeChambeau at No. 8 in the U.S. Ryder Cup standings, with the top eight after the PGA Championship qualifying automatically. Schauffele moved to 11th, while Kisner moved to 13th.

Quiet Consistency: Tony Finau. Finau tied for ninth at Carnoustie and has now cracked the top 10 in each of the three majors this year. In fact, six of his 10 career major starts have gone for T-18 or better. Perhaps something for Captain Furyk to consider.

Quietly Slumping: Sergio Garcia. The Spaniard is barely a year removed from his watershed win, but he has now missed the cut in four straight majors and has missed six of nine cuts overall dating back to the Masters.

Role Reversal: Molinari, who won The Open while playing alongside Tiger 12 years after he caddied for his brother, Edoardo, in a group with Woods at the 2006 Masters. Woods was the defending champ, and Edoardo was the reigning U.S. Amateur winner:

King of Yelp: To the Carnoustie barber that gave Spieth a trim before the third round that set social media ablaze. While Spieth admitted it was a little "high and tight," it became the most famous £9 haircut in years.

Make Your Own Bed: To the frat house of American stars that has become something of an Open annual tradition. While Spieth, Kisner and Zach Johnson fell short of winning the jug for the house, hopefully they all got a few good shots in on all-time goalie Jason Dufner during intra-squad soccer scrimmages.

Kick Him Out: To the obnoxious fan that nearly derailed Tiger's final tee shot. One-upsmanship has become somewhat of a plague among American crowds, but Sunday showed that even the revered Scottish faithful have a few bad eggs in the bunch.

Place Your Bets: With only 17 days until the opening round of the PGA Championship, the Westgate Las Vegas installed Dustin Johnson as a 12/1 co-favorite alongside Spieth and McIlroy. Woods headlines the group next in line at 16/1.

Blown Fantasy Pick of the Week: Justin Thomas. For the second year in a row, Thomas' Open chances fell apart during a rainy second round. It was 67-80 at Birkdale, and this time 69-77 to miss the cut by a shot at Carnoustie. Watching what Rose did after finishing only one shot better through 36 holes only adds salt to the wound.

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DJ, McIlroy, Spieth listed as PGA betting favorites

By Will GrayJuly 23, 2018, 1:38 pm

Three majors are in the books, but there's still one more trophy up for grabs in two weeks' time.

While next year The Open will signal the end of the 2019 major season amid a revamped calendar, this is the final year that the PGA Championship will be held in August. The tournament returns next month to Bellerive Country Club outside St. Louis, which last hosted the PGA when Nick Price won in 1992 and hasn't hosted a PGA Tour event since Camilo Villegas won the 2008 BMW Championship.

Oddsmakers at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook published PGA betting odds shortly after the final putt dropped at Carnoustie and Francesco Molinari left with the claret jug. Topping the board are a trio of major champions: Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth, all listed at 12/1.

McIlroy won the PGA in both 2012 and 2014, while Spieth needs only the Wanamaker Trophy to round out the career Grand Slam. Johnson has recorded four top-10s in the PGA, notably a T-5 finish at Whistling Straits in 2010 when a few grains of sand kept him out of a playoff with Martin Kaymer and Bubba Watson.

Fresh off a T-6 finish in Scotland, Tiger Woods headlines the group listed at 16/1, behind only the three co-favorites as he looks to win a 15th career major.

Here's a look at the betting odds for a number of contenders, with the opening round of the PGA just 17 days away:

12/1: Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth

16/1: Tiger Woods, Justin Thomas, Rickie Fowler

18/1: Justin Rose

20/1: Brooks Koepka, Jon Rahm

25/1: Tommy Fleetwood, Francesco Molinari, Jason Day

30/1: Patrick Reed, Hideki Matsuyama

40/1: Henrik Stenson, Alex Noren, Paul Casey

50/1: Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson, Sergio Garcia, Tony Finau, Xander Schauffele, Matt Kuchar

60/1: Marc Leishman, Branden Grace, Louis Oosthuizen, Patrick Cantlay, Bryson DeChambeau, Webb Simpson

80/1: Adam Scott, Zach Johnson, Kevin Kisner

100/1: Ian Poulter, Thomas Pieters, Tyrrell Hatton, Rafa Cabrera-Bello, Daniel Berger, Kevin Chappell, Brian Harman, Brandt Snedeker, Charley Hoffman

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Molinari moves to No. 6 in world with Open win

By Will GrayJuly 23, 2018, 12:31 pm

After breaking through for his first career major title, Francesco Molinari reached some rarified air in the latest installment of the Official World Golf Rankings.

The Italian's two-shot win at Carnoustie moved him up nine spots to No. 6 in the world, not surprisingly a new career high. But it's also a quick ascent for Molinari, who has now won three of his last six worldwide starts and was ranked No. 33 in the world after missing the cut at The Players Championship two months ago.

A share of second place helped Xander Schauffele jump from No. 24 to No. 18 in the updated standings, while the same result meant Kevin Kisner went from No. 33 to No. 25. Justin Rose and Rory McIlroy both went up one spot after T-2 finishes to No. 2 and No. 7, respectively - a new career high for Rose.

The drama in the rankings unfolded at No. 50, as Tiger Woods moved up 21 spots to exactly No. 50 following his T-6 finish. While some projections had him moving to 51st, Woods was able to sneak into the top 50 just in time to qualify for a return to the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, as the top 50 in the rankings both this week and next qualify for Akron.

That includes Zach Johnson, last year's runner-up who was not yet qualified but moved from No. 52 to No. 49 this week. It also includes Kevin Chappell, who went from 61st to 47th with a T-6 finish in Scotland.

Despite missing the cut at Carnoustie, Dustin Johnson remains world No. 1 for another week followed by Rose, Justin Thomas, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm. Molinari is now at No. 6, with McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler and Jason Day rounding out the top 10.

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Simpson overtakes DeChambeau in Ryder Cup race

By Will GrayJuly 23, 2018, 12:09 pm

A T-12 finish at The Open allowed Webb Simpson to move past Bryson DeChambeau into the eighth and final automatic qualifying spot in the U.S. Ryder Cup points race with just three weeks to go.

Simpson finished the week at 3 under, five shots behind winner Francesco Molinari. Adding another strong result to his win at TPC Sawgrass and T-10 finish at the U.S. Open, he's now edged in front of DeChambeau by less than 41 points. But with players earning one point per $1,000 each of the next two weeks and 1.5 points per $1,000 at the PGA Championship, the race is far from over.

Jordan Spieth's T-9 finish strengthened his position at No. 6, as the top six players are essentially assured of qualifying automatically. Rickie Fowler held onto his spot at No. 7, while Xander Schauffele and Kevin Kisner both moved onto the bubble following T-2 finishes at Carnoustie. After a T-6 finish, Tiger Woods jumped from 31st to 20th.

Here's a look at the updated American standings, with the top eight after the PGA qualifying automatically and captain Jim Furyk adding four picks in September:

1. Brooks Koepka

2. Dustin Johnson

3. Patrick Reed

4. Justin Thomas

5. Bubba Watson

6. Jordan Spieth

7. Rickie Fowler

8. Webb Simpson


9. Bryson DeChambeau

10. Phil Mickelson

11. Xander Schauffele

12. Matt Kuchar

13. Kevin Kisner

14. Tony Finau

15. Brian Harman

On the European side, Molinari was already in position to qualify automatically but is now assured of a spot on Thomas Bjorn's roster this fall. Fellow major champs Justin Rose and Rory McIlroy also solidified their footing with runner-up performances.

Here's a look at how things look for the Europeans, with the top four from each list after the PGA Championship qualifying automatically:

European Points

1. Francesco Molinari

2. Justin Rose

3. Tyrrell Hatton

4. Tommy Fleetwood


Thorbjorn Olesen

Russell Knox

Eddie Pepperell

World Points

1. Jon Rahm

2. Alex Noren

3. Rory McIlroy

4. Paul Casey


Matthew Fitzpatrick

Sergio Garcia

Ian Poulter